At the end of the day, you want your guests to have enjoyed themselves. This is why the entertainment factor of your party is important. Honestly, I find this part the most difficult. It all depends on your guests. Most of the time I try to chat up my guests to keep them entertained but I can never spend enough time talking to everyone and juggle with all the food and what not.
I think the key to good entertaining is a good bit of guest profiling. Here’s a rough guideline!
- Age group
Start with identifying age groups. Old folks, adults, teenagers or children. A mixture of age groups may make finding an entertainment factor slightly more difficult, but not impossible. Though each age group may be present at the party, there often is a focus age group.
A birthday party for a 12 year old would make the child’s age group the main focus. Some parties could be meant for adults with their kids just tagging along. In that case, you’d mainly want to entertain the adults but keep the kids entertained too. Perhaps turn on a movie or set up an arts and craft corner for them.
- Strategic invites
My biggest problem hosting a birthday party was having friends from school and chuch. My school friends would be at the dining table while my church friends dominate the living room. There’s often this inevitable segregation between different groups of friends. It’s as if there are two different parties going on.
It may not always be a bad thing. When guests are with common friends, they’re more easily entertained and it ensures that no one feels left out so fret not. However if you think it calls for too many awkward moments, you can either do a staggered invitation (certain group comes earlier than the other) or host activities everyone can do together (like a game of charades!). Of course be sure to introduce people to each other. It helps to ‘integrate’ the guests. Sometimes the social butterflies of each would bring the groups together.
- Party highlight
Last but not least, prepare a party highlight. It could be a chocolate fondue, great wine, a piano presentation, dance hour or karaoke – anything at all that you know your guests would enjoy.
As important as it is to make sure your guests are well-entertained, be sure not to overwork yourself. The party is meant for you too. Eat with your guests, drink and laugh! Hosting is not a job. Enjoy yourself and your guests will enjoy themselves too.