Since 2011, without fail, I have hosted an annual house party to bring various people to provide opportunities for networking and more importantly, good times! I just hosted my 8th annual house and I’m still learning how to be a better host. Nevertheless, there are some invaluable experiences that I’ll share with you to hopefully, make your journey a tad easier.
Hosting a house party may seem simple, but it actually requires a lot of work. Here are 8 tips that will hopefully help you the next time you host a house party.
1. Invite people about ONE month in advance
Any shorter and most people may not have time to adjust their schedules. Any longer and your friends might have forgotten about the party simply because not everyone has the habit of writing on a calendar/diary.
2. Bring Your Own Beverage (BYOB) is a fantastic option
These are a few reasons why:
- It gives an opportunity for people to bring something without feeling awkward about having to come empty handed
- They get to drink what they bring
- If you’re tight on the budget, this is going to ease the load a little
3. Consider catering food
Even if you’re a good cook and are able to produce food quicker than most people, it will still take a toll. Depending on the size of your party, whipping up a storm is going to require tons of planning. Just thinking about the dishes to cook is already stressful for some. In addition, you’d have to buy the ingredients. Depending on the number and complexity of the dish, it can take up to half a day to prepare those dishes. You want to be able to enjoy the party with your guest and not come out like you’ve run a full marathon when your first guest comes through the door.
For gatherings above 15 people in Singapore, I use FoodLine as I’m able to select the caterer that suits my needs. Click here to get free 500 FL points when you sign up!
4. Have a after lunch/dinner party instead
Catering for a full lunch or dinner is tiring. Light bites however are far easier to prepare for. These are some no frills options:
- Cheese board with prosciutto & salami
- Chicken wings (Video on how to make awesome chicken wings coming soon!)
- Potato Chips/Crisp
- Salads (wash, toss, done!)
- Sausages (chop, in the over, done!)
5. Get as many things done as early as possible
This may seem like a no-brainer, but anyone who has hosted a party will tell you that two hours before the party, there can be a sudden avalanche of ‘things to do’. This can leave one feeling sweaty and worn out, depleting the true joy of hosting a party. Things you might want to consider half a day or day before the party starts:
- Change a new plastic bag for thrash points in the house
- If conducting a BBQ, get ready all materials in close proximity in a bag (charcoal, tongs, bbq grill net, fire starters, lighter etc)
- Prepare disposables (cups, plates, spoons, forks etc)
- Make sure there are new toilet rolls in the restroom
- Refill the hand soap in the restroom & kitchen
- Prepare tissue boxes at places people will be seated at
- Chill the drinks/make sure there is enough plain water (chilled and un-chilled)
- Prepare sufficient ice cubes in advance
6. Dovetail work throughout the entire party
This one is tricky; It requires experience to know when to do what. Nevertheless, here are some pointers:
- Watch for falling food and drink levels
- When your guest are super engaged with other guests, that’s the perfect time to slip away to either bring out new food or do a quick wash up
- Don’t wait till the trash is full. Trash is far easier to tie & dispose when it’s 1/2 or 3/4 full
- Accept help from other friends which brings me to my next point:
7. Accept friendly help
When I first started hosting, being Asian, I didn’t want my guest to help me with anything except to enjoy the party. However, there are very special friends/people whose way of loving is through ‘acts of service’. These are the people who will offer help because:
- They’ve hosted a party themselves and understand that there are myriad of things to do
- It’s in their culture to help and feeling like they’re part of the party
- They’re introverts who want to temporarily escape from conversation and doing things is the perfect opportunity
8. Wet Weather Contingency (If hosting an outdoor party/condo BBQ)
This is definitely a point to consider if you’re in Singapore like I am where it rains often, especially during the monsoon season. Nothing is more worrying than the sky raining cats and dogs just before the party. Here’s some tips:
- Prepare your home to accept guest should the venue need to change
- Prepare food that can be grilled in the oven or air fried
- Have numbers ready to dial for pizza etc. Everybody loves pizza!
- Remember that the party is about the people first. Food is secondary
- If it’s not too costly, consider erecting a gazebo or large tent
I hope these tips have been helpful for you! See you at SGL’s party one day! =D