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Crowding them in is always essential. If you
think your venue can hold 50 people, invite 100!
Crowds create a great vibe. Everyone is involved;
conversation flows and crowds also create great
opportunities to meet new people. Allow a small
amount of room to one side for people to get away
to some peace and quiet if they need a breather,
but you should define a party space and expect
people to stay in it. Keep the lights pretty low.
It will help if you have some sort of focus in
the area you want people to be, remembering
the perpetual allure of fire and food. As men will
flock to a barbecue at a sausage sizzle and dinner
party guests will congregate in the kitchen, so you
should expect people to hang around the tucker.
couple of chefs shucking oysters in your marquee,
you can bet that is where the bulk of your guests
will end up. Or they will be at the bar!
And talking food, make sure there is plenty.
A hundred unique hors d oeuvres may look great
but are no good if your guests go home hungry.
People are not happy when they don t have
good as you can. What people always want is
good company, plenty to eat and drink and an
entertaining speech or two.
It s a simple formula but one that is all too
often forgotten. It is no use having beautiful
decorations and music if there is not enough food
or the drinks run out, the music is so loud no one
can chat and the speeches are long and boring.
GET THE RIGHT PEOPLE
Start with a good guest list and don t be afraid to
mix things up a bit.
For a small gathering, it is important to take
into account various personalities so you don t
end up with one or two people dominating the
conversation while others struggle to get a word
in. Having said that, a funny, clever, generous
guest who is prepared to keep the rest of the
dinner party entertained can be a godsend if
you fear the conversation might lull. Mix up
old friends with new to keep the chat fresh and
stimulating. Invite people who are interested in
others and will take an interest in each other.
There is nothing worse than sitting next to
someone who bangs on all night about themselves
and does not ask a word about you. Don t be
afraid of a little controversy -- express an opinion
on issues, but don t let things get too heated.
If you are organising a sit-down dinner for
many, resist the temptation to put all people who
already know each other together on a table.
While no one likes to be dumped on a table full
of complete strangers, you should seat small groups
of people who know each other with groups from
other circles. At a business function, don t be afraid
to mix up people from different walks of life --
When drawing up the guest list for a bigger
party, it can be tempting to leave certain friends
off the roll for fear that they will not know other
people, but if your gathering is set up right, you
will find that this won t be an issue. Rather, your
guests will enjoy the chance to get to meet a few
new people or talk to old friends. At a recent
party we had, we were amazed at how many
friends from different walks of life turned out to
have connections with each other. We had no idea
they were acquainted but so many turned out to
have been to school or uni with each other or to
have played footy with each other. Perth is a bit
like that. It made for a great party full of happy
people catching up.
Never underestimate your guests willingness
to meet new folk either. And if there are enough
people, the occasional old enmity or personality
clash will be diluted in the crowd.
ugh to eat. They don t relax and are more
ly to get drunk. They also may want to leave
y to find a hamburger on the way home.
n for small events, you should consider
rers. The key is to make sure you get the right
rer for the right job. If you have 300 guests
coming, make sure you use someone who has
experience dealing with those numbers. Likewise,
if your budget is tight and all you want is food
delivered on the night, then you will probably
get the best value from a small owner-operator
who specialises in small gigs -- you just won t get
the value you need from a big operator who will
factor large overheads into his charges.
Ask around and get personal recommendations
for the right caterer for your job.
You may also consider hiring a room at a
restaurant (or the whole restaurant) or a winery
for your function, in which case the food and
wine will be pretty much set for you. Many
venues have arrangements with specific caterers
and you will be obliged to use them if you book
Caterers can usually do as much or as little as
you like in terms of helping organise the party
and giving advice. Many caterers will incorporate
event management into their service. Most
caterers will have contacts for hire equipment,
including marquees or tables and chairs, as well as
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