Getting your guests to leave on time
April 24, 2009
While most people remember the party decorations, food and entertainment at an event, an overlooked element of the party planning process is marking an end to the evening.
But how can you do this without upsetting your guests?
One surefire way to let people know there's a set schedule is to write when the party is slated to end in the party invitation. But be sure to factor in saying goodbye to everyone, including slow movers. An 11 p.m. cutoff may realistically mean the last person will leave your house closer to midnight.
If you don't plan on sending invitations, or just plan to get in touch with people through the internet, there are other ways to let people know it's time to leave.
Slowly turning on the lights, like when a bar closes or a movie ends, is a good and subtle way to let people know it's time to head towards the door. It may still take some time for people to leave, but at least the process has begun.
Finally, try offering goodie bags or door prizes at the end of the night, which most people will recognize as a sign that it's time to go home.