There are a lot of parties throughout the year and you never know if there is something you should be doing when someone invites you to their party. I know I get those awkward moments where I feel like I should be doing something or helping in some ways and never enjoy being a guest. One of the most important tips for being the perfect party guest is knowing if the event is a hosted or n0 host event. A no-host party is sometimes given be an organization or association, where you may be expected to contribute the proceedings of the event. A hosted party is one presented by an individual or firm in a private home, office, or event space where you will not be required to contribute anything to attend and while attending. Use these simple guidelines to be an exceptional guest at a hosted party, and find yourself being inviting time after time.
- Always arrive on time. The reasonable arrival time for a party in a private home is within 8 minutes of the appointed time. If the invitation says 6:00 p.m., arrive between 6:00 and 6:08. Arrival time is less strict when the invitations clearly states the event is an “open house” within a range of times. In this case, it is best to arrive no later than within an hour of the ending time.
- Have the telephone number with you. In case of an emergency delay, call your host to explain where you are and when you think you will arrive. This is vital in the case of formal dinner parties and polite for any other events.
- Say hello and goodbye. Upon arriving at a party, be sure to locate the host to extend your greetings and appreciation for being invited. Then find the host again before leaving to say good-bye and to acknowledge the wonderful party.
- Bring a house gift. It is always a nice gesture to present a small gift of appreciation to the host of a party in a private home. However, do not ask them host to open your gift in front of you or expect it to be used at the event. Let the host set it aside for a more appropriate time. It is not necessary to bring a gift to a hosted party held at the office or event space.
- Sing for your supper. One contribution you should make at a hosted party is to participate. Help make the event a success by introducing yourself to others and engaging in conversation. Be prepared to join in whatever good-natured festivities your host has planned…even singing!
- Eat and drink responsibly. Avoid arriving at a party hungry, stimulated to eat and drink everything in sight! If you find you have consumed too much alcohol, ask your host to call a taxi or find someone who can drive you home or to a nearby hotel. With good friends, a night in the guestroom may be an option: Drinking and driving is never an option.
- Never overstay your welcome. Plan to make your exit around the ending time stated on the invitation, or about an hour after the dinner is concluded. Stay longer only if you are sure the host is genuinely encouraging an extension. It is often merely a gracious gesture when your host enthuses, “Oh, don’t leave. Do stay longer.”
- Write a thank you note. As the final touch to showing your appreciation, and ensuring you get invited back, hand write a thank you note as soon as possible following the event. A thank-you telephone call or email are appropriate only among close personal friends.
BONUS TIP: Unless your host specifically requests your assistance with something do NOT feel compelled to help in the kitchen at parties. Leave all arrangements to your host. Your task is to enjoy the event. Reciprocate by hosting an event in your home next time!