ABCs of Entertaining
What does it take to be a great host? A mixture of confidence, panache, and the ability to keep cool under pressure. But if those three elements are missing from the toolbox, there are a handful of tips that a host can rely on. Having that mental checklist means the difference between a relaxed, jovial party where everyone leaves satisfied and just a little bit happier, and a hectic night of running from the kitchen to the dining room without ever having had a drink in hand or time to chat with friends.
For experienced hosts and newbies alike, there are mistakes made during the planning and preparation stages time and again, like inviting too many people or not planning out the menu. Then, there are the issues that come up during any party — difficult guests, boring ambience, or, worst of all, running out of food or drink. Mine the following stories for advice that will make any level of entertaining easier and more enjoyable for host and guest alike.
First, take this quiz to figure out if you are an overachieving host or so lazy you probably shouldn’t even bother. Neither type of host is a recipe for a great party, but knowing one’s weaknesses is the first step toward improvement.
Now that you know what type of host you are, here are five ways to be even better. One of the biggest party fouls hosts make is focusing too much on the doing — the meal, the tasks, setting the table, the superficial things — that they lose touch with the real reason they are getting everyone together in the first place.
Anxiety that not everyone will show up or that everyone will hate the food, the drink, and the decorations or that people aren’t going to have a good time is enough to put the kibosh on any hope for an easy, breezy get together. But keeping in mind that throwing a party can in fact be simple and still impressive makes the planning fun and exciting. These are the essentials.
Plan, plan, and plan some more. Once you have the basics down, you’ll be able to be the perfect host of an impromptu gathering, but for now, keep the training wheels on and get organized. These simple and easy to remember tips ensure your party will go off without a hitch.
Ready for the big time? Then learn from the best in the biz — throwing great parties is an event planner's job. And when planning hundreds of soirées a year, there is no doubt that an event planner has experienced both great successes and significant stumbles.