From CEOs to clients, hosting business dinner parties is a fantastic way to gather colleagues and customers, and help you add value to your business. Here are some helpful tips to consider as you plan.
Whether you’re trying to land a client, finalize a business deal, or celebrate the success of a coworker, it’s important to have a clear purpose for your dinner party before you get into the details of the event. Grab a pen and a piece of paper and start brainstorming ideas before you begin planning the logistics of the evening.
Date, Time & Guest List
Now that you know the purpose of the dinner party, it’s time to select a date and time that works best for your schedule. It’s important to remember that business dinner parties typically last 2-3 hours, so it can be helpful to plan your start and stop time accordingly. The timeframe will allow you to carve out time for any special toasts, presentations, or speeches too.
Afterwards you can tackle the guest list. It’s important to remember that some people may want to bring their spouses along, so account for “plus ones” when sending out invitations, if it’s appropriate to invite them. Be clear if additional guests are welcome.
While it’s nice to have a dinner party at home, it’s important to remember that hosting at home requires more preparation time for table settings, decorations, and cooking, along with cleaning up after everyone’s left. An alternative is to host at a restaurant or other event space.
If you choose to host at a public venue, you should visit the venue in person in order to determine the best table location and ensure that the ambiance, food, and lighting is up to par. While you’re there, you can reserve your desired tables for the date and time of the event.
If you’re hosting from your home, plan the menu in advance in order to purchase all of the necessary groceries required for the meal. While some restaurants may not offer a custom menu for your event, others may. If you choose to work alongside the restaurant in creating the menu, be sure to tell them if any of the guests have allergies or food restrictions.
Arrive 30-45 minutes before the scheduled start time to make sure everything is in order for your guests and to put any final touches on the table decor.