Author Topic: How to best announce a change of future parties due to bad behavior?  (Read 6582 times)

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MurPl1

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Re: How to best announce a change of future parties due to bad behavior?
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2013, 11:47:25 AM »
Actually, the problem is that when you host a party, you provide the venue, food and beverages.  Obviously you would do so in a manner that fits your budget.

You are not doing "a little extra" by providing all of the food, your social circle has been doing "a little less" albeit by agreement. 

And even if you are doing more on the food front than your social circle expects, you are offsetting that by charging for the venue.  And I'm not surprised that your friends did not pitch in.  Yes it was rude of them to accept knowing there was a charge and then not paying it.  But you changed the social contract and will likely be more successful if you adhere to the norms of your group.

You needn't explain to everyone why you are switching back to the group norm of a potluck.  Most likely no one will question it, and will probably be relieved.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: How to best announce a change of future parties due to bad behavior?
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2013, 11:51:29 AM »
Honestly I think part of the problem is you keep using the word "free".  Its not a "free party" by any stretch of the imagination.  Not at all and to continue to use that word is, well, its lying.  And its kind of unfair to expect your friends to be fair to you when you are lying to them. 

I get it you think its "free" because they are free to not have to bring food... but lots of people can bring a potluck dish for 12-15 people for less then $10 cost, so... really you have no ground to stand on with the word "free" - please for the sake of language everywhere, stop using that word.

As for your issue, I think the solution going forward is to require payment in advance (either well in advance or at the door) and to simply not allow entrance to anyone who hasn't paid prior to crossing the threshold.

Yeah, I'm with WN here. $10 is not free.  Especially if anyone is having to get a new outfit or shoes on top of that $10, or if they're bringing a hostess gift.

I would much rather bring something to share with someone. 
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rose red

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Re: How to best announce a change of future parties due to bad behavior?
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2013, 12:09:53 PM »
Honestly I think part of the problem is you keep using the word "free".  Its not a "free party" by any stretch of the imagination.  Not at all and to continue to use that word is, well, its lying.  And its kind of unfair to expect your friends to be fair to you when you are lying to them. 

I get it you think its "free" because they are free to not have to bring food... but lots of people can bring a potluck dish for 12-15 people for less then $10 cost, so... really you have no ground to stand on with the word "free" - please for the sake of language everywhere, stop using that word.

As for your issue, I think the solution going forward is to require payment in advance (either well in advance or at the door) and to simply not allow entrance to anyone who hasn't paid prior to crossing the threshold.

Yeah, I'm with WN here. $10 is not free.  Especially if anyone is having to get a new outfit or shoes on top of that $10, or if they're bringing a hostess gift.

I would much rather bring something to share with someone.

I have to agree.  If you want to charge $10, that's fine, but please acknowledge it's not free just because you are providing the refreshments.  I can actually cook up a large noodle or rice dish for less than $10.

As for your question, I would change it to a potluck (make a sign up sheet) or tell your friends you need the $10 by a certain date to pay for the room.  Let anyone who doesn't sign up for a dish or doesn't pay know they will not be able to attend.

Cheesy Dane

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Re: How to best announce a change of future parties due to bad behavior?
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2013, 12:55:19 PM »
I do not use the word free to my friends. I am only using it here trying to explain myself.

Noone is buying a new outfit or bringing a hostess gift. It is not a formal party.

I live in a small apartment that can seat six people for dinner.

I think some of you are making wild assumptions about my background and I certainly did not expect to come to this board and be called a liar!

Thank you to those who took the time to answer my actual question. :)

MariaE

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Re: How to best announce a change of future parties due to bad behavior?
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2013, 01:07:09 PM »
I think what needs to be pointed out here is that in Denmark this is not unusual! Parties that don't have a GOH will often have a cover-charge of some kind.
 
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Shoo

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Re: How to best announce a change of future parties due to bad behavior?
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2013, 01:16:55 PM »
I think what needs to be pointed out here is that in Denmark this is not unusual! Parties that don't have a GOH will often have a cover-charge of some kind.

I think that unless it is specifically mentioned, people on this board tend to assume we are talking about events in the US, since this forum is from the US.  Yes, there are people from all over the world on this forum, but if they don't tell us where they're from, how are we supposed to know?

NyaChan

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Re: How to best announce a change of future parties due to bad behavior?
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2013, 01:18:34 PM »
OP, I think the pushback you are getting is the knee-jerk reaction many of us have when money is asked from guests at or in order to attend a party.  In my family's culture that would be the height of rudeness and inhospitality, and where I live, it is unusual for friend-parties outside of college where people are essentially paying for the alcohol/risk the hosts take in allowing it in their home. 

Now in your country or your social circle it seems that this is not the case and such arrangements are accepted as normal.  Therefore, the pertinent information is that you usually throw a holiday party where you provide food & drink.  In the coming year, you are still throwing a party, but it will be potluck.  I will be honest and say that some of your guests might not react well to contributing the money for the hall as well as providing a dish (but perhaps this is my own cultural expectations clouding the situation?).  That said, just include in your invitation that you are throwing a potluck holiday party this year and then give the usual information regarding the costs of the hall.  If you have trouble getting people to pay, I would set a deadline before the party for paying and enforce it on the day of the party by not allowing those people in - again, prepare yourself for any problems this might cause in your relationships with those people.  I think this is the most practical way of getting what you want.  I personally don't think it is very hospitable though to provide neither the venue nor the refreshments for a party.   

Lynn2000

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Re: How to best announce a change of future parties due to bad behavior?
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2013, 01:20:07 PM »
OP, it sounds like you've done the "party hall with split cost" thing only twice now, so it probably won't seem that odd or notable to people if next year you do a potluck, especially if potlucks are the norm for other hosts in your group. (Please correct me if I'm wrong on that.) You could just announce that you're doing a potluck for your holiday party this year, with no reference to the format being different from previous years.

I do think that if people understood there was a $10 charge to attend the party, and they attended the party but didn't pay, that's rude. Whether they thought that charge was unusual, unreasonable, or perfectly fine, they chose to attend, and then chose not to pay.

I can see how you might be disappointed to feel you "have" to change formats because of a couple rude people, but unless you actually say, "It's because some people wouldn't pay up!" I don't think anyone would automatically guess that was your reasoning. At least, I should say that I wouldn't automatically guess that, or in any way speculate about why the party format was changing. If anyone does ask, you could just say you felt like doing something different, or that you're looking forward to your friends' signature dishes, or something else that doesn't involve money at all.

I think the other question was about whether to invite John and Jane to the 2013 party, right? If you're going to make it a potluck, you might look at their track record with other potlucks. If they never bring a dish to any potluck, or contribute in any other way, it might be best for your peace of mind to just leave them off the guest list. If they should ask, you could say something about how it's "just a small party this year" (I think a PP suggested that). You might also want to mention to some of the guests you're closest to, "Hey, I'm not necessarily inviting the whole gang this year because I wanted to downsize the party a bit. So, please be careful who you mention it to."

Alternatively, you could do a "public" (open to all invitees) sign-up sheet for the potluck, with many options for bringing food, dishes, cash, etc., so that everyone can see who's planning to attend without contributing anything. If this plus some gentle nudging ("Jane, I haven't heard what you're bringing yet. Can you tell me so I can put it on the list?") doesn't clue people in, it would probably be best to not invite them in the future.

ETA: Okay, now I'm confused. Is the plan next year for a straight potluck with no cash from guests, or an expectation that people will bring a dish and cash?
~Lynn2000

NyaChan

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Re: How to best announce a change of future parties due to bad behavior?
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2013, 01:23:06 PM »
Sorry, I might have misunderstood - the OP said that there would be no cash between her and the guests, but she also said that her apartment was too small to host so I got confused.  My mistake - I guess she is using the money she normally uses for food to pay for the hall instead & then having her friends bring the dishes to pass.

Cheesy Dane

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Re: How to best announce a change of future parties due to bad behavior?
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2013, 02:24:43 PM »
Sorry, I might have misunderstood - the OP said that there would be no cash between her and the guests, but she also said that her apartment was too small to host so I got confused.  My mistake - I guess she is using the money she normally uses for food to pay for the hall instead & then having her friends bring the dishes to pass.

That's exactly what I meant. :)
If I decide to go potluck, there'll be no money involved.

I could of course have specified that I am not in the US, but I actually thought my location showed up on my posts, so that was my bad!

I think I will follow the good suggestions of simply saying in the invitation "this year it will be potluck, so please bring a dish" - and I think I will not invite John or Jane. Why should I get continuously aggravated by their behavior when I can just not invite them?! Sometimes, things are indeed as simple as one might think ... ;)

miranova

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Re: How to best announce a change of future parties due to bad behavior?
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2013, 02:28:13 PM »
I agree that the responses you are getting are due to people's discomfort with the idea of a cover charge to attend a party with friends.  This is not something I've ever experienced.  If this is normal in your culture, that's a different story, but it actually doesn't sound that way from your own description.  It sounds like potlucks are the norm.

If you can't fit 15 people in your home, and you can't afford to rent a larger space, then you can't afford to host a party for 15 people.  And that's not a bad thing, it just is what it is.  It's also a little "off" to keep saying that you are hosting this party, or "giving" this party, you aren't hosting unless you are paying for it.  You are simply organizing it.

It's just not done here to invite people to a party and ask for money.  Potlucks are fine, hostess gifts are fine, but cash?  I would nix that idea for the future.  It just doesn't sit well.

Ceallach

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Re: How to best announce a change of future parties due to bad behavior?
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2013, 06:42:36 PM »
I have announced in the invitation that I would like them to contribute to the cost of the hall.

Is that the acutal language you used? "I would like you to contribute to the cost of the hall"? For some reason, this sounds to me like it could be misinterpreted as being optional. Next time, be more direct, "the cost is $10."

This exactly.   It's why I suggested that payment should be upfront.   Either the cover charge is mandatory - in which case that needs to be super duper clear that's it's the *cost* of entry to the event e.g. not a contribution, more of a ticket price.  Or the contribution is voluntary in which case OP just needs to accept that some people might choose not to contribute.     

OP I'm sorry you're feeling picked on, I do understand the nature of the event that you're running, but if you look at the answers you're getting I think you'd realise that some of your guests possibly think the same way and may misunderstand the obligation.     I agree with your update about just not inviting John and Jane.   Having to play debt collector is bound to ruin your friendship, and if you're so irritated at their failure to pay their $10 it might be best to move on.   Yes, if the obligation was clear and they'd essentially committed to pay their $10 they should have followed through, but there's not really anything you can do about it now.   They weren't required to pay upfront, and they didn't, and as any business owner or event organiser will tell you, that's always a hazard!
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blarg314

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Re: How to best announce a change of future parties due to bad behavior?
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2013, 10:21:50 PM »

If you want to make sure you get the money you want, collect it at the door.

So in the invitations say that you're having a part at X time and place, the cost of admission is $10, and people can buy tickets from you in advance, or pay at the door. Then hire someone to collect tickets at the door of the hall. This makes it clear that you're holding a paid event.

Roe

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Re: How to best announce a change of future parties due to bad behavior?
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2013, 10:40:31 PM »
I agree that the responses you are getting are due to people's discomfort with the idea of a cover charge to attend a party with friends.  This is not something I've ever experienced.  If this is normal in your culture, that's a different story, but it actually doesn't sound that way from your own description.  It sounds like potlucks are the norm.

If you can't fit 15 people in your home, and you can't afford to rent a larger space, then you can't afford to host a party for 15 people.  And that's not a bad thing, it just is what it is.  It's also a little "off" to keep saying that you are hosting this party, or "giving" this party, you aren't hosting unless you are paying for it.  You are simply organizing it.

It's just not done here to invite people to a party and ask for money.  Potlucks are fine, hostess gifts are fine, but cash?  I would nix that idea for the future.  It just doesn't sit well.

I agree. Maybe next year you can cut the guest list in half and host it in your home. 

perpetua

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Re: How to best announce a change of future parties due to bad behavior?
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2013, 01:19:20 AM »
I agree that the responses you are getting are due to people's discomfort with the idea of a cover charge to attend a party with friends.  This is not something I've ever experienced.  If this is normal in your culture, that's a different story, but it actually doesn't sound that way from your own description.  It sounds like potlucks are the norm.

If you can't fit 15 people in your home, and you can't afford to rent a larger space, then you can't afford to host a party for 15 people.  And that's not a bad thing, it just is what it is.  It's also a little "off" to keep saying that you are hosting this party, or "giving" this party, you aren't hosting unless you are paying for it.  You are simply organizing it.

It's just not done here to invite people to a party and ask for money.  Potlucks are fine, hostess gifts are fine, but cash?  I would nix that idea for the future.  It just doesn't sit well.

But the OP isn't 'there'. The OP is in a whole 'nother country and she, and another poster from that country, has indicated that this is not unusual or frowned upon in their culture. She's looking for suggestions as to how to word an invite, not criticism of an accepted way of doing things.

OP, are you hiring the hall for your potluck next year? If so I can see the need for some kind of wording to indicate that the cover charge isn't happening this year. It may be what people are expecting.