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4 weeks ago

How to Be a Good Host: Personality Traits, Tips and Etiquette Rules


Do you want to be a memorable host this Christmas season? Read on to discover the rules, tips and skills that will make you a fabulous host!

Whether in your bar or at home, being a good host is an art, especially for events during the Christmas holiday season.

How to Be the Best Host: Understand Your Guests

First, you have to understand who your guests are and the objective of your event, whether it’s for a business or a social purpose. Hosting in social spaces is different from hosting in corporate events, each has its proper protocols.

Once you have that distinction clear, there are some general rules that apply for both.

For instance, be sure to pay attention to allergies. If you’re having a small group of guests at home, ask them directly if there is any food or drink they avoid. Maybe you don’t know who of your five guests hates the smell of strong blue cheese, for example. By asking beforehand, you demonstrate interest and care for your guests and their preferences. 

In other words, a good host takes care of the guests’ well-being.

Qualities of a good host

1. Planning 

Take time beforehand to consider what kind of event you are going to host and what you will need to buy and prepare in order to offer an amazing experience for your guests. Plan so that you can work calmly and happily during your preparations so when your guests arrive, you will be truly delighted to receive them, with every detail in place. 

There’s nothing that gives a poorer image of a host than when your guests or invitees have arrived at the party or dinner and see you running around, stressed or fighting with someone that is helping you because the food hasn’t arrived on time or, even worse, that  there is no tequila for the cocktails you were hoping to serve.

One valuable tip: Create a schedule with the hours and days that you will need in order to have everything ready before your guests arrive.


2. Organization

Make a checklist of: 

  • Food and drinks to buy or order  
  • People to invite
  • Decoration details to create a nice atmosphere  

And don’t forget—if you’re buying something by Internet, for example, be sure to do it in advance so it arrives on time.


3. Consideration of space 

Creating an atmosphere is very important. Think about the size of the space you have available. Having a very big place and very few people will result in a lackluster gathering, without ambience or energy! Likewise, if you have a very small space and it’s packed with people, it will be uncomfortable. So, consider this detail first, before deciding how many guests to invite.

My recommendation that will help you be the perfect host is to be very careful in selecting the people you plan to invite. Choose guests that you know very well, whether it is for a hospitality trip, a dinner at your house or a business conference.


4. Choose the right guests for the right moment  

Keep in mind that some people simply don’t mix well. Just understand and know that when the people you decide to invite know each other, a more relaxed and intimate experience will be likely. Of course, in business meetings and gatherings this aspect is more difficult to control. 

Remember that one of the functions of the host is to “move the energy” around and include the whole group, so try to dodge or reroute sensitive or controversial topics that may cause stress, like religion and politics. Also, have plenty of entertaining or interesting stories or topics on hand to share.

One more important detail that will help you reach super host status is taking care of the atmosphere. 


5. Create a unique atmosphere 

Creating the right atmosphere or mood refers to things such as lighting, music, candles and even the aroma of the space where your invitees are gathering. 

Music

Choose the correct music for the space. Take the time to find perfect playlists or even create a special one for your guests so that from the time they arrive until they leave there is pleasant, festive music filling the air. Remember that after 1 am and a couple of tequila cocktails, you will probably need more high energy music! The same applies for business gatherings: choose appropriate music for the moment.  

 

Light 

Lighting is very important and many people don’t give it enough consideration. Choose a nice cozy, warm light to illuminate all of your spaces. 

A warm light is ideal for a dinner or a personal event, for example, and a white light is often more suitable for office events. 

Think about having some candles. Lamps that are at floor level or indirect light also works well. It’s not always about the number of bulbs you have on the ceiling but about creating a special atmosphere.

Aromas 

Be careful if you’re serving very strong food and choose pleasant, subtle aromas like vanilla to foster a cozy atmosphere, or citrus for a “cleaner” one. Make sure this is on your pre-gathering checklist!

It’s all about small details

It is true that a good experience is based on small details and how you use them to charm your invitees. Remember: life is about small details and even more so in the hospitality industry.

An experience becomes unforgettable to your guests when you pay careful attention to small details. Some hotels and restaurants are experts on these.

Remember: the food can go wrong in a restaurant. A lot of things about the drinks can also go wrong. But if you take care of your guests with small well-done details and with impeccable service, you will ensure their delight. 

The contrary is also true—the food can be great, but if the service and the overall experience is awful, clients will leave unhappy and give you a bad recommendation.

Remember to offer the very best experience from the beginning. In the case of a restaurant or a bar, the moment starts when a guest books online or makes a reservation by phone or WhatsApp. It’s the same when you’ve invited your friends! What if you design an invitation and share it in a WhatsApp group with the guests? The experience begins with small details…You have to make them feel welcome and appreciated! 

What about drinks?

So, in which order do you offer drinks to your guests and what do you need to have prepared? 

The moment your guest arrives, offer them all the alternatives that you have at your bar. You can welcome them with a special cocktail as well as finger food alternatives. 

Maybe your friends are tequila lovers. In this case, you will have a nice Margarita ready for them upon arrival. If you don’t know them very well, then have an opened bottle of red wine ready and waiting. Be sure to also have a bottle of white wine chilling in the refrigerator. Have gin or vodka bottles ready in case somebody asks for a gin tonic or a martini. Don’t forget to buy mixers like ginger ale, ginger beer, tonic water, sparkling water, lemons and plenty of ice! 

Finally, don’t rush! Serve your friends with the best attitude. And maybe, if you are the kind of host that loves to show off your spectacular bartending skills, put a little table in the living room where guests can actually watch you prepare the drinks. If you have premium spirits like Altos tequila, you can be sure to delight your guests and gain their affection for being the best host.