As the summer social scene hots up party planners across the nation are brushing up their hosting skills and preparing to put on the event of the season.
Planning is key to the success of any event and if you do it effectively and efficiently you will cut down on unnecessary stresses and strains on the big day. As an Introducer I recommend allocating thinking time to your guests and putting some thought into how they connect with each. This will pay dividends on the big day making sure your event buzzes with vibrant chit and chatter. Here's how I do it....
Grab a pen and paper and create a map of common interests. In the centre of a piece of paper draw a circle and write the event inside. The event might be a birthday bash, corporate entertaining, anniversary celebration or any occasion when you're going to gather more than a handful of people! Around this circle draw a circle for each of the guests and write their name in it. The circles need to have plenty of space around them. Now write down key things about each of your guests around their individual circles in a random manner. These will act as hooks for the start of conversations. Try to find the less obvious things.
Look at the content around the circles and draw a line between any guest's circles that look like a pleasing match of interest with another. Do this for all your guests - you'll end up with a tangle of lines. It's good if you can remember all the possible topics of conversation; this usually takes a lot of effort and practice. Instead keep the paper for the day of your event and keep it handy so you can have it for reference if you need prompting.
As people start to assemble, make sure everyone has been introduced to everyone else - however long it takes, do it. It's a courtesy, which your guests will appreciate and it's the height of bad manners to ignore this simple ritual. This technique works for guests who have met previously as well as for people who have never met before. Sometimes meeting people again - with the pressure to remember their names and what they told you last time - can be far more awkward than meeting someone for the first time. Help your guests find common ground and they'll relax. Keep the room flowing by using your carefully planned circles of connections to move guests around and introduce them to other guests you know they share common ground with.
Lastly, remember happy guests equal successful events so take time to guest plan and you'll be well on your way to hosting the event of the season!