8 Types of People You Must Invite to Have a Perfect Party

Events live or die by their attendees, so consider the theory we call “the Tipsy Point”: 20 percent of partygoers generate 80 percent of the fun. The rest of us suck down drinks and ride their wave

The DealmakerThe Dealmaker

“Wait—you’re a screenwriter! You have to meet my friend Julia. She’s a director!” Well connected and pathologically helpful, the Dealmaker is the jack-of-everybody’s-trade. Guests who stand around this person will land
a new job—or at least a few Linked- In invitations—
in less than five minutes.

The BroadcasterThe Broadcaster

Phone in one hand, cocktail in the other, the Broadcaster’s enthusiastic cries of “Oh, my God, this is the best party ever!” may seem over-the-top, but a loud, relentlessly impressed guest keeps the mood up and the energy high.

The NannuThe Nanny

Party guests are a lot like toddlers (spilling drinks on themselves, spontaneously crying), so a host needs a type A caretaker—the one who’s always asking, “Can I help?” Say yes. She’ll smooth over the faux pas while you tend to other things.

The ImproviserThe Improviser

This funny fellow has taken so many classes at the Ground-lings and at the Upright Citizens Brigade that he responds to even the most outlandish banter with “Yes, and….” For him there’s no awkward comment or deafening silence that can’t be alley-ooped into a decent punch line.

The Bullsh*tterThe Bullsh*tter

“You should totally quit your job and audition for The Voice. Why not? You’re smart, talented, telegenic—Pharrell would love you! Age doesn’t matter.” You can do anything you want in this life—anything except believe what comes out of the BS-er’s mouth, but that’s OK. After a drink or two, everyone enjoys that hyperbolic voice of nonreason. After all, an ego boost makes meeting new people a lot easier.

The StarThe Star

She’s an instant anecdote, a glamorous (possibly famous) visitor other guests will want to interact with if only so they can later say, “Guess who I met!” By the way, fame is relative, so if you don’t know Angelina Jolie, the runner-up from last season’s
Project Runway will do just fine.

The CraftsmanThe Craftsman

He’s got the dream job—meaning a skill some people consider a hobby (woodworking, home brewing, tanning leather) that allows him to grow a long, bushy beard, work four hours a day, and date beautiful, successful women (see The Star) who support his vision. He’s the straight dude’s aspirational man crush—every party needs one.

The Real DealThe Real Deal

She climbed Mount Everest at 40 and ran her first marathon at 50. The fact that she showed up at your shindig—during the few weeks she’s not being a human shield protecting elephants from Kenyan ivory poachers—will have guests marveling at your depth of character. You’re instantly more important by association.


The Envelope, Please…

The classiest way to get people to 1) RSVP “yes” and 2) actually show up requires a digital as well as traditional approach

“A ‘Save the Date’ is always a good idea—people’s schedules are so crazy—and you can do that by e-mail. Evite was a great idea, but because of the site’s ads, the sentiment of inviting someone to dinner has become a business opportunity. Paperless Post is better; at least there is some attention to detail in design there. But if you don’t want your guests to flake, put a piece of paper in the mail. If you can do something printed, metallic script is in, as are vintage mint-condition postage stamps [available on eBay].”

Audrey Woolen
owner and creative director, Urbanic Paper Boutique