The roles we fall into are quite funny, aren’t they?

Sometimes we might find ourselves managing a team, and one day – you’ll sit back, and you might just find yourself with kids in front of you! Ok – well, nothing is instantaneous in this life, really, but we do fall into these roles – the role of the best friend, the carer, the guardian and even the host! Yep – at one point in your life, if you’ve held a great party, do or bash people will flock to you. They’ll question you, ‘when are you getting people around again?’ they will ask. You’re now the host and that’s your role.

Now, some people shrink from responsibility, but will you? When the hosting spotlight is on, will you falter? Of course you won’t! With great power comes great responsibility and you’ve got everything you need to be the host with the most. You’ve got the home, the plans, the room and the know-how – but even then, you might need a few pointers. That’s why we are here – not to dictate what you need to do to make a success of your next in-house event, be it a birthday or dinner gathering – but to help guide you in the right direction.

The main goals of a host? You want everyone to have a good, fun time, you want everyone to get along, you want everyone to be safe and you want everyone to come back for me. Hosting an event that lives long in the memory after its conclusion is just a massive bonus. Your aim is to simply ensure everyone has a good time, without your helicoptering around becoming a drag! This is the same endgame for all sizes and styles of party, no matter if it’s a small gathering of people or a large party!

So where do you start? A good party cannot be thrown without any kind of preparation at all! Make sure you plan and get everything you need together well ahead of time to avoid disappointment. Planning is essential for the perfect party. Of course, you can only plan if you know what type of party you are going to throw! Is it a wedding anniversary? A continuation of a monthly dinner party, are you just having friends over? Is it a Quinceañera or anything else that’s a cultural observation in your network? Is it a birthday party or a wake?

All of these have different needs that need to be met. A wake is a solemn celebration of life; a birthday party needs cake, a wedding anniversary is a celebration of love. All of these require different preparations, so decide on the angle, so to speak, of your gathering and go from there. To go in the right direction you need to set a direction in the first place! For instance, you wouldn’t invest in mechanical bull hire for a wake, but it’d be a hilarious endeavor for a birthday party or a new year’s celebration! You might not have a bouncy castle at a dinner party either. Think carefully about what you need and then head in that direction.

Whatever the event, give yourself more time than you think you will need to get things ready for it. Disasters do happen, even for well-prepared hosts. You’ll forget things; food will burn, and remember – you need to get ready. Hosting isn’t stress-free, so take the stress out by giving yourself lots of room when it comes to getting everything in place. Prepare enough food for the entire party as early as possible and get a bunch of drinks sorted – encourage guests to bring their own stuff as well – as long as there is room for it.

When it comes to the event, be on hand to cover needs. As the host, guests will flock to you when they need things. Prepare for all the possibilities! Greet everyone and be around the door until everyone has arrived and then mingle! Keep calm and always stay polite, no matter the situation. Always be on hand to adapt as well – there’s nothing like a storm during your outdoors gathering, is there! The best thing to do? Let your guests do their own thing and don’t force activities on them. Allow the occasion to develop on the foundations you have provided!

Hosting is hard work and it’s not often that you see the rewards of it – especially if you aren’t looking in the right places. Keep calm and collected and enjoy what you have set up. Hosting can be a thankless task sometimes, but that’s ok!

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This is a contributed article written for WhimMagazine.com

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