“And The Current Time And Temperature Is…”

Posted by Dave

Two of the most-overlooked keys to any party’s success – or failure – are (as you may have already figured, from today’s title) time and temperature.

As the host of an event, your own personal sense of time is less important than that of your guests. Your best results will always come from pacing the evening according to the majority of them.

This hit home last week when I played for a party held at a local culinary arts academy (that’s a cooking school, to you and me.) The dinner was served in the “French” style – which is to say, it took about two-and-a-half hours to for the guests to work their way through from soup to dessert.

From my vantage point, that appeared to be a bit on the leisurely side for most of the guests. I’m guessing they hadn’t all been informed that there would be lots of time for visiting (or even short naps) between courses.

Temperature and – to a lesser extent, humidity – are the best friends and/or worst enemies that most parties can have. Guests who are comfortable stay longer and enjoy the event more – because they are comfortable. Let the thermostat drift either north or south a few degrees from 74 (Fahrenheit), and you will start losing customers.

A political rally for which my band played recently ran well past its scheduled finish time (several “5-minute” speeches clocked in closer to 20). I saw the banquet captain quietly turn up the ballroom’s thermostat, and knew exactly what he was doing. The combination of less air conditiong in the room and hot air pouring off the stage sent all but the most rabid partisans heading for the exits. (Works every time. But when it’s your party, you probably won’t want it to.)

As host and planner of your event, you will have a million details to consider. Okay – that’s an exaggeration – you will have two million.) All of them contribute or detract from the success of your party. Just remember 2 things: that some of those two million are more important than others, and that 2 of the most important make up the title of this entry.


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