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Party Agenda and Party Schedule Examples

Last updated: March 27, 2024

What should happen at a party? Your guests want to know and it will help boost your attendance rate.

If you cannot provide an exciting agenda, your guests are less likely to attend. 

In this article, I’ll show you what your party agenda and party schedule should look like. 

Why you should listen to me: I’ve used these examples at hundreds of my own cocktail parties worldwide. After helping over 150 people host their cocktail parties, I now know the best party agendas and party schedules. 

Party Agendas

A party agenda is a list of activities that will happen at your party. The purpose of an agenda is to inform your guests what to expect. 

Most people love seeing how organized your event is, making them more excited to attend. This will increase your attendance rate. 

Use these agendas to host your next party! 

Cocktail Party Agenda

I used this agenda for a cocktail party recently, based on my book The 2-Hour Cocktail Party:

  • 6:00 PM Welcome and BYOB
  • 6:15 PM Icebreakers and name tags
  • 6:30 PM Hanging out, maybe glow-in-the-dark frisbee
  • 6:45 PM Icebreakers again
  • 7:00 PM Hanging out and cocktails
  • 7:15 PM Welcome new friends
  • 7:30 PM Final icebreaker
  • 8:00 PM The end!

Birthday Party Agenda

This was the schedule for my after-party at my 40th birthday last year in Austin, Texas:

  • 6:45 PM Arrive
  • 7:00 PM Name tags and Icebreakers
  • 7:15 PM Fajita bar
  • 7:30 PM Guest speakers?
  • 7:45 PM Fireside chat?
  • 8:00 PM Unstructured time
  • 8:25 PM Group photo
  • 8:30 PM Special activity
  • 8:45 PM The end

Picnic Agenda

I used this agenda when I hosted a picnic in Washington Square Park a few years ago:

  • 3:00 PM Welcome and BYOB
  • 3:20 PM Icebreakers and name tags
  • 3:30 PM Hanging out, maybe frisbee
  • 4:00 PM Icebreakers again
  • 4:10 PM More day drinking?
  • 4:30 PM Welcome new friends
  • 5:00 PM Walk to MacDougal St for ice cream
  • 5:30 PM The picnic continues. We picnic hard
  • 6:00 PM The end! But some folks will hang out late

Clothing Swap Party Agenda

My friend Courtney got 35 people together and used this schedule for her clothing swap:

  • 6:00 PM Welcome, name tags, set up, browsing
  • 6:30 PM Icebreaker: Name, work, hobbies
  • 6:40 PM Host makes a short intro speech
  • 6:45 PM Mix and mingle
  • 7:25 PM Group photo
  • 7:30 PM Icebreaker: Show one piece you found!
  • 7:40 PM Mix, mingle, browsing clothes
  • 8:15 PM Announcement about final browsing
  • 8:45 PM Thank everyone for attending. Begin cleanup & donation pile
  • 9:00 PM The end

Party Schedule

A party schedule is a reference for you, the host. Do not share this information with your guests!

It is a detailed list of activities that you have planned for your guests. It usually has too much information that the guests won’t find interesting. 

Schedules are necessary because they help you organize the party, keep it on time and ensure that everything runs smoothly. 

Overall, a party schedule helps to make the party more enjoyable and well-organized for both the host and the guests.

Sample Cocktail Party Schedule 

  • 7:00 p.m. Start time

First guests begin to arrive. This is the Awkward Zone. Warmly welcome. Delegate duties.

See Chapter 11 in my book for more about this.

  • 7:10 p.m. Icebreaker 1

Ask these beginner icebreaker questions for early arrivals: name, what you do for work, favorite breakfast.

See “Beginner Icebreakers” in Chapter 12 of my book for more info.

  • 7:15 p.m. Unstructured time

Awkward zone ends. You’re doing great! Mix and mingle here.

  • 7:40 p.m. Icebreaker 2 

Beginner icebreaker again, but now with more people: name, what you do for work, favorite breakfast. 

See “Beginner Icebreakers” in Chapter 12 of my book for more info.

  • 7:50 p.m. Unstructured time

Help guests mingle and make introductions.

  • 8:20 p.m. Group photo, then Icebreaker 3 

Take a group photo, then dive straight into advanced icebreakers.

See Chapter 13 of my book for more info.

  • 8:30 p.m. Unstructured time 

Help guests mingle and make introductions.

  • 8:50 p.m. Announce party ending soon
  • 9:00 p.m. Party ends

Tell everyone you need your beauty rest and they can continue celebrating at a nearby bar or restaurant.

See Chapter 14 of my book for more information on how to end your party. Or click here to read an article that I’ve written with all of the best tips. 


These party schedules and agendas will inform your guests what to expect at your next party. They’ll also help keep you organized and on track for a successful event.

Most people love to see the organization of an event before they go. It also helps introverts and shy people to know what to expect!

The better your event is organized, the higher your attendance rate will be. 

My name is Nick Gray. As the author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, I have provided helpful guidance on how to host a successful party for any occasion. I am very proud of my book and believe it can assist anyone looking to expand their social circle and strengthen relationships. 

If you have a party coming up, email me the date. I would be happy to offer additional advice and hold you accountable to ensure your party is a success.

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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