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A Rooftop Grill Party with Louis in Scottsdale

Last updated: March 27, 2024

After moving to a new town, Louis had the goal of making new friends and building a community. But how could he do that?

Louis found my book, The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, and started to plan an event.

One month later, Louis hosted a party with 31 attendees in Scottsdale, Arizona. He then proceeded to host two more parties using the formula in my book!

He found that the people who show up to his cocktail parties are the kind of interesting people he wanted to connect with. And hosting parties helped him quickly build his network in a new city.

Why you should listen to me: Hi, my name is Nick Gray. I wrote a book that teaches people how to strengthen their relationships and meet new people by hosting parties. My biggest goal with the book is to help 500 people host their own party, and Louis is one of those people. 

Meet Louis

Louis is the co-founder of a data analytics company and hosts a podcast called The Louis and Kyle Show. He read my book and decided that he needed to host his own cocktail party to meet new people and build his network.

Louis Shulman at his computer

The Rooftop Grill Party

Louis hosted his first two cocktail parties in his apartment. They were a huge hit and a big success.

For his third party, he wanted to change it up to keep his guests interested with a new theme. He decided to center the party around food and hosted it on a rooftop.

Along with the normal list of snacks, Louis provided a few packages of sausages to grill. He even told his guests to bring whatever food they wanted and he would grill it for them.

louis guests
Louis’s guests enjoying the fire on the rooftop


Like most people, Louis at first felt weird trying to organize the socializing at his party. But he quickly realized that his guests loved it!

After Louis did the first round of icebreakers, he asked the group if they would like to do another round 30 minutes later. His guests said yes and were excited about the next round of icebreakers.

He found that being a generous leader in these situations really paid off. His guests were socializing the whole night and many of them made new friends. Some of them even met up a few days later to hang out.

louis icebreakers
Louis leading a round of icebreakers at his party

Interview with Louis

I interviewed Louis to learn more about his parties, making new friends in Arizona, and why he does it.

Q: What was your favorite part about the party?

A: A few days after the party, some of my guests were hanging out! One of them even went to another guest’s soap store and bought products. It felt great to connect people like that and to see them spending time together after my party.

Q: For the next party, what would you do differently?

A: The first two parties were basically the same thing. My roommate and I hosted a cocktail party inside our apartment. For the third party, I hosted a rooftop grill out, primarily to have it less emphasized around drinking and more around food. Basically, I told people I’ll bring plenty of food, and they can bring whatever meat they want to grill.

Q: How did hosting a party benefit you?

A: There are so many people that I see once per month, and never get the chance to spend time with them. These parties allowed me to learn more about my acquaintances. Also, since I am new to Scottsdale, I don’t know many people. These parties allowed me to step up the quality of people that I was spending time with and filled my friend group with more interesting people.

Q: What else helped you to host the event?

A: The Harmonica was the easiest tool to grab people’s attention. Name tags definitely created an environment that stimulated socializing. Honestly Nick, the most helpful thing was calling you before the party and asking you questions. You gave me such a good pep talk. Oh, and asking friends to take pictures made my job easier.

Podcast Party Interview

Louis interviewed me for his podcast! Watch it here on YouTube:

Party Photos

These are some photos from Louis’s earlier parties. They are not the rooftop grill, but I wanted to show you the type of parties he has been hosting. The biggest benefits come when you learn to make hosting a habit!


Louis is awesome for making these events happen. He learned a lot and now has a bigger community in Scottsdale.

Louis, since moving to Scottsdale, has learned/found a few things from the book and his previous experiences:

  • After a few days, his guests started hanging out
  • These parties allowed him to get to know the quality of people he was spending time with
  • Harmonicas and name tags are attention grabbers

Hello, My name is Nick Gray. In my book, The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, I provide helpful guidance on how to host a great party for any event. I wrote this book to support anyone attempting to meet new people and develop closer bonds with their community.

When is your party? Send me an email and I will give you some bonus tips, including a pre-party checklist that you can print out. Plus I’ll answer any question you have, free of charge. I love talking about parties and I’m on a mission to help 500 people host their first party.

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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.

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