It’s the holiday season and you might be considering hosting an event or dinner at your house. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah and Kwanza are often times when people gather to eat, drink and reminisce. Like most of us, if you are going to be the volunteer or selected event planner, you obviously want everything to go smoothly and to be absolutely perfect. And they can be!
Whether you’re a rookie to the event hosting scene, or a veteran at it, there are a few common hosting mistakes that you want to avoid making, to ensure peace of mind for you and your guests. We will discuss the 3 most important ones below:
Seating arrangements and assignments
One of the first things that you ask yourself when you’re preparing for a party is “Do I have enough chairs for everyone?” It might be difficult to imagine, but not everyone needs or even wants a seat when you’re hosting a get-together. You want to encourage people to walk around and mingle with the others. Having too many chairs scattered around will most likely leave a cluttered look to your party, and that’s something you want to avoid. So don’t worry too much about seating, people will most likely walk around and talk amongst themselves anyway. If it’s a buffet style event, or an event that spans for several hours maybe 60%-75% of the total amount of guests is sufficient, for the chairs. However, if it’s a formal dinner that you’re hosting, then appropriate seating is required.
Another point to consider is whether you will have assigned seating or not. Don’t get me wrong, assigned seating is a good idea in theory, but you might have people who do not know each other sitting together and that can make the evening awkward.
2. Accessibility to food and possible restrictions
Even if you’ve known your guests for years, most would feel uncomfortable just helping themselves to finding the drinks or food around your house. Make sure to have everything accessible for them or direct them at the door, so that they can help themselves and not have to bother you or even guess. A simple “Welcome, the food is in the dinning room, around the corner.” works great! The truth is, no one wants guests going on a scavenger hunt around their house, and into your cupboards! It’s also important to note that when it comes to food and drinks, the worst thing you can do to yourself is complicate the menu. Keep it simple so you have time to enjoy yourself too.
These days, it’s also extremely important to understand if there are any allergies (most common food allergies to consider: peanuts, gluten, dairy, nuts, tree nuts, eggs, shellfish, soy etc…) and dietary restrictions (vegetarians, vegans, diabetics, celiacs, kosher, halal etc…).
3. Keeping it cool
The snow is falling, the outside air is becoming colder, and everyone wants to be toasty and cozy. However, a classic mistake that most event hosts make is to crank up the heat for their party or gathering. This can quickly make people feel hot, begin to sweat and generally uncomfortable. Remember, in a room full of people, body heat is bound to take over. So there is no need to turn up the thermostat. On the contrary, it’s actually wiser to turn it down or even off during a party.
Another thing most people forget when hosting a holiday get-together is to always keep drinks flowing, cooled and fresh for the guests. The last thing people want to sip on are lukewarm cocktails. That’s why you should never forget to display your beer, wine or champagne in a Nicebucket ice bucket when hosting a party. It’s guaranteed to keep every drink cold, fresh, and ready to toast. Oh and as a bonus, its fashionable exterior is sure to make your guests asking about it and wanting one too.
Remember, an event does not only have to be enjoyable for the guests but also for you. Take a deep breath and do not get overwhelmed. It’s going to be great! There is no need to stress when you’re preparing for your next party, when you know what common mistakes to avoid. Relax and enjoy!