Throwing a pool party sounds easy enough, but hosting a truly epic one? That involves a lot of moving parts. So we tapped party-planning pro Michael Waltman, executive director of operations for Encore Beach Club, to share his insider knowledge on how to throw the best poolside bash.
Once you’ve got your location set, anticipate what guests will want, Waltman advises. “You definitely want to pick the right music. Creating the right cocktails is good. Having really cool floaties is something that people really like.”
When it comes to flotation devices, the bigger and more colorful the better, Waltman says. Think pink flamingos, pineapples, donuts, emojis—and floaties that can accommodate multiple bodies. Even if people don’t use them, they’ll create a fun and playful environment. As for drinks, ditch the cheap beer and blend up a refreshing margarita or re-create EBC’s Watermelon Quench, which blends Skyy Infusions Sun-Ripened Watermelon Vodka, lemonade, ginger ale and mint. And, “if you are being a gracious host, the drinks should never be half-full, the ice should never be melted,” Waltman says. “Nothing should go unnoticed.”
When it’s time to build your playlist, Waltman suggests starting with Kygo, one of Wynn’s resident DJs. “When you’re creating a playlist, you want to pick what’s new and fresh. Kygo to me is the ultimate pool party guy. He’s one of our stars, and that’s definitely a vibe we like to create.”
Encore Beach Club is known for going above and beyond, especially when someone’s celebrating a birthday or anniversary. If you’ve got a special guest at your party, print out an extra-large photo of their face and pass out copies for photo-ops. Or set up a makeshift photo booth using an iPad and ring light. Accessorize with sunglasses, feather boas, masks and toys.
Though fun is important, Waltman reminds that caring for your guests is most crucial. “We create this fun environment, but the No. 1 priority is safety. When you start drinking bubbles and tequila, you forget to drink water.” A good host should have water readily available, along with sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and towels.
Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t! It takes a staff of 350 to keep Encore Beach Club running like a well-oiled machine. Make sure you’ve got a second-in-command to help when things get stressful, and don’t forget to have fun. That’s what summer’s all about.