The Roles

THE HOST

The Host is the person who oversees the whole party.  They set the theme and details and coordinate the helpers and the guests.  It’s also the host who manages the money and makes sure all of the other roles have everything they need to do their job.  Using the Zokos website makes a host’s life much easier.

Helpful Hint:

Need a good theme for your party?  Pick something simple that everyone can participate in.  While a ‘dress up like your favorite member of KISS’ party might be a blast, not everyone has massive amounts of face paint and leather pants.  Try something like an “all black and white” party or a simple Italian-themed soiree.

Link:

Themes

THE CHEF

The Chef is the main cook responsible for making sure all the attendees have great food.  Whether it’s just a small meal or a large gala, the chef gets the groceries and helps prepare them.  The chef also needs to make sure that there’s enough silverware and plates for everyone coming.  If you’re worried you won’t have enough help, invite a friend to be your sous chef.  They can chop veggies or run last minute errands.

Helpful Hint:

Don’t have enough plates or utensils?  No worries!  Instead of spending money on disposable place settings just ask your guests to bring their own!  It saves money but also gives them a way to take leftovers home.

Link:

Serving Calculator 

THE BARTENDER

The Bartender is the person who makes sure that everyone has a drink in his or her hand.  While this might mean mixing a great cocktail or picking out a wonderful bottle of wine, it also involves making sure those who don’t drink are properly hydrated.  The Bartender also makes sure there are glasses, mixers, stirrers, corkscrews and other drink-related items.

Helpful Hint:

Keep it simple!  You don’t need to stock a full bar for a simple party.  Maybe the event is a beer or a wine tasting or perhaps you set the theme as a mix-your-own cocktail affair.  Have everyone bring a mixer and then supply you basic liquors – gin, vodka, whisky and rum.  If that’s not your flavor, pick a ‘theme’ cocktail and offer a few kinds of wine and a few kinds of beer.  Let’s not forget, not everyone drinks so think of a fun non-alcoholic cocktail.

Links

Drink Recipes

THE DJ

The DJ plays a critical part in getting the party started off right.  Whether that means plugging your iPod in or setting up a full sound system, it’s important to have a little music playing in the background.  Find a DJ whose taste closely matches the theme so you don’t have heavy metal at your formal sit-down dinner or a Beethovan Symphony at a backyard bbq.

Helpful Hint:

People have very different tastes in music, but everybody like’s a good beat to set the tone and break the silence.  Plan the playlist in advance but be ready to change or add songs as the event continues.  Start out with something a little poppier at the beginning and slow it down with some jazz while people are actually eating.  This will give them time to chat with each other without having to scream.

Link:

Playlists:

THE DISHWASHER

While often underrated, the dishwasher makes sure the host isn’t left with a pile of dishes to do and nothing to eat on over the next couple of days.  The dishwasher also can help clear the tables and tidy up the kitchen so that the host can keep everyone happy without having to scream over the noise of the sink.

Helpful Hint:

Minimize the number of dishes while maximizing the experience.  People always forget which plate or glass is theirs so be creative with ways to differentiate one from another.  A simple way of doing this is to use different colored plates or cups.  While it won’t assure that everyone only uses one plate and one drink, it will at least cut your work down a little bit

Links:

Check out these great charms

THE TABLE-SETTER

This role is pretty self-explanatory, but for those needing more of a description, the table-setter makes sure everything looks great at the table.  If the event is more of a potluck, the table-setter makes sure all of the plates and silverware are accessible and that the foods are arranged in a fairly sensible order.  For instance, if you’ve got salad on one side of the table and dressings on the other than people are going to be bouncing back and forth disrupting the line.  Other than that, the table-setter should make sure there aren’t a bunch of empty dishes laying everywhere and that things look beautiful.

Helpful Hint:

If the event is a potluck or more of a buffet, it’s a great idea to label the dishes so that everyone knows what’s being served.  If you’re feeling extra adventuresome list the ingredients, a small description or the recipe for everyone to read.

Links:

Guide to table setting

THE VALET PARKER

While this one isn’t for everybody, swanky affairs might call for someone to help park the vehicles.  Nothing is more impressive than dropping your keys at the door and strolling right into the party.  It certainly beat driving around looking for parking.

Helpful Hint:

If you don’t have the money to hire a crew of professional parkers try seeing if some of your friends or neighbors wouldn’t mind serving as the valet for the evening.  You can pay them with free food and even give them a little tip at the end of the night.

Link:

Hints on Valet Parking for an event  

THE LOCATION PERSON

If you love throwing parties but just don’t have a great place to host them, the location person is for you.  The location person lets the host use their house or space to hold the event.

Helpful Hint:

Pick venues that are centrally located and easily accessible.  Make sure it’s very obvious how to get in the house be it by ringing the doorbell, walking in or calling a phone number.  If you need a bigger space think of larger office or community spaces that could serve as a great party place and look a little livelier in the process.

Link:

Preparing your house for a party

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