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How to host an immersive theme party 101

Updated: Sep 21, 2021

We’re sure you’ve heard the word “immersive” in regards to events and parties about 1.42 million times (immersive is so hot right now). Here at DGS we think everyone should be able to partake in this kind of leveled up party, so here are a few simple tips to help make your next hosted event immersive too.

The number one tip is to embrace your theme completely, and we mean completely! Create the perfect party atmosphere by curating the setting, major decor pieces, music, and lighting. Your guests should be transported the moment they arrive, through the moment they leave.

Set the Scene

If you are renting a venue, pick something that architecturally goes with your theme, it will do so much of the work for you. Your guests will be asking, “is this mansion actually haunted? Or are you just that amazing of a party thrower?” (Your answer: “Yes.”)

If your party venue is your home, think of your party space as a blank canvas. For the night, paint it (figuratively… unless you are extreme-committing to this) to become something different from your everyday space. Remove furniture that blatantly doesn’t suit the theme or party mode, or disguise with cleverly thrown fabric and pillows. Reorganize the remaining furniture to create a specific flow, or create conversation areas.

In the case of the party from our cover photo, a My Favorite Murder paint-and-sip shindig, we used the outdoor space near a dilapidated garage and made it into a crime scene, complete with crime scene tape to create specific party access areas.

Address each individual space that guests will have access to with decor pieces that tie into your theme. What’s the first thing your guests see when they enter the space? Don’t just think tabletops. Like a good group photo composition, you want levels. Look up: Think about hanging items from trees or umbrellas, or if inside, archways or light fixtures. Look down: Anything you can do with those floors? What about that alcove over there, directly across from you? Seems like the perfect place to highlight something that ties to the theme. Think about that hallway that leads from one party space to another and the mood you want to create in there. Your guests will love wandering from space to space to explore the world you’ve created.

When you’re considering decor- make sure each space gets at least one piece of major decor, whether that’s an oversized centerpiece, a big hand painted sign straight from the world of your theme, or just something to anchor the space and define it (Aka - this is the graveyard room: we have lots of headstones and fake grass, but the major decor piece is a big casket with a charcuterie spread on it). Then you want an assortment of medium sized decor pieces (those headstones). Finally, get those details in there. Items all guests wouldn’t necessarily notice, but when someone recognizes their importance - will make them squeal. Details elevate decor to a layered, art directed world.

And don’t forget the bathroom.

Every party deserves a great soundtrack

There is nothing that sets the mood more than a good playlist. With simple tools like spotify and bluetooth speakers, you can curate the sounds for every area of your shindig, not just the tunes to keep your dance floor bumping.

Here is an example of a playlist created for a Buffy the Vampire Slayer party

Make sure your party is Lit

Seriously, with the right lighting you can transform a blank space to party central. Get moody or vintage with copious amounts of candles or opt for sleek modern lighting that will make your guests feel like they’ve actually boarded the Enterprise. LED Neon signs are pretty inexpensive these days, and add a lot of pop to any space and work with a variety of themes.

Start by turning the lights off and closing all your curtains. Now, what do you want to see? Start directing light towards decor pieces you want to highlight (hah), and keep lighting low where you want your guests to look away. Uplighting can be rented for cheap from places like, and will let you use colored LED light to accent different areas. It’s also fun to give each party area a different mood by using varying lighting and music. Experiment!

Immerse yourself in your chosen theme and let it guide your decision making process. The outcome will be one Damn Good Shindig; you can trust us on this.

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