11 Party-Hosting Mistakes You Should Avoid
Whether you’re planning a big bash or a quiet gathering, here are some important do’s and don’ts to consider before your next get-together.
Hosting a good party can be a tricky task for the inexperienced event planner. Trying to juggle food, drinks, music and entertainment while keeping all your guests happy is stressful, and without the proper hosting skills it's easy to miss important details. Get it right by avoiding these common hosting mistakes.
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1. Not Giving Your Neighbours the Heads-up
Blaring music and yelling can be alarming to your neighbours if they don't expect it, and it's considerate to warn them beforehand. The last thing you want is to have the police pay your home a visit.
Your neighbours will be less inclined to make a formal complaint against you, and will be more open to you throwing a party if you let them know first. Let them know that they can come by anytime to notify you if the music is too loud.
2. Forgetting To Introduce Your Guests
If you have people coming to your party who don't already know each other, make sure everyone is introduced. It can be daunting for guests who don't know anyone to take care of the introductions themselves.
Introducing guests is also a great way to make them feel acknowledged and welcome. When a guest arrives, simply announce to everyone the name of the person and tell everyone how you know them. This will give your guests an easy conversational starting point.
3. Not Serving Alcohol or Non-alcoholic Alternatives
Alcohol isn't a requirement for every party, but many people expect it to be present―or at the very least allowed―during most get-togethers. Alcohol can take the edge off of meeting new people and make everyone more comfortable. But because not everyone drinks alcohol, make sure you to have non-alcoholic alternatives available (e.g. non-alcoholic punch, sodas, juices, and virgin cocktails).
Be sure to have ice and mixers. BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze) is a good idea, but let your guests know beforehand to avoid confusion. Serve each guest their first drink and let them know where they can find everything they need to serve themselves later on. This will also give you more time to mingle with your guests.
5. Not Preparing Enough Food
Another common party faux pas is not having enough food. Your dishes don't need to be extravagant, but make sure you have enough to satisfy everyone. Unless you have specified you're having a pot-luck, don't expect guests to bring food.
Simple finger food presented buffet-style allows guests to choose what they feel like eating. Choose a menu that fits the event and your culinary abilities.
6. Force-Feeding Guests
How many parties have you been to where the host is begging you to 'eat some more'? You want your guests feeling relaxed, not pressured. Making them feel guilty for not eating enough will hurt the party atmosphere, and might even drive people away.
7. Cleaning While Guests Are Still Around
If a guest spills a drink, don't overreact. The last thing you want is to make your guest feel more embarrassed than they already are. Keep the big clean-up for after the party. Don't chase your guests with a vacuum cleaner, pick up after them, or give the impression that you are a slave at your own party. Tidying up a little here and there, and doing things like checking the bathroom to make sure there is enough toilet paper, is proper hosting etiquette. Your guests will certainly appreciate it.
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8. Having No Designated DJ or Playlist
Music sets a party's mood, so having no designated DJ or a set playlist can kill the atmosphere. You don't want to be stuck at the sound system, fiddling with your smartphone every few minutes.
Pick music that suits the event. If you want people to dance, play something fun and upbeat. If it's more of a low-key gathering, choose something more jazzy and light should do the trick.
9. Taking Your Party's Theme Too Seriously
Themed events like Murder Mystery Parties, or costume parties, can be a lot of fun. But when you go overboard with the details it can make people feel out of their element and raise the level of awkwardness.
Just focus on the very necessary points of the theme, and if someone can't participate, don't make them feel ostracized. Parties are meant to bring people together, right?
10. Not Preparing for Overnight Guests
At the end of a long night, there's always the chance you'll have a guest or two who needs to sleep one off after a wild night of drinking. So it's always good to have some extra clean sheets, blankets and pillowcases around.
Remember that the most important duty as a party host is making sure that none of your guests drink and drive.
11. Micromanaging Your Party
It's natural for some partygoers to break away from the core of the party to do other things. This doesn't mean they aren't enjoying themselves. The trick to having a fun and lively party is to make it easy for people to feel comfortable and to be themselves. The more you seem to be having a good time, the easier it will be for your guests to do the same.