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Romina’s Unconventional RSVP Strategy

Last updated: June 23, 2024

The fear of low attendance can dampen the excitement of planning your party, especially if you’re a new host.

I know this struggle all too well. The most common question I get from friends who want to host a party revolves around how to guarantee a full house.

But don’t worry, in this blog post, we’re about to discover Romina’s solution: guests pay to attend her parties.

In this case study, you’ll learn:

  • Why paid parties work
  • Who to invite to your party
  • Tips for new hosts
  • Romina’s never-ending learnings from hosting
Why you should listen to me: My name is Nick Gray. I’ve hosted hundreds of parties all over the world. After making it a habit, I can easily host a gathering and make new friends with no sweat. New York Magazine once called me a host of “culturally significant” parties.

Meet Romina

Meet Romina, an economist by day and a socialite by night, she lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. By profession, she dedicates her time to a libertarian think tank, diligently working on strategies to stabilize America’s mounting debt crisis.

When she’s not immersed in economics or event planning, Romina embraces the great outdoors, indulging in skiing, climbing, and other adventurous activities. However, her true passion lies in the art of hosting unforgettable events.

Romina’s zest for bringing people together is best showcased through her Jeffersonian-style dinners, where thought-provoking discussions take place.

“The act of creating these synchronicities by putting people together and facilitating meaningful connections for them –- that’s my favorite part. And then when I hear that people are meeting afterward, or they’re building something together, or they’re teaching each other skills, or they were able to make a business connection for each other, that lights me up.”

Romina’s Cocktail Party

Romina and her husband Grice are known for throwing unforgettable cocktail parties. Their most recent event had 28 guests, each one eagerly anticipating an evening of delightful conversation and delicious snacks.

But what sets Romina’s gatherings apart isn’t just the ambiance or the menu – it’s her unconventional approach to RSVPs.

Unlike traditional party hosts who rely on headcounts from RSVPs alone, Romina takes a different route.

She politely asks her guests to pay a small fee upfront when they confirm their attendance.

This might seem off-putting, but the primary goal of this unique RSVP fee system isn’t to turn a profit. Instead, it’s all about clarity and proper planning. By collecting fees upfront, Romina knows exactly who will be in attendance.

No last-minute cancellations or unexpected drop-ins for her events – just a concise guest list that allows her to plan accordingly with minimal wasted resources and energy.

But Romina isn’t rigid about her fee policy. She’s all about hospitality, so she happily offers discounts to guests who ask about it. She wants everyone to feel welcome and valued at her gatherings.

PRO TIP: Use an event platform to host the most successful party. Romina used this Luma page to collect RSVPs and inform her guests about event details.

Who to Invite to Parties

When Romina plans her gatherings, she’s all about assembling a group that brings the party to life in the best way possible.

Forget just inviting familiar faces – she’s on the hunt for guests who spark conversations with guests because of their genuine curiosity and bring different life experiences to the table.

This is why Romina loves a diverse mix of guests who aren’t afraid to show off their various sides. From outdoor adventurers to nerdy enthusiasts and ambitious career climbers, she embraces the unique quirks and passions that make her friends stand out.

So, what’s the secret to Romina’s party-planning success? A carefully curated guest list.

It’s all about finding the perfect balance of interesting, interested, and curious guests from all walks of life. By intentionally selecting who to invite, Romina ensures that every guest plays a role in creating a vibrant, engaging, and unforgettable atmosphere.

At the heart, Romina’s parties stand out because she has a knack for recognizing which guests will contribute to the party’s energy and keep things lively.

It’s this attention to detail and commitment to fostering harmony among her guests that sets her gatherings apart.

Tips for New Hosts

For new party hosts looking to dive into the cocktail party scene, Romina has some tips to share.

Here’s a rundown of her advice for hosting with style and success:

  1. Set Norms and Enforce Them: Establishing clear guidelines and expectations for your guests sets the tone for the event and ensures everyone is on the same page. Whether it’s regarding RSVPs, behavior, or attire, don’t hesitate to communicate your norms and enforce them graciously but firmly. This creates a cohesive atmosphere where everyone can relax and enjoy themselves without any confusion or misunderstandings.
  2. Deliver for Your Guests: As a host, your primary goal is to ensure your guests have a fantastic time from start to finish. This means paying attention to the details – from the ambiance and entertainment to the food and drinks.
  3. Don’t Be Casual: While a laid-back attitude can be appealing, there’s a fine line between casual and careless when it comes to hosting. Show respect for your guests and the effort they made to attend your event by approaching your responsibilities with professionalism and diligence.
  4. Courage to Do It, and Following Through: Hosting a party can be daunting, especially for newbies. But remember that courage isn’t about being fearless – it’s about facing your fears head-on and pushing past them. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities as a host, and don’t let self-doubt hold you back. Once you’ve committed to hosting an event, follow through with determination and dedication. Your guests will appreciate your efforts and you’ll gain valuable experience along the way.

Never-Ending Learnings

Even for an experienced host like Romina, the journey of hosting great parties always brings new lessons her way.

She’s found that something as simple as name tags can deepen connections and ease initial interactions while experimenting with icebreakers keeps the atmosphere lively and engaging. As a host, it’s your job to facilitate connections. By doing these two important things, your guests will leave with a wider, more deep network

Romina has also learned the importance of recognizing when she needs a break, implementing what she calls “green-level hosting days” to prioritize self-care and simplicity. Tuesday or Wednesday nights are great since they’re not socially competitive days. Unlike weekends when people have already scheduled something.

Additionally, she embraces the opportunity to invite new connections into her social circle, extending invitations to those she’s recently met to join her “The 2-Hour Cocktail Party” gatherings.

As Romina continues to host, she takes these learnings to heart to ensure each gathering is a dynamic and enriching experience for both herself and her guests.


Romina’s unconventional RSVP strategy and her knack for curating the perfect guest list are what’s behind her successful gatherings.  Her unique approach offers valuable insights for both seasoned hosts and newbies.

As we reflect on Romina’s journey, we’re reminded that hosting is a never-ending learning experience, filled with opportunities for growth and refinement.

So, whether you’re planning your first cocktail party or looking to elevate your hosting game, take all the learnings from this case study and embrace the challenge. And hey, why not start by picking up a copy of my book and sharing your next party dates with us?

After all, the best parties are meant to be shared.

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.

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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