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How to Gather a Group of Friends

We all have an innate desire to connect. Our social interactions lead us to more joy and vice versa. Studies have even shown that social interactions help to lower stress levels – that indeed our friends and hobbies can help us to live a longer and healthier life. If you want to build and nurture these connections, one great way to do this is tohost your own event with friends. I have a monthly brunch get-together with friends, which this month we themed out as a coffee taste test.

We tried homemade chai-spiced coffee – smooth and creamy with hints of nutmeg and cardamom, cold brew and bulletproof coffee. For food, we had Kind granola parfait and pancakes with homemade jam – blackberry, peach and strawberry preserves. Ok the pancakes were store-bought, but nobody is perfect. I’m all about easy and simplicity.

Here are some ideas to keep in mind when contemplating how to host your own event.

1)       Who are your circle of friends? What common goals or practices hold these people together – is it sports related or interest based?

2)       Have a goal or theme for the event. Whether it’s catch-up with old college friends you haven’t seen in a while or watching the playoffs or a good bye party for a colleague, figure out the purpose of your meeting. Make sure to communicate that to your party-goers in advance in the invite.

3)       Find a good venue. I like to go with the 3 C’s – central, convenient, and conversational. You want to make sure the location is easy to get to for most people. Convenience aka parking – enough said. Most importantly, you want to choose an environment where people can talk easily amongst themselves and make good conversation. If you choose to host at your home, it can be a bit easier to control the atmosphere and make it more low key. However, a nice dinner at a restaurant or maybe drinks on a rooftop bar are other fun options to consider. Just make sure you’ll be able to find a setting where you’re not shouting over each other.

4)       Depending on the venue, keep in mind the size of your group, which will help dictate how much food/drinks are needed. Everyone can chip in, but as host, the responsibility of food and drinks does fall on you. If it’s at your place, it’s just making sure there’s enough for everyone and being sensitive to any food allergies. If it’s at an outside venue, same rules apply – make sure the menu is diverse enough and there’s not just unreasonably priced finger foods. Expect a drop-off rate of 25%, so invite more people than you’d think.

5)       Have fun, take lots of pictures and find a good # for Instagram