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How to Host a Party and the Importance of a Photo Booth

by Nicholas Rhodes
Last Updated on August 24, 2023
Party scene illustrating nick gray's guide on how to host a party

Throwing a party is a lot of fun. It’s a great excuse to bring people together, whether it’s old friends or new ones.

Others may think it can be a lot of work, but with these 5 key steps, you’ll see how easy and stress-free it is to host one for your friends and neighbors.

There’s also one element that should not be overlooked: having a photo booth

In this post, we’ll show you the key steps from Nick Gray’s book to ensure a great and successful cocktail party:

  • Build your guest list and collect RSVPs
  • Wear name tags 
  • Send a series of 3 reminder messages

If you’re planning to host a cocktail party, read this post to learn a few things to keep in mind. 

WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO NICK: He’s hosted hundreds of networking events and cocktail parties for people all across the world. The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times wrote about him, and he’s started and sold two multi-million dollar companies. Every place you go requires a little bit of a different style of party to make sure your guests are begging you for an invitation to the next one. 

Infographic of the party runway, a three-week plan for successful party planning
Use the party runway to plan and prepare for your party in three weeks.

The Party Runway

Nick wants to make sure that you give yourself at least three weeks to plan the party, and he calls it the party runway. 

It will give you enough time to fill up your guest list and buy a few necessary basic supplies like drinks and some snacks. 

You’ll use the runway for these specific things, in this matter:

  1. Send a message to your core group or close friends. Invite them first!
  2. Create an RSVP page.
  3. Lock in your first RSVPs.
  4. Then send invitations to other prospective guests.

Collecting RSVPs and Event Descriptions

Collecting RSVPs will drive attendance and will show social proof for people to attend your event, and it will make it easier for you to send reminder messages.

Read Nick’s favorite platforms and pro tips for each in the article that he wrote.

You also need to include all the relevant information about your event. Add photos of you (the host) to spice it up. Make it fun and enticing for people. 

A variety of name tags and icebreaker games for parties
Nick gray emphasizes the importance of name tags and icebreakers at parties to help guests connect and engage.

Name Tags

Nick always feels so strongly about having name tags and icebreakers. He posted some reels, YouTube shorts, and even memes about it. 

Name tags help make a safe space for people to meet new friends. He has written an entire chapter in his book all about name tags and why you should use them

Icebreakers serve as both introduction and conversation starters. It massively improves the odds of new connections and conversations.

Nick will teach you how to properly execute icebreakers here.

Illustration showing how to end a party on time without hurting feelings
Learn from nick gray how to end your party on time without ruining any connections.

Provide a Photo Booth

Photo booths have become a popular addition to parties of all kinds, from weddings or corporate events to happy hour events. 

Not only do they provide a fun activity for guests, but they also offer a unique way to capture memories of the event.

Here are the four important steps if you’re planning for a photo booth:

  1. Choose a theme: Choose a photo booth that fits the overall theme of your party. Like, a vintage-themed party with antique props and sepia-toned prints. 
  2. Find a vendor: Find a reputable and experienced vendor. One that offers customization options and high-quality prints.
  3. Decide on the placement: Consider the space available and the flow of the party when deciding where to place the photo booth. It should be in an easily accessible area that doesn’t interfere with the rest of the party.
  4. Spread the word: Let the guests know about the photo booth and encourage them to use it. Consider including information about the photo booth on invitations or including signage at the party

End the Party on Time

Many hosts struggle in ending their party. Asking people to go home is never fun. 

But don’t worry! Nick never lost a friendship or ruined a connection by ending his events in time. In fact, people thanked him for it. You can do it, too!

In this article, Nick will show you exactly how to gracefully end your party and how to handle people who don’t want to leave.

Nick’s tip: Always list a start and end time for your party on your RSVP page. Set the expectations that your party will end at a certain time, in this way, people will show up on time, you’ll boost attendance, and everyone will know that it’s not an all-night happy hour.


Throwing a party with a photo booth is fun and easy!

Your guests will definitely thank you for connecting with friends and capturing memories with your photo booth.

Remember, follow these key steps from Nick’s book, The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, and you’ll have an amazing experience as a host and enjoy your event:

  • Give yourself at least three weeks (a.k.a The Party Runway)
  • Collect RSVPs
  • Sending three reminder messages
  • Use name tags and icebreakers
  • Provide a photo booth
Nick gray, an entrepreneur, author and expert party host
Learn from nick gray, the host of hundreds of successful networking events and cocktail parties across the world.

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nick Gray is an entrepreneur and author living in Austin, Texas. He started and sold two successful companies: Flight Display Systems and Museum Hack. Nick is the author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, a step-by-step handbook that teaches you how to build big relationships by hosting small gatherings. Over 75,000 people have watched his TEDx talk about why he hates most museums. He’s been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and New York Magazine called him a host of “culturally significant parties.” Visit his websites at www.nickgray.net and www.party.pro or find him on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

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