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How to Host a Hotel Lobby Party, Meetup, or Happy Hour

Last updated: March 27, 2024

I believe that most 2-hour cocktail parties should be hosted at home. There’s a variety of reasons for this.

But sometimes you absolutely cannot host a party at home.

And in that case, my new favorite venue is a hotel lobby.

In this article and video, I’ll overview how you can host a little party, happy hour, or meetup inside a hotel lobby.

Why you should listen to me: I’ve hosted hundreds of happy hours and meetups. Recently, I’ve started hosting a few of these in hotel lobbies when I travel. This article is based on a YouTube video that I filmed at one of these recent hotel lobby parties.

Video: Hotel Lobby Party Example

I’m so proud of this video and that we filmed it all in one take. Watch this to get a little overview of tips and tricks:

As a bit of background: I was in Mexico City on my book tour for The 2-Hour Cocktail Party and we needed an emergency venue. I asked: does anyone know of a nearby hotel lobby? Thankfully, someone suggested the Andaz Mexico City Condesa.

Can’t see the video? Watch it here on YouTube: How to Host a Hotel Lobby Party.

Tips and Tricks

Here are a few of the key points that I outlined in the above video:

  • Common Space: You need a space that is not too loud.
  • Standing Room: You want an area where people will not sit down. Sitting down is the kryptonite to a successful gathering. Click here to read why.
  • Be mindful of sound: Many hotel lobbies may play loud music in certain areas. Do not have your party here because it will be hard to hear everybody.
  • Plan for beverages: Some hotels will allow you to bring your own drinks. Otherwise, you can have your guests place their orders at the hotel bar if you are feeling generous, then you could start a tab.
  • Know where the bathrooms are: Check where the nearby bathrooms are then inform your guests.

Visit the Venue Beforehand

This is extremely important, so I’m calling it out in its own section!

Don’t make the mistake that I’ve done and not visit the hotel lobby and bar area before your party. You MUST visit it to understand where you’ll meet, how the noise levels are, ordering rules at the bar, and more.

Ideally, visit the hotel lobby on the same day of the week and time of your upcoming party. This will help you understand the actual traffic patterns, where people can gather, and how noisy it might be.


Hosting an event doesn’t have to be expensive, difficult, or even complicated.

When you can’t host your party at home, consider using a hotel lobby. But remember: you MUST visit it in advance! Ideally during the day and time of your planned party. This will help you understand crowd control, noise levels, and other logistical issues.

For more information, watch the linked video above on YouTube. Or see a list of other venues to host your party.

Leave a comment on this article here.

About the author

Nick Gray is the author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party. He’s been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and in a popular TEDx talk. He sold his last company Museum Hack in 2019. Today he’s an expert on networking events, small parties, and creating relationships. Read more about Nick Gray here.

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