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6 Pro Tips for Hosting a Great Karaoke Party

Closeup of girls' faces singing karaoke around wireless microphone.

Renting a karaoke machine is step one in hosting a party that is a step above the ordinary. You can still do the standing around, drink in hand, making small talk thing -- but at a certain point in the evening, crank up the karaoke  machine and even the most never-gonna-sing-in-front-of-people die hards will move towards the music and the microphone.

How do you make sure you have a successful karaoke party? From the countless karaoke machines that customers have rented from us, and that we have set up for customers, this is the "best practices" we've found to hosting an amazing karaoke party!

1. Set a Theme and Communicate That Theme

Think 60's (it is the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love btw). Think 90's Hair Bands, or simply Rock n' Roll. 

Themes bring focused fun to a party, especially if you encourage people to dress up. Then do a few simple decorations around that theme, or mix in some related time period trivial pursuit questions, then you're all set. 

At a minimum, a theme gets gets people thinking about the songs they'd like to hear. Here's  a few links that will give you some karaoke theme party ideas:

60's/70's Party Ideas
Rock n' Roll Party Ideas

2. Start with a Loaded Song Cue

Spend some time coming up with the song list, and set up a cue of songs. Avista's karaoke machines allow you to setup a play cue of songs, and if your guests want to play something specific, they can play that song at any time, then return to the cue. That way you always have music playing and don't hit any silent patches. We recommend having at least 15 songs in the cue.

If you're not working from a theme, then it's easy to populate your cue with some tried and true karaoke staples. Here's a great karaoke song list that will get you started (remember, it's not a karaoke party until someone sings "Don't Stop Believin'").

3. Give out Prizes!

Prizes add another element of fun and guest participation. Come up with  prize categories (worse singing, best singing, best duet, best costume), then have the winners selected by secret ballot.

4. Let the Booze Flow

Alcohol and karaoke go together like peanut butter and jelly. Which is why you may not get a lot of takers early in the evening, but by the end of the evening it's the center of attraction. Just make sure everyone has a DD and gets home safely.

To combine this tip with #2 above, here is a great list of drunk karaoke songs

5. Add Basic Lighting 

In addition to some basic decorations, some lighting will go a long way toward making your party legit. Use some uplights around the room, setup some dance floor lights, or go all the way with a spotlight focused on the singer.

6. Put Someone in Charge!

Our best advice is saved for last: Make sure you rope someone into playing the MC! This role is important, particularly if you have spectator like guests that prefer to stay glued to the couch. The MC can encourage people to sing, announce people and songs as they come up, input songs into the cue (if your group is larger, having pre-printed song request sheets is an ideal way to keep things organized for the cue), and generally keep the energy level going and the songs flowing.

If you're thinking about having a karaoke party, give Avista a call. We're one of the (if not the) largest karaoke machine rental providers in California, offering easy-to-use, professional grade (and affordable!) karaoke rentals for the San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles area.

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the avista rentals teamAbout Avista Audio Visual Rentals

Thank you for visiting our website! Our team at Avista has worked long and hard to understand what's important to you, our customer, which is distilled into our 4 Value Principles: 1) Being transparent with our pricing, 2) Being prompt and friendly in all our communications with you, 3) Delivering the right AV solution for your event at the best price, and 4) Exceeding your expectations with the high caliber of our crew and gear. We're very proud that these principals have driven strong growth since our founding in 2005, to where we are now one of the premier providers of AV rentals and AV production services on the West Coast. Customers have the choice of picking up and returning AV gear to any of our offices, or having our team of highly skilled audio and video technicians deliver and run the AV aspects of your meeting or event.

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