Last weekend I threw a little summer gathering…only it turned into a little bigger than just my closest friends. I LOVE hosting, and I often encourage people to invite their friends. With this shindig, one thing lead to another, and pretty soon I had over 100 people in my quaint (but cute) backyard. It was quite a feat fitting that many people into my backyard space, and there are 5 things I wish I had definitely done differently. So whether you are hosting for 10 or 100, here are 5 things I would avoid for your next gathering.
- Not enough food: First off, people aren’t looking for a complete meal at a house party, so don’t worry about that. However, something to munch on is a MUST at any gathering. I did “food” two ways for my party. I provided food on my own and I also asked for help! Only trouble is, I didn’t ask for enough help, and therefore didn’t have enough food at my party. Next time I will provide more food and ask people for more help!
- Poor feng shui : The flow of a party is really important, particularly where you place food and refreshments. I placed the food (that I DID provide) and the drinks in an odd place right in the middle of the party, which meant it was sort of hidden by all the bodies. Next time, I will not put the table in the middle of the party, but move it to the side. Also, I will allow access from both sides instead of putting it up against a wall or a fence, that will allow for a better flow.
- Not enough delegation: Being the host is a big job! Your main job as the host is to make sure people are having a good time, and they feel welcome in your home. Which typically means talking to as many people as you can, introducing yourself, and asking if people need anything. Which means there’s not very much time left to push play on that movie, to snag more seating, to add more firewood to the fire, to refill the lemonade/water containers, or restock refreshments when they run out. I would recommend asking one person to take care of one task each. Make sure their job is simple, and the directions you give them are clear. “Hey Olivia, would you mind putting some firewood on the fire every half hour or so to make sure it stays roaring?” The simpler and more specific the task, the more likely it will get taken care of as you’re making your guests feel welcome. Next time, I will ask 7-10 people to help with small but simple tasks.
- Not enough seating areas: Often people are okay with standing at a party so they can walk around and talk to lots of people. But what I wish I had done is made a few seating areas OTHER than the main area around the fire. Next time, I will clump a few chairs together in other areas of my backyard to help spread out the party, and to help utilize the space better.
- Too quiet of music: I got a turntable with speaker recently that I LOVE (more on that later) and played spotify from it, but turns out it was much too quiet. Music is really important at a party, even if there’s not dancing, so you can help keep the party upbeat and aide in the conversation lulls. But it’s not much help if it’s too quiet to hear! Next time, I will invest in some good speakers to attach to my turntable
Here’s the deal. Is it better to throw a not-so-perfect party than not throw one at all? YES! So don’t let these things stop you from getting people together! But hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and host a party that is fantastic and without the mistakes I made. Happy hosting!!!