When you host a party, you want people to have a good time and to feel connected to each other. Here's the secret formula to making people feel welcome and engaged without having to spend the whole party running around checking on everyone.
Focusing on the structure of your party is the secret to making sure everyone has fun while still leaving flexibility for conversation. Here are the three areas to focus on when planning a party:
- The first five minutes: Have a plan to make guests feel welcome right when they walk in the door. Orient them by mentioning (or having signs that show) where to put their coat and bags, and where to grab a drink.
- An activity that brings everyone together: Give guests an experience that helps them feel connected to others there, and that they can potentially use as a conversation starter later in the party. Some good options: A toast, Cards Against Humanity, or a beer tasting.
- When people are starting to leave: Don't make guests feel stuck, like they're not sure if it's the right moment to leave yet. Most people time their exit around the hour, so keep an eye for those getting ready to go an hour into the party and then two hours in so you can gracefully bid them goodbye and make sure they leave feeling positive.
I've thrown my fair share of get-togethers, and when I think back on the ones that were memorable versus the ones that fizzled, having an event that brought everyone together was the biggest difference. In my circle of friends, a card or board game is always a hit. Hotpot is also a good option since it's really interactive. Whatever you pick for your party, having even a short activity that creates a shared experience can make your event a hit.
How to Throw an Awesome Party [Science of People]