Everyone likes to attend a great party or event but not everyone has the skill to organize one. Being a good host is about stepping back and setting an intention for every event, big or small—weddings, backyard barbecues, business meetings. Here are some suggestions how you can plan and organize a party that you wish you were invited to.
Everyone likes something new, a change. Introduce something new based on your travels, culture, or knowledge. Or else give your party a theme.
Mind the ambience
Think of the atmosphere you would like for your event. Think about the kind of occasion you hope this will be — formal or relaxed? Quiet or noisy? Intimate or decorous? The ambience of your event is about who you are and what you want your guests to experience. Everything from the look of your table to the décor to the music playing during the evening contributes to that experience.
Turn off a few lamps and light plenty of candles, soft lighting is one of important ways you can transform your space.
Be thoughtful in using the space
Put a lot of thought into how you can make the best use of the space where you are hosting your event. Too large a space is not necessarily better. Make sure you have desirable density to create human warmth. Gatherings need some borders, or the energy leaks out.
Account for Children
If you are going to have children around, make sure there is somewhere for them to enjoy their activities.
Have a good playlist
What is a party without good music? Select music according to the tenor of the party. Play different genre of music. For example, start off with hip hop and R&B and then play some rock music.
Orchestrate an impression
You do not necessarily have to make the whole duration of your party a bang. People’s experience at a party is influenced by the first few minutes, the impression they get when they arrive. Your party has to have a high point. People like it. We typically evaluate the entire event right after we leave, hence, how people leave and what happens as they leave is something that dictates their memory of your event.
Greet your guests at the door. Introduce them to at least one other guest. Graciously acknowledge their gift. How you look, sound, and express yourself in those first few seconds of meeting people sets the tone. The idea is to spur two emotions – comfort and excitement. You want to shift your guests into the positive state as quickly as possible.
Make it easy for your guests to get into the party. Put up signs where warranted. Start on a high and greet people as soon as they enter. Serve a drink, it makes people feel more at ease.
Add some activity
Give your guests something to do. Most people like to play an active role at a party. Make sure there are comfortable places to chat, add in games or dance, for example.
Mix up the guests
Think of the right blend of people to make your event an interesting affair for them. Invite a variety of people and give them a chance to mix and mingle. People like the opportunity to meet new people.
Seat guests properly
Think how you can give everyone the best seat for them. It is better not to put couples or best friends together. You can also try the idea of switching seats at each course.
Induce some group think
When an event involves a group think moment, everyone enjoys it more. A group think moment is when everyone does the same activity or thinking together. You can encourage funny toasts or have some games. You can also use food as a means for bonding by gathering everyone around and doing the same activity at the same time.
Provide food for all tastes
Everyone has food sensitivities these days. Ask your guests and take their dietary restrictions into account while deciding on the menu or else have sufficient variety to cater to all tastes.
When selecting what beverages to serve, consider what might go well with your menu and what the group will enjoy. Think also about what kind of occasion this should be. Be sure water is at hand. Fill-up your guests’ glasses regularly to keep them happy — ask but do not insist. Generally, starting off with something bubbly eases the transition to drinking and tends to put people in a festive mood. The wine, red and white both, should match the food you serve not only in terms of palate but also quality.
As a host, lead by example. Put your phone away and encourage minimal cellphone use. If you must take a call or send some texts, try to leave the room.
Prompt the conversation
Good, lively conversation is vital to a successful party. Invite some people you know enjoy making conversation and like to share stories and opinions. Get the ball rolling by telling an entertaining story to your guests to elicit more stories.
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