Everyone wants to host the perfect party in their home. When organizing a gathering of friends or family, naturally, you want them to enjoy themselves. But little things can become big things, and by missing just a few of the small details, your perfect evening can become not so perfect in a heartbeat.
The cardinal rule for entertaining is to do it in a way that allows you to spend as much time with your guests as possible. No guest likes to see their host running around trying to make everything perfect. It can ruin the atmosphere of even the best-planned house party or dinner party and make guests feel uncomfortable.
Our top ten tips will help you avoid entertainment pitfalls and enjoy your home party as much as your guests. Some of the tips are gentle reminders of what your guests expect at a party, and some simply help make the party easier to manage and more enjoyable for you as the host. Guests take their social cues from the host, so you want to have the time of your life at your party!
Use Your Indoor and Outdoor Spaces
Some people plan their party as either an indoor or outdoor affair. Particularly in these days of social distancing, even if you’ve planned to center the party’s activities in one area, you should give your guests the option of using other areas of your property to ensure their comfort and safety. By using different areas of your home you’ll avoid any overcrowding.
Provide Enough Seating for All Your Guests
Some hosts visualize a cocktail-type home party with some guests seated and some standing, chatting in groups. But as you’re invariably serving food, your party can quickly turn into a game of musical chairs with guests scrambling for the available seating. It can get awkward for those left standing, so it’s wise to ensure you have more than enough seating to handle all your guests and any plus-ones that attend your home party.
Ensure Ample Lighting in Outdoor Areas
Guests will often make use of your outdoor areas to take a break and grab some fresh air, but when people leave a brightly-lit area and walk out into a dimly-lit outside area, accidents can happen. With eyes needing time to adjust to the darkness, guests can stumble on steps and fail to see obstacles on pathways. Ensure that all your outdoor areas, particularly steps, have plenty of light.
Offer Parking or Arrange for a Shuttle Service
You certainly don’t want parking to be a challenge for guests attending your house party, but if you live along one of Bangkok’s many narrow streets or alleys, that’s what it can become. If you reside in an area where no extra parking is available, you may have to get creative. You might want to rent a nearby vacant lot for the evening and hire a shuttle service to run your guests to and from their cars.
If you live near the city’s MRT or BTS system, you can ask your guests to use public transportation, leave their cars at home, and run a shuttle service to the closest station. Just be sure that your home party ends well before the transit system closes for the night, or arrange for taxis to take your guests home.
Hire a Quality Home Catering Company
Food and drink is often the source of much anxiety for hosts when entertaining. Asking guests to bring a dish can be fun, but often many of them forget, or end up bringing the same dish. The simple way to avoid all the headaches is to hire a company that specializes in home catering.
Many of these companies will quote you based on the number of guests and your chosen menu package and will include all the service and equipment as part of their fee. This can help you immeasurably if you worry about having enough tableware, serving platters and so on.
Ensure Clear Traffic Patterns
The key to having a party where everyone has room to move around freely is to establish traffic patterns early on. You can use furniture and house plants to designate ‘no-go’ zones in your home, and enable people to comfortably converse with each other without feeling like they’re in the middle of a highway.
If you use a home catering company, they’ll help you by pointing out any problem areas and potential bottlenecks in your home that might make their job difficult.
Theme Your Food and Decorations
A theme helps liven things up and highlight the reason for the celebration. It also provides a focus for the party and a memory of the occasion. If you’re planning a themed home party, your home catering company will work with you to provide decorations in keeping with the theme. This will make your party more of an event, and your guests will appreciate the extra effort.
Minimize the Possibility of Accidents
In every home event or party, the first concern for the person hosting the party should be the safety of their guests. Safety-proof your home by moving sharp furniture corners along traffic routes, making people aware of any hidden steps they should watch for and quickly mopping up any spills to avoid people slipping and falling.
Have Adequate Toilet Facilities
Consider renting port-a-potties if you are planning a large gathering. These can be put in your driveway or a discreet area in your yard and picked up by the vendor the next day. Nothing is worse than seeing guests standing in line to use one of the few available bathrooms in your home.
Have Organized Activities or Speeches
Beyond the theming of the food and decorations, remind your guests why they’ve gathered. This gives the person throwing the party time to thank their guests for attending, making them feel valued and appreciated for joining in the celebration.