So on the weekend we hosted a party to celebrate a birthday. It was a heck of a lot of fun and large… more than 60 people came by. So what are the synergies between party hosting and effective human resources? Here are a few to nibble on:
- Determine your strategy: what kind of party do you want to throw? Big and boozy? Warm and intimate? Who is the party for?
- Be prepared: there is nothing worse than a party that runs out of wine or food. Yes people will bring their own drinks..but if it’s a fun party they will stay a while and drink more than what they brought. Always keep a set of gourmet pizzas in the freezer.
- Duty to accommodate: one must always provide non-alcoholic punch and club soda.
- Understand human behaviour: people bring red wine, but drink white. We call this the “red wine effect”. No one wants to bring a warm bottle of white wine. We rarely buy red wine for parties.
- Acknowledge and appreciate different styles: if someone is happily sitting on the couch, glass in hand, gazing at the party do let them be. There is no need to try and make them go all “extrovert”.
- Leverage the strengths around you: if someone is determined to fill glasses, the chip bowls or create a playlist do let them go for it.
- Orientation is key to party goer success: when guests arrive show them where the drinks, food and washrooms are. Then introduce them by doing the following: “hi everyone, this is “Jim”. He works for ABC Company and loves doing the Grouse Grind/ lives in the ABC building/is from Toronto..” You can now move on as there will for certain be someone in the group that loves the grouse grind(!), works for or knows someone who works for ABC Company, or is from and/or hates Toronto.
- Measure everything: if a good party one will receive emails and phone calls the next day thanking them for the party. There will be a few (less than five or six) bottles left. There will also be at least one broken glass.
- Have fun! One must not take oneself too seriously, but will take the hosting (your job at hand) seriously.