Guest Bios make it easy for your guests to start conversations and create new connections.
They also make people feel special, valued, and excited to attend your party.
A Guest Bio is a short summary about someone. It could include professional or personal information—or both. But I’m not asking you to write full biographies of your guests just for a cocktail party. Keep it simple and light.
How to Write Your Guest Bios
Writing good Guest Bios can take twenty minutes or less. Mine usually take me about fifteen.
Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. These are short, fun notes, not someone’s entire life history. They don’t all have to be the same length and you don’t have to include every single person.
- Do: Make the Guest Bios brief, lively, and informal.
- Don’t: Make it sound like a resume or a Forbes “30 Under 30” list.
Sample Guest Bios
Here are real bios I’ve sent out in a reminder message for one of my parties.
A few of the guests at this party will include:
- Nick Gray (that’s me) is the founder of Museum Hack. My favorite places in New York City are the Met Museum and Washington Square Park.
- Stefen Ramirez is the owner of 29b Teahouse in the East Village and Tea Dealers. Ask him about matcha!
- Atalanta Xanthe is an artist-in-residence at the New York Academy of Art. I met her a few months ago and liked her work so much that I’ve invited her tonight.
- Seonaid Beckwith runs a website about grammar for English learners. She is Scottish and has been living in London since 2004. I met her via my friend Ramit.
- Raf Ignacio is the host of my favorite Filipino food tour in NYC.
- Carly Straughan is a business solutions engineer at Gateway Ticketing Systems. She loves theme parks, museums, water parks, and zoos.
How to Write Your Guest Bios
Writing good guest bios can take twenty minutes or less. Mine usually take me about fifteen. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. These are short, fun notes, not someone’s entire life history. They don’t all have to be the same length, and you don’t have to include every single person.
Imagine one of your guests is name Rob Simon. You’ve known Rob for a year. He works as a copywriter and practices yoga for two hours a day. Rob rides a scooter and recently rescued a dog. He’s originally from England and he drinks a lot of herbal tea.
Example for Rob
A perfectly fine guest bio for Rob would be:
Rob Simon works as a copywriter. He rides a scooter and recently rescued a dog. Ask him about yoga or herbal tea!
That is simple and fun. It calls out some of this unique attributes in a brief sentence. And hopefully it gives people a reference point to strike up a conversation or ask a question when they meet Rob at your party.
October 2022 update: I’ve started including a Google Docs link with my Guest Bios for all of my parties. It allows guests to add and update their own bios. See the updates page for more info.
Who Gets a Guest Bio?
Include bios for at least half of your group or eight of your guests, whichever is larger. Err on the side of including more people rather than less. Start with your core group and add other guests who you know well or are excited about.
You don’t have to write a guest bio for everyone, and you don’t have to feel bad about leaving anyone out. I always say that these bios are only some of the attendees. To make sure people understand this, I add a teaser at the end. For example: “plus a few more guests” or “any many more.”
Some hosts worry about not including everyone in the guest bios and being fair to all their guests. Include everyone if you want. But know that everyone who shows up will participate in icebreakers. Everyone will wear a name tag and meet whoever they like. The guest bios are just a teaser.
Does everyone get a guest bio question?
Q: Do you ask your guests for permission or what they want listed in their guest bio?
A: No, I don’t. That would take too much work. I don’t mind if I make a mistake. This is a fun cocktail party, not a Nobel Prize announcement. Because I never include sensitive information about someone that couldn’t be found on their resume or social media, I feel that respects the privacy of guests. Plus, I only share the guest bios via email or private message to other party attendees. I’ve never gotten a complaint.
Why You Should Do This
Many people have told me they particularly enjoy receiving and reading these guest bios. Here’s one testimonial about them:
“I was taking a chance going to your party where the only person I knew was you. We had just met the previous day during a meeting at my office. The guest bios you sent for your party made me feel like I knew a few other people and increased my enthusiasm for getting to know you and the other guests better. It also fueled my competitive nature to deepen our relationship so I might be invited back and featured in one of the guest bios.”
More Guest Bio Examples
For more examples of what other people have written for their Guest Bios, here’s what Cathy sent for her party:
Thanks for reading this preview from Chapter 9: Sending out Reminders of my party hosting handbook, The 2-Hour Cocktail Party 😇
If you want to read the full chapter and How-To guide on Guest Bios — which, honestly, this is one of the most AMAZINGLY SIMPLE things you can to do improve your party! — just email me at [email protected] and say Hi. I will send it to you.
— Nick Gray