If you want to project wealth, class, and prestige, the best way to get started is by throwing the right kind of party. Whether you’re entertaining business associates, clients, or friends, there are easy ways to make your party the talked-about event of the season.
1. Know your guests
Planning a great party is all about keeping your guests comfortable, and that requires knowing who they are. If your guests will be older, plan the music and entertainment accordingly. If you think guests will bring children, have a place for them to play safely without disrupting your party’s oeuvre. This will also have bearing on what refreshments you choose; if you’re not sure how your partygoers drink, steer clear of hard options to keep it classy, and make sure to provide non-alcoholic options for any abstainers or designated drivers. If there’s a particular guest you’re especially determined to impress, try to find out their favorite drink and have it on hand.
2. Let people know what to wear
The way people dress affects the way they talk, act, and think about themselves. Don’t think of a dress code as snobby or restrictive—most people like an occasional opportunity to look their best, and it’s flattering to be invited to a party with a classy vibe. You’ll also take a huge weight off your partygoers’ minds as they get ready—the fear of being overdressed is almost as bad as the fear of being underdressed. With clear expectations, your guests will be able to attend with confidence.
3. Provide classy, appropriate gifts
This step depends in large part on who you’re entertaining. If you’re throwing a ladies-only party such as a Avon-style marketing event or a baby shower, small gifts like lotion, soap, and other toiletries are a great way to give your guests something to remember you by. If you’re entertaining clients, you can provide a small gift basket and print customized stickers with your business and contact information, so that as your clients make their way through the goodies, they’ll keep you in mind. (Be sure to include a business card as well.)
4. Match the occasion
The best parties have a raison d’etre, whether it be New Years, housewarming, or the Fourth of July. If you’re looking to throw a more formal, dressy party, wait for an occasion that calls for it—don’t throw it on a night when people are expecting hot dogs and pickup football. And make sure your means can match your guests’ expectations—if you can’t afford to be as classy as you want, scale down your guest list before you scale down the style. A small, intimate party that hits the right notes is better than a rushed, over-budget affair that comes off pretentious.
5. Set the tone
Above all, the responsibility for keeping your party thriving rests on the host. Never spend more than ten minutes with any one guest or group of guests; be continually freshening someone’s drink and introducing acquaintances. This is a great opportunity to sincerely brag on your guests—flattery goes down a lot smoother when it’s posed as an introduction to another friend. You may want to spend some time studying your guest list so you can whip up a conversation at a dull moment, or impress a client by remembering a child’s birthday or a wedding anniversary.
Tara Wagner is a staff writer for TechBreach. She has worked from home for over a decade, and loves sharing news and advice with fellow telecommuting moms and dads. She's fascinated by new tech and new ideas; and when she finds time to unplug, she enjoys long hikes in the mountains near her home. She lives in Denver.