Tobias Gillot
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Tips for Hosting Your Next Great Event

Great parties don't have to be extravagant.

Get-togethers can be fun, no matter the occasion. But if you know the right secrets to throw an event, you can make it even better. It’s not all about the food, although that can be important. And there’s more to it than fancy decor and entertainment.

The fact is that none of these things matter if you’re on edge and just trying to make sure everyone else has a good time. If you’re relaxed and enjoying the moment, your guests are sure to follow suit. Here are some tips to make sure that’s exactly what happens.

Keep it simple.

Great parties don’t need to be extravagant. The mood you set and the people you invite are what matter most. Consider opting for an appetizer party rather than a sit-down dinner. Hors’ d'oeuvres can be easy to serve and carry around while socializing.

You can also choose foods that don’t have to be served fresh out of the oven—this way, you don’t have to worry about timing. Speaking of timing, choose appetizers you can make ahead of time. You’ll be ready to go the day of the party instead of stressing yourself out, hoping your food will be ready when guests arrive.

If you do choose to host a dinner party, think about serving a buffet-style meal. You can serve a variety of foods and your guests can serve themselves. You can even have it catered to simplify your chores further. Buffet lines tend to encourage more mingling as well.

In addition to simple fare, it’s best to keep your decor simple as well. This doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the party decor if you really like it. It just means you need to plan it out. For example, you might choose to incorporate a theme into your party, which makes decisions easier. You’ll be able to plan your menu, color schemes, and other decors more easily.

Organize a scavenger hunt.

A scavenger hunt doesn’t have to be complicated, but it’s a great way to get people to interact in a fun way. You can create a list of items the guests have to collect and offer a prize. To collect the items, you can simply have them snap photos of them on their smartphones. Another way to do this is to make a list of people they have to find. For example, your list might include things like “find a doctor” or “find someone who knows a celebrity.”

Once your guests have located their items, they can bring you the photos and collect a prize. If your goal is to get as many people to attend as possible, make sure to let them know there will be prizes when you send out the invitations.

Hire some help.

Trying to organize an event alone can leave you stressed out and too tired to socialize. Do yourself a favor and hire all the help you can. Hire caterers to prepare and serve your food. Or enlist the help of your teenager and their friends.

You can also hire a cleaning service to clean your house both before and after the party. Depending on the size of your event, you may also want to consider hiring valets.

Make a good first impression.

Psychological studies indicate that first impressions are so powerful, they can’t even be changed by facts. What does that mean for your event? It could mean that if your entrance is untidy or your guests feel unwelcome, they will be uncomfortable for the entire evening.

Make sure your front yard and entrance are neat and clean. Greet all your guests cheerfully. And try to curb awkward silences by having the food ready to serve as soon as guests arrive. This gives them something to do and time to mingle comfortably without just standing around.

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