An “Interactive” murder mystery party is a truly unique format. Instead of sitting around reading scripts and performing embarassing tasks, your guests are up, mingling and interroging suspects to put together the clues and determine who had the motive, means and opportunity to commit murder. It’s a very liberating and incredibly easy format, which makes it perfect for beginners – whether those beginners are the guests (having never attended a mystery party before) or the host (having never THROWN a murder mystery party before) and can also fit into virtually any party, with any number of “investigators” and a maximum number of 18-20 suspects. Perfect for groups as small as 6 and as large as a few hundred, an interactive mystery is an easy, hassle-free party idea designed to create memories you and your guests will NEVER forget!
So, how does a host throw an amazing “interactive” mystery party? Well, it’s essentially a cocktail party with a murder thrown in – or at least the mystery portion of the party is, so if you’re well-versed in throwing cocktail parties, an interactive murder mystery party will be a doddle. If you’re not a veteran cocktail party host though, here are a few tips to help you pull it off with the best results.
Even though your guests will be up and mingling around, make sure you still provide a small amount of seating for the relief of sore feet and any swooning that takes place on the announcement that there has been a murder (kidding). Remember though, if there are the same number of seats as bums, the liklihood the guests will mix and mingle decreases, so while the mystery is being played, less seating is more.
How much room will you need for your mingle murder mystery? A good rule of thumb used by professional party planners is to allow four to five square feet per person. When deciding whether a room will accomodate the size of your guest list, remember to use available space only – not the size of the room. That antique armoire may take up more room than you think.
Room for Drinks and Food
Naturally, you’ll need to bring a few items into the party space that most likely aren’t usually there. A table for drinks and hors d’oeuvres, ice, glasses, plates, napkins and other items, for example. Make sure you have lots of space in front of the drinks and food table(s), as these will no doubt be high-traffic areas, and guests will naturally question one another as they fill their plates or mix drinks.
What to Serve
What you serve for drinks and food will depend greatly upon you and your group of people, the occasion for the party and the theme. Where you may be able to throw down a few bowls of chips to please some groups, a theme such as The Masquerade Murder, which requires your guests to dress up and takes place in the stunning Biblioteca Marciana should be paired with more elaborate food and drink. Our rule of thumb on this is: match the food and drink selects to the amount of effort your guests must go to in order to satisfy the theme. So, if you’re throwing a Vampires vs. Werewolves party, for example, and everyone is coming dressed the part, you’ll want to make sure your food and drink selection reflects the creativity they put into their costume (so vampire/werewolf-themed food is a definite must). On the other hand, if you’re throwing The Birthday Party Murder (which does not have any costume specifications and can be integrated into any party scenario, so guets can come as they are), a burger and hot dogs BBQ and beer is perfectly fine.
How long will your party last?
A traditional cocktail party usually lasts about two hours and starts early – around 5 pm. However, with an interactive murder mystery cocktail party, you should allow around 2-3 hours for the mystery (if you’re using a full version mystery. A Mini Mystery can be played in about an hour). Remember, the more food you serve, the later in the evening you can start your party and the longer it can last.