How to make parties go better for everyone – especially the host

Help Make Parties go Better!parties

If you want to enjoy parties better; help your host(s) enjoy their parties more; and generally improve all functions you attend, here are some ideas.

First: you’ve been invited. If it’s on FB – there is no need, ever, to RSVP that you’re not coming. Ever – send the host a private message filled with love and enjoy your trip to Spain. Why? A FB event that’s filled with negative RSVPs can be a real downer – skip it. Thanks.

Arriving: Check out my thoughts on parking, here. And car horns here.

When I entertain, I really like to have time to talk to people and enjoy myself. What helps me do that is guests who make themselves feel at home. They can do that by: looking first and asking questions second. The attitude I’d love people to have is that my house is their house (mi casa, su casa!) and that if they need anything they can search for it themselves before asking me. Here are some easy things that any guest has permission to find in my house (and perhaps yours): a corkscrew, the bathroom, a lighter, any kinds of dishes; hand towels; a blanket; etc. That’s the first step in lessening the burden/distraction level for the host – look for things yourself first and assume that your host would much rather be having a great conversation than answering your location question.

Second, come to the event early and ask if there is anything you can do to help set up. Better yet, come early and just start jumping in and doing the obvious. Does it look like the tables and chairs are set up for maximum flow? If not, move them so they are. Are the dishes done? If not, do them. Is there a last minute need that the host has – ask and then run out and get the order filled.

Are you shy? Are you nervous at parties? Well, getting there early and adding your sweat and energy into getting things in order will help make you feel more a part of things and your host will love you for it. Also, there’s an old marxist saying that if you put your labor into something it’s more yours. True here, too.

Some more things you can do to make the party flow better – act like the host. Feel free to play greeter and be close to the door. When people come you can welcome them, take their coats, and take any food or drink they’ve brought and bring it to where it needs to go. Imagine how much more ease you’ll create by doing this. How’s the music? How’s the lighting? How’s the ambiance? How’s the temperature? These are all things that the host may or may not be good at and/or might be too busy to mind. Feel free to adjust.

When more visitors start taking on the attitudes and actions outlined above, gatherings will surely go better. I’ve been taking on this attitude for years and I think it’s helped the hosts of events I’ve attended have a much better time. And when the host is having a good time it gives a signal to everyone that it’s time to have a good time.

Feel free to try this out over this holiday season and let me know how it goes. If you have any questions, please ask and if you have any further suggestions, leave a comment. Thanks!

Albert

Reminder: RSVP’s – future article on why to rsvp directly to a host you can’t come (on FB events) rather than saying why you can’t make it and have a good time. Example: I’m camping that weekend or, I’ve moved.  An event that’s full of these makes it seem like no one’s coming and can be a real bummer for the host.

Comments

  1. http://Eleanor%20Cathleen%20O'Brien says

    Great ideas Albie! I think you should post it to sacred circle. Or maybe I will! Clearly, we need another party on the horizon for practice!

  2. Hey Albert,
    good to know that this is what you like and with you I usually do things in this manner but I have to say at least five of my friends come to mind who this type of behavior would be considered rude and intrusive. I love the idea of helping a host enjoy their party but before rearranging, going through cabinets etc there is a level of friendship that would need to be in play before I just took certain things upon myself. best flow for a party with table arrangements could be in the eye of the beholder and some hosts/hostesses might have some master plan in motion that is not evident to anyone else. So while with you I shall be a bold lass, with others I will still ask.
    And that’s just me. : )

  3. http://JoAutumn says

    I agree with Susan. People have different boundaries and plans in motion. But I think you can always empty trash cans, refill toilet paper, fill the dishwasher, especially at the end, wash dishes, sponge off counters, police for garbage, clean up spills, straighten bedding etc. At this last big one, I was telling people the routes to get out to the fire and when I saw people in line for a bathroom, I told them where the other 3 were.
    The big thing is set up and other stuff in advance of the party. Perhaps the organizers could put out a call for specific times of help to the whole guest list well before hand. We are shifting faster and faster to a community model, it is time to take a big step forward. This big last one shows how much we are craving each others company. If the hosts/organizers have more support, we can have them more often, too. And, if the work is shared more efficiently, we can have more and with less stress for the hosts/organizers.

  4. This is how the parties run with my friends in Santa Barbara who put on a monthly “Cirque du Creme Brulee” party. I’m comfortable with it and I should come to some parties at your place, Albert! When’s the next one?

  5. Great article, Albert! We had about 70 plus folks here last night so this is all fresh and relevant. I was very blessed to have enough close friends here to just jump in and do what needed to be done! Here’s an example – even though we’d come up with a great “warm winter libations” instruction paper on the bar many people were kinda lost. My friend Christy just behind the bar and was acting bartender for 1/2 the night! She enjoyed it and got to meet many folks she didn’t know!

  6. It’s always nice to have a friend help you out when you are the host. I like this idea that you suggest :

    Some more things you can do to make the party flow better – act like the host. Feel free to play greeter and be close to the door. When people come you can welcome them, take their coats, and take any food or drink they’ve brought and bring it to where it needs to go. Imagine how much more ease you’ll create by doing this. How’s the music? How’s the lighting? How’s the ambiance? How’s the temperature? These are all things that the host may or may not be good at and/or might be too busy to mind. Feel free to adjust.

  7. Personally, I’d prefer that guests not assign themselves tasks like greeting people at the door. As the host, I’d prefer to decide who is the first face to greet guests. I love all my friends, but some of them are better at interacting with people and providing them with the information that they need and others… well, they make great guests. 🙂

    That having been said, I always make sure I’ve got volunteer jobs for the shy, the new, and those who really like to help out.

  8. http://Steve says

    Thanks for the suggestions. If i need any money or drugs, I will feel free to search the house myself first before asking. Just kidding obviously! I really like it that you write about your ideas and then share them with us. It feels like intimacy to me. See you tonight!

  9. I’d like to add mid-party clean up. Grab bottles, abandoned glasses and plates, and various other stuff that gets left behind when a conversation moves on. Put the recycling in the right place. The same with the trash. Make room, if the party is a potluck, for incoming items. Sometimes that means clearing an empty dish, and sometimes consolidating compatible items, like putting two nearly-finished plates of cookies onto one plate.

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