The art of hosting a good house party is a delicate and nuanced craft — almost as much as the planning itself. You may be adept at hosting grown folks dinner parties thanks to our pro-tips, but now it’s time to look into a more social experience. Yes, you may spend a lot of time and some money in order to create an exciting evening that will be on the tip of everyone’s tongues for weeks after, but most importantly, it’s up to you — as a part of the experience — to make it fun. Don’t rest on your laurels, expecting rooms to be filled with tantalizing conversations and laughs only to find that your evening was a flop. Instead, check out these nifty tips to make the night worthwhile.
5. Don’t Watch The Clock
We know folks won’t be on time and that’s OK. Go in knowing that guests will inevitably arrive later than expected and some will arrive earlier than others. Regardless of who shows up when, you need to show up for the ones who show up for you. From the moment someone crosses your threshold, it’s showtime! Show those early arrivers that they’re appreciated and make the later guests wish they’d been there from the beginning.
Don’t chastise those who arrive fashionably late because that’s a fast-track to negative vibes. It’s best to assume that they have a valid reason for being behind and thank them for still coming despite whatever must have come up last minute. It never hurts to take the high road.
4. Stack The Deck
If your normal circle consists of like-minded people, don’t hesitate to invite the black sheep. If you surround yourself with fashionistas, invite some musician friends and artists — maybe even that one woke friend from Facebook. The reasoning: You want people who will shake things up. If you always run in the same circles you’ll run out of new and engaging topics to talk — and think — about. Bringing those wild cards to the table can really shuffle the deck in your favor. But as the host, do you part to play your hand well and keep egos from creating unwanted tension. Granted, you may not know the next Andre 3000, but your friend who’s in a rap collective and your serial-traveler-bestie could have a great time getting to know the mompreneur you met at the pop-up showcase a few months back.
3. Direct The Dialog
Chances are, you’ve been to a bland party, so you know that polite conversation can be absolutely boring! Obviously, you can shift gears from time to time depending on your company, but sticking to the safe circle won’t encourage anything engaging to talk about. It’s alright to be the person that “goes there.” This year, politics may be a tricky line to toe, but it’s likely to bring about the fire in some of your guests once the spirits have been poured. If you’d rather play it a little safer, that’s fine too, but the key is to have topics in mind to talk about and to ask open-ended questions. Pro tip: When someone responds, ask them, “why do you think that?” It’s a great way to dig deeper and go beyond the surface.
2. Be The Wave
Nobody likes that bougie friend that feels high and mighty because of who they know or where they’ve been, but people do like getting info before it’s stale. Be on the front end of what’s trendy in your social circles. Show off your newest app addiction or introduce their ears to a new musician you recently stumbled upon. Be the innovative, forward thinker who has the inside scoop on everything they didn’t know they needed in their lives. They’ll probably thank you later. One of the best ways to do this is by subscribing to Black Texas, to be in the know of the best Texas has to offer (hint hint).
1. Bust a Move
Music is, and always has been at the center of any Black gathering. Look at any movie with a party if you’re in disbelief. 1990’s “House Party,” 1998’s “Players Club,” 2010’s “Freaknik: The Musical,” and even 2013’s “The Great Gatsby,” all show how much of an impact the tunes have on guests. Now, I’m not suggesting you turn your place into the booty club for the night, but you want your soiree to be more “Bad and Boujee” less “Pride and Prejudice.” Prepare a playlist that’s sure to get toes tapping and hips moving. Don’t be afraid to be the first to get in the groove. If you want a hilarious scientific explanation of how this works, check it out here — it’s science.
Bonus: Show Off Your Skills
To put it simply, don’t be boring. Nobody wants to hang out with the boring friend. If you’re not too sure what talents would be good for entertaining guests, consider learning how to read tarot cards — yes, the ones Miss Cleo made famous in the 90s. It may surprise some folks, but it’s entertaining nonetheless
Pro tip: DO NOT TRY TO FREESTYLE. I promise you, you’re not the next Kendrick, Cole, Pac or even Yachty and mumble rap might get you thrown out your own party.
Stick with these tips for your next get together and you’re sure to find yourself with a fan club begging to be blessed to be your houseguest once more. Don’t keep your admirers waiting too long.
Nick Bailey is a forward thinking journalist with a well-rounded skill set including writing, design, and photography. Nick now resides in Austin, TX after earning a degree in Mass Communication with an emphasis on journalism from Texas A&M University—Commerce.