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Illustrations in The 2-Hour Cocktail Party

Last updated: May 15, 2023

Hello audiobook listeners!

Here are all of the illustrations in my book, The 2-Hour Cocktail Party. These were all created as custom drawings for me by Fru Pinter.

Help me host 500 parties! My goal is to hear from 500 people who read my book and hosted their first party.

Email me when you set the date for your party or tell me afterwards how the party went.


Illustration of Nick Gray pointing to his name tag.
(PAGE 2)
Illustration of a hand raising a flag
(PAGE 7)

Part 1: The Basics

Illustration of difference between party expectations versus reality
(PAGE 9)

Chapter 1: Why Host a Party

Illustration of a man holding different names
(PAGE 19)
Illustration of a calendar from the date today to the date of the party
Pick a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday night three weeks from now and save it on your calendar. (PAGE 22)

Chapter 2: When to Host Your Party

Illustration of an airplane taking off the runway
A three-week runway allows you to do most of the work in advance to guarantee great attendance.  (PAGE 28)
Illustration of a weekly calendar showing the days of the week that are less busy
Avoid schedule conflicts for your guests. Host your party on a less-busy day. (PAGE 32)

Chapter 3: Where to Host Your Party

Illustration of the characteristics of a good party host
Host your party at home for these reasons. The crown is optional. (PAGE 41)
Illustration of the difference between guests standing versus sitting
Standing allows for more dynamic interactions. Sitting keeps people trapped in conversation. (PAGE 46)

CHAPTER 4: Who To Invite

Core group
(PAGE 51)
Deck of cards for your core group
Stack the deck for your party by inviting your core group first. (PAGE 52)
Composition of your party guests.
Your first party should have fifteen attendees. It will be a mix of different people you know, including great guests and your core group. (PAGE 57)
Potential party guest.
Every new person you meet becomes a potential party invitation. (PAGE 60)
Guests not knowing people before.
(PAGE 63)

Chapter 5: The Magic of Name Tags

Empty name tag.
Name tags make it impossible to forget someone’s name. (PAGE 69)
Guests forgetting names.
I’m so bad with names that I’ve written the names of first dates on the inside of my hand to not forget. I was only caught once. (There was no second date.) (PAGE 72)
Name tag with name written in big, bold letters.
Do this: a first name written in big, clear letters is easy to read. (PAGE 76)
Name tag with name written in cursive form.
Don’t do this: a full name written in cursive with a pen is harder to read. (PAGE 76)
Name tags should be placed in a visible area.
Make sure guests place name tags where they are easily visible. (PAGE 77)

Part 2: Putting the Party Together: The Logistics

Party logistics
(PAGE 81)

Chapter 6: Sending Out the First Invitations

Ribbon for a good invitation.
(PAGE 85)

Chapter 7: Setting Up the Event Page

Sending RSVPs to your invitees.
(PAGE 99)
People who have confirmed, maybe going, or have not responded yet.
(PAGE 101)

Chapter 8: Inviting Your Great Guests

Person saying he is human to another person.
Show vulnerability by telling your guests that you’re new to hosting. They will appreciate your honesty and won’t expect you to be an expert. (PAGE 110)

Chapter 9: Sending Out Reminders

Timeline of sending out your reminder messages.
(PAGE 116)
Host finalizing and organizing party details.
(PAGE 132)

Chapter 10: Pre-Party Preparations

Guest catching the host unprepared and not yet dressed.
This really happened to me. (PAGE 136)
Things to be tidied up in a cabinet before the party.
To quickly tidy my space, I put medicine, clothes, mail, and other random items inside a plastic bin. Then I hide it in my closet until after the party. (PAGE 147)
Table with snacks and drinks.
Snack and bar area. At my parties, I split this between two smaller tables. It helps break up the flow so everyone isn’t crowding in one area. (PAGE 149)
Party signs giving directions to guests.
I love these simple signs and so do my guests. I post them up before every party. It’s an easy way to add a bit of fun and personality and make people feel welcome. (PAGE 152)

Part 3: Party Time

Host motivating himself before the party.
(PAGE 155)

Chapter 11: Navigating the First Twenty Minutes

Laura, the first guest, has arrived.
(PAGE 163)
Guests having different roles in the party.
Pick someone outgoing and confident to be a connector. Ask them to say hi to all of the guests and include others in their conversations. (PAGE 164)
Different things you can use to call your guests' attention.
Other options for calling attention at your party. (PAGE 167)
Host cheering himself and saying that it's going to be fine.
(PAGE 169)

Chapter 12: Beginner Icebreakers

Guest sharing her favorite breakfast for the icebreaker.
(PAGE 172)
Guests circling up and sharing stuff about themselves for the icebreakers.
Icebreakers are like a short survey of the party. They help your guests meet more people. (PAGE 174)
Timeline for your three rounds of icebreakers.
For a party that starts at 7:00 p.m., do icebreakers at approximately 7:10, 7:40, and 8:20 p.m. (PAGE 175)
Different kinds of food for breakfast.
(PAGE 177)
Answers under 30 seconds are worth congratulating.
A good icebreaker is a fast icebreaker. Thirty seconds is a good limit for someone’s answer. (PAGE 182)
High five!
High five! You’re doing great. (PAGE 189)

Chapter 13: Advanced Icebreakers and Bonus Techniques

Trophy for the perfect icebreaker.
Beginner icebreakers are easy for your guests to answer. No brain teasers, please. (PAGE 192)
Guests circling up for the icebreakers.
Guests standing in a circle for the icebreaker. (PAGE 198)
Party guests with the host taking a selfie.
You’ll be happy you took a group photo at your party. It’s easy to forget, so make a reminder or ask someone to help. (PAGE 201)
Cutting off someone when their answer is too long.
Don’t be afraid to cut people off if their icebreaker answer is too long. (PAGE 204)

Chapter 14: Ending on a High Note

Popping the party balloon.
End your party quickly and confidently. Accept the impermanence of it. (PAGE 212)
Doing the last call.
(PAGE 214)
Guests doing a cheer and joining hands at the end of the party.
(PAGE 217)
Cleaning up and saying goodbyes.
(PAGE 218)

Chapter 15: The Day After

Reflecting on how the party went.
(PAGE 222)
Making sure you are ready for your next party.
(PAGE 225)

Appendix A

Party guidelines
(PAGE 239)

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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