How to Be the Best Host at Your Next Party or Event

It’s no surprise that party hosting is on the up. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring friends together and enjoy each others company with no unwanted distractions. While eating out can be nice, cooking at home is usually much cheaper, healthier and tastier, and experiencing new foods with other people can be fun. You also don’t have to wait around for a table or rush, when you’re hosting a party at home. If you’re looking for a guide for hosting a great evening with friends, you’re in the right place.

9 Top Tips for Hosting a Great Event or Party

1. Forget Being Perfect. There’s often something we don’t like about our homes but don’t let this put you off throwing a party. Most people simply like to be invited to a fun evening and will probably pay little attention to their surroundings.

2. Keep Things Simple. Minimise stress by taking a few shortcuts. Not a great cook? Order in a takeaway. Don’t want to handwrite invites? Send them with Evite instead. You don’t need exquisite cuisine or cocktails to throw a great party. Just have a couple of nice details here and there, and the rest takes care of itself. Don’t want to wash up? Use paper plates!

3. Define Your Purpose. Forget the ‘one size fits all’ party. Work it out your way! Don’t simply throw a party the same way it’s always been. Instead, shake things up and do something to suit your own values. Remember, don’t let activities get in the way of allowing people a good time. If people don’t want to get involved in a game of charades, let them watch instead.

4. Use Space Well. Having a large house doesn’t guarantee the best party. In fact, larger venues can be worse, as people can become segregated more meaning they’re more unlikely to bump into each other and start a conversation. At the other end of the scale, you need to ensure your guests don’t feel as though they’re stood on top of each other. For example, if you’re planning a game of poker make sure the poker table doesn’t dominate the room, it should be just the right size.

5. Send Invites Carefully. Firstly, send personalised invites, as people are more likely to attend. Also, think about who you’re going to invite. Your more reserved friends might not enjoy an action-packed games night, so consider asking them to your next dinner party instead.

6. Set the Tone. Did you know that according to various studies, the part of parties people remember the most are the beginning and end? Considering that most people focus on the food and activities in the middle, we might all be getting it wrong! So, consider a speech, a toast or some drinks, and don’t forget the music!

7. Host with Rules. The best hosts will circulate the room and talk to one person at a time while connecting guests together as well. Don’t let one person dominate the conversation. Consider separating people who already know each other and encourage them to mingle with others they don’t know. Also, be sure to specify whether the party is child friendly on your invites.

8. Play Fun Games. Aside from poker, there are other great games you can play as well, like ‘Heads Up’, a spin on the 2015 game ‘Celebrity’ where each player sticks the name of a celeb on their forehead and guesses the names of others. Karaoke or even Cards Against Humanity are also popular choices.

9. Close the Night. Have an exit time planned so guests don’t outstay their welcome and you have plenty of time to tidy up. Encourage people to have one last drink or coffee by directing them into your living room. Remember to thank everyone when they leave, and you could even hand out some small gifts of gratitude as people exit.

10 Important Things to Remember Before Hosting Your Next Event or Party

So there you have it - Ten things you can do to make your next party a great success! If you’re still not too sure, here’s a final overview of the important points to remember.

  1. Don’t attempt to be perfect: Your guests just want to have a good time!
  2. Keep things simple: Don’t stress yourself out, making the atmosphere too elaborate.
  3. Make it personal: Avoid just throwing a party for the sake of it.
  4. Organise your space: Attempt to keep your guests together in the same place.
  5. Invites: Only consider sending invites to those who are suited to the party.
  6. Don’t overfocus: If you’re unsure, just pick some essential foods or activities.
  7. Get people connected: Connect people who haven’t spoken to each other before.
  8. Play poker. Remember all the equipment you’ll need for a successful game!
  9. Play fun games: Cards Against Humanity, karaoke or ‘Heads Up’ make good choices.
  10. Plan your exit: Thank your guests as they leave.

Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter