Out of all the types of parties, cocktail parties have the biggest potential to be boring and fail than any other. However, if you love your liquid treats and you want to share them with your friends in your home, a cocktail party is the easiest and cheapest way to do it. To help you have a successful cocktail party, here are some tips on how to plan and host a great cocktail party.
Invite the Right People
When you're planning your cocktail party, it's important that a high proportion of the guests you're going to invite be people who actually enjoy cocktail parties. Keep people who are uncomfortable visiting other people's homes, don't drink, or have more juvenile sensibilities to a minimum, and NEVER invite children. Invite a mix of people from different facets of your life, such as work, volunteer activities, relatives, and neighbors so people can mingle but also have a fallback friend.
Your condo should be nearly overflowing with food and drinks before your party guests arrive. Have a wide array of hors d'oeuvres and finger foods cooked and ready for snacking and more liquor than you think you'll need. Get beer and wine, of course, as the staples, as well as the fixings for a variety of fun mixed drinks (don't forget things like straws and lime slices). Learn to make interesting drinks like cosmos or flavored martinis, and make sure you have plenty of glasses and ice.
As the host, you are the common ground between the various groups of people you have invited. So instead of standing around with your work friends all night talking about townhouses, or mixing drinks at the bar, circulate among the guests introducing people you think will hit it off. Don't spend more than a few minutes in any one group and keep music playing in the background to cover any awkward silences. It also helps if you remove most of your chairs so people aren't tempted to sit down too long in one place. And never turn on the TV.
Keep it Short
Two hours is the optimum time for a cocktail party. That's enough time for people to see your whole condo, meet everyone, and fill up, but not so much time that people start to get bored or restless. To get rid of stragglers, it helps to have something planned for afterward, like a trip to the bar.