Have you ever been a party where you just felt instantly at home and bummed when it ended? Chances are, it was set up by someone who made sure some basic essentials were taken care of for you. If you are new to being a host, have no fear. You too can prevent a mid-party facepalm. Whether it is a small night of board games, a barbecue, or a jivin’ dance party, there are a few easy things you can prepare to make your friends feel comfortable and happy all night long.
If you’ve ever been to a gathering without music, you’ve felt the strain of an awkward silence. Be sure to have music playing when your guests arrive, even if it means just snapping on the radio when the doorbell rings. The song playing in the background will be an invisible superhero rescuing you with melodic conversation and rhythmic continuity keeping things pumping. A party just isn’t a party without the tunes.
Have Adequate Seating
Nothing makes a guest feel out of place more than having nowhere to sit. Whether your entertaining space is large or small, have lots of seating available. Rearrange your usual furniture layout if you must. Grab folding chairs, stools, ottomans, or pillows from other rooms if need be. Guest numbers are always a variable, so you can play it by ear as the night progresses. You can start with one seating arrangement and expand it using extra seating stacked in a corner where anyone can grab it as needed. Having plenty of seating is an easy way to show your guests that you want them to pull up a chair and stay awhile.
Replenish Food & Drinks
Eating and drinking are ways that friends can share the communal party experience. When hosting, always have more goodies available than you need. You want those serving bowls and trays to stay full, showing your guests that the party isn’t over already. BYOB is fine, but show true hospitality by providing a majority of the beverages needed. On the flip side, never come empty-handed if you are a guest at a party. Show you appreciate the host’s hospitality by bringing a snack or beverage to share.
Keep Ice on Hand
An easy thing to forget about is ice. It has a variety of uses during parties: keeping easily spoiled food chilled, shaking up a martini, blending a daiquiri, frosting bottled beer in a cooler, floating as a ring in a punch bowl, and more. It’s rare to have a party that doesn’t need ice in some way or another, so have it on hand. If you forgot, don’t be afraid to call a friend and ask them to bring a bag of ice. They will be happy to contribute to the festivities.
Sound easy? Good, it is! These simple preparations will help your party practically run itself. Save your palms for high-fives instead.