As we know, Too Much Space is one of the Party Killers. Ok, let's move on from that and go a little deeper...Exactly how should you set up your party space to encourage conversation and flow?
BAD: Setting up all the chairs in a big circle.
Do you plan to play musical chairs? Or maybe hold a group therapy session? Because those are the only time when this setup works. Otherwise, a certain type of group mentality sets in, wherein a few extroverts take over the conversation, and others just sit there, quietly. Gee, doesn't that sound like fun?
BAD: Putting everyone around a table.
Same reason as above. Obviously, this is not the case for a dinner party.
GOOD: Pods! I am a huge fan of little groups of chairs and a small table (an attractive TV tray table, for instance). Pods force small group interaction and intimacy. If you wish to extracate yourself from your pod, simply excuse yourself (to refill your glass, visit the loo, etc.) and upon your return to the party space, saddle up to a new pod.
BAD: Food and drinks in the same spot. This will create a bottleneck of horrific proportions.
GOOD: Food in one space, drinks at least ten feet away, preferably more. When you set food and drink away from each other, you gain a lot of breathing room, plus it causes people to walk to a new location, and possibly talk to new people.
There's a lot to think about when having a party, isn't there? Have some more questions or quandries? Let me know how I can help!