Posted by Beyond Bespoke, 7th December, 2016
In the first of a two-part series, the UK’s top introducer, Rachel Fay shares her beginner’s guide on creating a social buzz at a party
If you’re planning on giving a party, you’ll have lots to do with sending out invitations, ordering the drinks and organising the food. But there’s one ingredient that can easily get overlooked on the night – mixing up the guests. From the moment your first guest arrives, this is your primary role as the host or hostess. Whilst others can take coats and serve drinks, you are like the master chef. You have collected the ingredients together and now it’s time to mix them up to create that all important Social Buzz.
Preparation: A few days before
Ask your partner, a friend or family member to be available to greet your guests at the front door. This will leave you free to do the all-important mixing of the guests.
On the Night
Position yourself just inside the room in which the guests will gather but after they will have picked up a drink.
Now the fun begins. New arrivals will naturally gravitate towards you, the host, both out of good manners in letting you know they’ve arrived and for reassurance. If they don’t, go towards them and welcome them. It’s important to do this now so you’re not held up later by having to greet them and exchange pleasantries at the same time as you’re introducing them. This is not the time for long conversations so just say hello and express pleasure in seeing them.
Once you’ve said hello, crack straight on with finding someone for them to talk to. At the start of the party, people are unlikely to be involved in in-depth conversations, so you don’t need to worry about interrupting. Creating a Social Buzz means someone needs to make it happen and that person is you.
If you lack experience, don’t worry about surnames unless you can be consistent with all your guests. Christian names only are fine these days. Bear in mind that people can’t take in too much verbal information when coming face-to-face with a stranger, so use short easy phrases such as “Bruno, this is Jocelyn.”
It’s courteous to tell each person something about the other in order for them to create a conversation, such as “Jocelyn and I were at school together” and “I met Bruno when we were studying at the same college.” Notice that I haven’t mentioned the name of the school or the college – this creates intrigue and the chances are that your guests will inquire which school or university it was – the start of a conversation.
Once you’ve made the introduction, move away immediately. This is important so as not to get stuck into a conversation which will take you away from your task of making sure all your guests are introduced.
Return to your original position somewhere near the entrance to the room and repeat the procedure for all the guests as they arrive.
Congratulations! You’ll have taken your first steps in creating The Social Buzz.
Next time: Part 2: How to keep mixing up your guests
Rachel Fay creates The Social Buzz at private parties. To book her for yours, contact her on 020 8743 1249 or at firstname.lastname@example.org