Kunal and his wife Jinal decided to host a party using my book’s formula. It was their first time gathering a large group of friends and then using name tags and icebreakers. Keep reading to see how it went.
Kunal Sampat lives in San Francisco, California. He hosts the Clinical Trial Podcast and is working on a startup.
How was the party?
“The party went great! Everyone had a great time,” Kunal said.
He and his wife used the following elements from The 2-Hour Cocktail Party to make a successful gathering:
- The Party Runway
- Inviting their Core Group first
- Creating an RSVP page
- Sending three reminder messages
- Using Guest Bios for as many guests as possible
At the party, Jinal and Kunal did the following things to encourage new conversations:
- Name tags for every single guest
- Three rounds of icebreakers
- Ending the party on time, or close to it!
Doing those things helped their friends meet others and create new relationships.
Guest Bios are brief biographical sentences about the guests at your parties. You’ll include them in two of your reminder messages leading up to your party.
For more information about Guest Bios, including what they are and how to write them, see this article.
Kunal’s guest bios were very good and extremely detailed! It took him almost 90 minutes to compile and write them. But Kunal didn’t mind the extra time. He said that it helped him to get familiar with the guests. Writing the Guest Bios gave him new ideas for introductions and questions to ask during his party.
Food and Drinks
Kunal decided to split the food between the kitchen and the living room area. That would allow his guests to spread out and not create congestion or crowding inside his home.
Two special elements that Jinal wanted to add to the party were samosas and macaroons from Costco. These were a big hit with their guests. They also provided cheese, crackers, grapes, berries, and other simple finger foods.
Kunal bought a jigger to measure drinks from Amazon for $5.99. He said that this was super helpful.
He also bought a glass pen to write names on cocktail glasses. They did not use plastic cups and used glassware instead to serve drinks. This was fine and they felt it made the overall experience much more awesome and mature. This special pen was sold for $6.99. The glass pen was deemed only “okay,” but it was the best option they could find.
They also ordered 11.15 oz bottles of unflavored original sparkling water from a local grocery delivery place. That worked out great! Kunal tested purchasing 1 liter bottles of sparkling water, but the carbonation did not stay for too long. He was happier to buy many smaller bottles to give his guests a more premium experience.
Nick’s note: see my list of resources here for reusable cups, glass pens, and more.
Their guests brought wine, nuts, flowers and more, which was appreciated but not required. Now Kunal and Jinal have a lot of drinks to host their next cocktail party!
Kunal had never made cocktails in his life and so he printed out a few recipes to make it easy to mix drinks.
Improvements for Next Party
Here are a few things that Kunal learned and wants to improve upon for his next party.
Make a smaller, tighter circle for the icebreakers
Kunal and his guests only did two rounds of icebreakers: one at 7:20pm, and another at 8:20pm. The majority of the guests had arrived by 7:20pm so they skipped one of the icebreakers.
I advised Kunal that he should do his first icebreaker right when the first 3-5 people have arrived. This would help them to exit the Awkward Zone and “break the seal” of doing icebreakers. The first icebreaker should be done fast to get the energy moving.
Make sure everyone is standing for the icebreaker
For the first icebreaker, some guests were sitting, which is not ideal! See why sitting down is kryptonite to every party here.
Use the harmonica everytime
Kunal wants to use the harmonica more often for his next party. The Party Harmonica helps hosts to easily get the attention of their guests in a loud environment.
Kunal identified a better location in the backyard with better lighting for the icebreakers. For his next party, they’re all going to gather in that area.
For his next party, once the guests say “Yes,” Kunal will just send them the link to Mixily. He will do this instead of adding their email address to the Mixily page. This will more easily (and quickly!) allow the guest to complete the registration process.
Post-Party Guest Feedback
After the event, Kunal received a really nice card from a friend who attended. Here’s a picture of the card:
Below are some more comments from Kunal’s other guests.
“Thanks so much for hosting such a wonderful event. The format was great. I appreciate how you got everyone to open up.”Phil K
“I’d love to be part of every future party. Every person and every conversation is going to be different. I wonder where this will lead you in a year from now.”David R.
One group of great guests even wanted to take a selfie with Kunal and Jinal because they had such a great time!
Another guest called Kunal to personally say, “Thank you for hosting such a wonderful event and inviting me to it.”
More Party Photos
Kunal was very pleased with how his first party went. It was an incredible opportunity for him and Jinal to gather their friends together and create new connections.
This is what Kunal said to me after his party:
“Nick Gray and his team provided awesome support by sending frequent emails to us and offering an opportunity to talk on the phone with any questions. Thank you Nick and Ash!”
Kunal and Jinal are looking forward to hosting their next party. I can’t wait to see how it turns out for the second time!
Do you want to host your own party? Have you hosted one before and have tips to make it work better?
Send me an email and I will help you out, or update this article with your tips. Or check out my book for a step-by-step guide on how you can host your own happy hour or cocktail party to help you build big relationships.