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How to Host A Party

Last updated: January 3, 2023

Hosting a party doesn’t have to be complicated. I’ll show you how to make it easy and fun.

Executive Summary

To host your own 2-hour cocktail party, follow these basic tips:

At the party, do these four things:

Follow those guidelines, and you’ll have a gathering better than most.

Where and When to Host Your Party

  • Where: Host your party at your home.
  • When: Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday evening three weeks out. 
  • Set your two-hour time block. I suggest 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

Who to Invite

  • Invite your core group first.
  • Next, invite a wider group, who I call your “great guests.”
  • You’ll want fifteen total people to come to your party. So you might need to invite twenty to thirty people.

The Magic of Name Tags

You must use name tags for everyone at your party. No exceptions!

Invitations and the Event Page

  • Message each person in your core group individually to invite them to your party. 
  • Choose an online platform and create a new event to collect RSVPs for your party. 
  • Send each of your great guests a personalized invitation with information about your party. 

Reminder Messages 

Send reminder messages seven days before, three days before, and the morning of your party.


You’ll do three rounds of icebreakers at your party. Icebreakers help to encourage new conversations, end existing conversations, and generally create traffic and activity in the room (a good thing!).

  • When four to five guests have arrived, start your first icebreaker. Turn down the music and form a circle to begin.
  • Say this to the group: “Let’s all go around the circle and say our name, what we do for work, and one of our favorite things to eat for breakfast. I’ll go first…”
  • You go first: Lead by example. Also explain why you’re doing the icebreaker.

Later, you’ll do two more rounds of icebreakers at your party. The last icebreaker is the Advanced Icebreaker which always adds value to the room with an interesting question that other guests will learn valuable information from.

How to End the Party

  • End the party on a high note when things are going well.
  • Make a commitment to yourself that you’ll end your party on time. Know that you’re doing it for good reasons. 
a 16 appendix Exec Summary

What you should do next...

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3. Buy The 2-Hour Cocktail Party on Amazon or Audible.
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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.