Party Planning Guide

We host hundreds of parties per year here at Portchester Community Centre, so we know a thing or two about how to make planning your party a little bit easier. Below are some tips and tricks compiled by our lovely centre staff to help you out.

Download our printable tick list below to help you remember everything for your big day.


Before you can book a hall, you will need to have an idea of how many people you would like to invite to your party. All venues have a maximum capacity for their halls, so to avoid booking an unsuitable room, have a maximum number in mind before contacting the venue.

For children’s parties, always bare in mind that for every child invited you could possibly have a parent attend. This could result in a class party for 30 turning into a 60 attendee event. Unless you stipulate on your invites for parents to drop off and collect, make sure that your hall is large enough to cover this eventuality.


Not all parties require a theme, sometimes just a good old traditional get together is all you need, but over the last few years we have noticed themes playing a huge part in celebrations of all kinds. For inspiration check out Pinterest where you will find thousands of tips and tricks for making your theme work.


From balloon arches to flower walls, we have seen them all. When booking an outside supplier to come and decorate for your event, please make sure the company has the right Public Liability Insurance and the objects that they are due to set up will fit through a normal door way. We welcome the use of outside suppliers at Portchester Community Centre but ask that all set up and pack downs happen within your booking times and that no items are left at the centre after your event finishes.


Every party needs some form of entertainment, whether you are bringing in a Bluetooth speaker or hiring a DJ or live musician. Make sure that your entertainer is fully insured for £5 million before booking. We have a sound limiter installed in the Main Hall at Portchester Community Centre, so noise will be restricted throughout the event. This does not mean that your band will be too quiet for you to hear, but they will be quiet enough for our neighbours not to.


The easiest way to cater your party is to bring in pre prepared food in the form of a cold style buffet. This can be kept covered until required and can easily be cleared away at the end of the event. If you prefer to have hot food available for your guests, then you are welcome to employ professional caterers to cook on the premises. In order to do this you will need to hire the kitchen at additional cost to your room hire and provide public liability insurance and food hygiene certificates from the catering company.

For children’s parties a good tip is to create individual ‘lunch boxes’ which can be disposed of quickly after the party ends. This ensures all children have the same amount of food and there is less set up time once at the venue and also less food waste.

Always have drinks on offer for any parents attending, even if it is water or squash.