Build your social circle and make your life more interesting.
Find ways to make people’s lives less routine and entertain them.
Hold a dinner party at your place.
As an alternative, you can organize your event at a local bar or restaurant. Ask if they have a separate room for small gatherings or a slightly separated area.
Make sure that the music in the venue is not too loud so that people can’t speak comfortably. Depending on your climate and time of the year, a garden party is a great idea.
Who should come?
Start with friends or family to make the event more relaxed and get the feel of being a host.
After you have hosted a few dinners that include people who know each other, you might want to start inviting friends, family, and acquaintances new to the rest of the group.
As time goes by and your skills at hosting increase, you might start to hold events that have a very diverse group of people. This will help you keep in touch with people you don’t interact with closely and build your network of weak ties.
If you’re not invited to the party, throw your own. ~ Diahann Carroll
Here are some ideas whom you could invite to a party:
High school and college reunions are nothing new. You can organize your own event and invite only those people you really want to meet.
Colleagues from work and places you used to work. When you work in one place for a long time, then you meet a lot of people. Ask them to join you to have fun and remember the old times.
3. Friends in general
We all have friends from different walks of life. Some from your work, others who you spend time when you are on vacation or related to your hobbies. Bring them together and increase the power of your network.
4. People you exercise with
You meet people when you go to the gym or take part in the events. For example, I’m a runner and a snowboarder. Through these activities, I have met dozens of people who are now my friends.
5. Relatives and extended family
Keep your family together. Have fun, strengthen your bonds, and help lonely people feel better. Strong family ties are an important part of happiness in your life.
3 things people remember about a party
Guests will remember your party by its peak moments. A great host makes their guests feel at ease and helps them avoid uncomfortable moments and uncertainty.
Here are the three key points that will make your party a success:
The first 5 minutes
Help your guests feel relaxed. Tell them where to put coats or shoes. Let them know where the snacks and drinks are. Point them toward a mutual friend, or introduce them to someone.
The high or low
Create a sense of community. You want to create a mutual aha-moment:
- A toast,
- a game,
- opening gifts,
- fireworks, etc.
Ask people to arrive at the same time. Loosely script the events of the evening and let people know what will happen when.
Think about how to avoid lows. For example, conversation starters, especially for introverts.
Have various games and props lying around. So, when conversation lags, you can do something to get going.
Put the most talkative people in the middle of the table. Split up couples but let them know in advance.
The last five minutes
Make it clear when it’s time to leave. Create opportunities for easy leaving.
- Toilet paper
- Signs for coats, shoes, hats
There’s not a word yet for old friends who’ve just met. ~ Jim Henson
Mix people who don’t know each other
A few months ago, my friend had a 50-year birthday party. She invited people from all periods of her life. There were colleagues from various places she had worked in. There was family. All the best friends from all walks of life.
Many of them had never met.
Some were worried about how they would fit in.
There was an introductory round, and then in about 10 minutes, everybody was talking to everybody.
Help people to expand their social network and put them together with people they don’t know.
Let people talk to each other
How to host a party?
As a host, your job is to see that everyone present has a good time. You don’t have to entertain them personally but find mutual topics to help guests talk to each other.
Before the event, find out something new that has happened to each of the guests and connect the people with similar interests or phases in life.
Make people feel relaxed and comfortable.
Find interesting people who have something to share and invite them to your party. Talk to them and find out if they would come to your party so you can get to know them better and find out more about how they manage to do the things you admire.
Try to use your parties to associate with people you respect and want to emulate.
I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party. ~ Ron White
Reasons to Host a Party
When you are inviting people, you probably need some excuse or reason why you are inviting them. You might want to go for the straightforward “let’s just meet up and have fun.” If this feels too naked and bland, then there’re tons of reasons to hold a dinner party. Here’s a list of themes and reasons you might try:
- Anniversaries, it’s X days/weeks/years since something happened.
- Celebrate an accomplishment.
- Historical events, put the date in Wikipedia and see what comes out. I wrote this on November 27. At the Swedish–Norwegian Club in Paris, Alfred Nobel signs his last will and testament, setting aside his estate to establish the Nobel Prize after he dies. Seems like a totally legit reason to have a dinner party.
- Wine tasting, ask everyone who attends to bring the wine they like. You can spice up the wine tasting with some weird smelling cheeses.
- Poker night. You can do it even if not all people are familiar with the game. The more advanced players can help their novice partners.
- Welcome party.
- Summer party.
- And of course, there’s the tea party.
That’s what life is all about: Let’s have a party. Let’s have it tonight. ~ Lilly Pulitzer
Invent something of your own
Select a cuisine or a recipe you have never tried before. If cooking yourself seems too daunting, order something from a restaurant that you wouldn’t otherwise. Make sure that the guests are OK with the selection, or you have a replacement ready for those who do not want to experiment.
Whatever you do, the key is to have people you like to get together and have fun.
I am a runner, and I have a lot of runner friends. This year one of them came up with an idea to host an early Christmas party for all his runner friends. He laid down the track in a way that people could run 6 miles, half marathon, or 20 miles. Each segment ended in the party location.
After the run, we had a sauna and then a huge Christmas dinner.
First, parties help you reconnect with people whom you have lost touch with. But the second benefit of letting your friends meet each other is that you will strengthen your entire network.
Some time ago, I wrote about calling an old friend. Make a list of 20 people whom you haven’t met for a year or more and call them up. Let them know that you are having a party at a specific date and ask them to come.
If you call 20 people and give them a fixed date, then you should get 6 to 10 of them to actually agree. Let them bring their plus-ones to make it even more fun.
After the party, send everybody a thank you note and let them know that you should do it again.
You always want to go to a party where you get an invite. ~ Simon Cowell
Make it a tradition
If you find a good theme that other people can relate to, make it a tradition. In my home country, summers are brief, and if you blink, you might miss it.
Lots of daylight is the reason to have as much out of the house events as possible. We hold “beginning of the summer parties” and “the end of the summer parties.” These events can become a tradition that people look forward to attending.
For example, the running Christmas dinner was awesome, and it could become an event we repeat every year.
Make it something that most people can make time for. For example, the first Saturday for December.
Make people interact and enjoy your party.
Get to the point where they start to call you about the next event.
Now, start making the plan for your party.
Image: Flamingos Partying by Pedro Szekely
Coctail photo on stevepb
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