Essential ingredients of great dinner parties

Seating matters.

I’ve attended dinner parties with incredibly talented, driven individuals. But for whatever reason, the energy isn’t right. People who should be brainstorming and dreaming together end up at opposite ends of the table. Conversation seems forced and inauthentic.

This frustrates me beyond words.

You want people to tell stories.

A dinner can be a long time to sit next to someone in which no connection is shared. Guests don’t need to stay in the same spot all night, either. Make things interesting and shake things up.

Introduce individuals from complementary industries. Instigate unexpected relationships. Create a welcoming environment that acts as the backdrop for stories and connection.

Deliberate planning is the difference between good and great.

When a guest enters a room and knows he’s been considered in advance, a shift happens. Suddenly, he steps up his game. He’s no longer a passive observer and is encouraged to play an active role as participant.

A seating arrangement is an easy way to convey advance preparation. The right pairing of personalities can focus the energy of the party, and proper introductions is a subtle nod to the talents and expertise of those involved. Seating complementary interests next to each other is a detail appreciated by any dinner guest, and, when planned with intention, can optimize opportunities for individuals to shine.

For more tips on hosting a great dinner party, download my free ebook.