5 Tips to Help You Get Vancouverites to Show up to a Party
by Yvonne Hanson
Vancouverites are notoriously flakey. If you have ever lived outside the city, you have very likely noticed how challenging it is to make and carry out plans with anyone who has spent too much time here. Vancouverites are so flakey, in fact, that it is often difficult to host parties in spaces that have not already established a reputation for hosting good parties. Planning a party weeks in advance, only to have everyone bail at the last minute is an unfortunate scenario that many of us have experienced. Luckily, there are a few things you can do in the weeks and days leading up to the party to help secure an adequate attendance.
1. Provide Food
It doesn’t have to be good, and there doesn't have to be a lot, but if you tell people in advance that you won’t be providing food, no one will show up. Never include the potential lack of food in the Facebook event description, ever.
2. Tell each guest to bring a specific food/ drink item
You don’t want to break the bank buying enough food to keep everyone grazing pleasantly all night, but you can’t just set out a single bag of chips and call it a party. Instead, use the need for food as an opportunity to make your guests feel like their presence is important. Tell one person to bring chips, and another person to bring dip. Put someone in charge of veggies, and someone else in charge of dressing. This way, no one person has to foot the entire bill, and everyone feels like their presence will improve the party in some way. If you’re co-ordinating through Facebook, post a list of who-is-bringing-what to the event page. This tells guests that a) other people are coming, b) there will be food and c) people will notice and care if they bail because the item they promised to bring will also be missing.
3. Approach guests individually
Extend an invite personally and name-drop mutual friends who you have also invited. Ask them what food/ drink item they would like to bring and show them that you are excited about their presence and grateful for their contribution. Ask them if they have anyone they want to bring along, and assure them that their friends are welcome and appreciated.
4. Have guests collaborate on party plans
This is easiest to do if you’re co-ordinating through Facebook. Make a poll asking guests what foods they would like to eat/ bring. Post questions to the event page to generate discussion, ie. “Playlist recommendations?”, “Whats everyone’s favourite cocktail?”, “Can you bring an instrument?”. This gives guests a chance to get familiar with each other before showing up at a party that could potentially be full of strangers. Guests can get a feel for the vibe and energy of the party by reading through other guests’ responses.
5. Remind everyone that the party is happening
A week before the party, write a note on the event page and message your core guests to remind them that the party will be happening on X date. The day before the party, touch base with as many invitees as you can. Remind them that the party is tomorrw, tell them you are excited to see them, and ask if they are planning on bringing any other guests. By reaching out to people individually, you are letting them know that their presence is noticeable and important, and that you want them to be there and are willing to put work into making sure they show up.