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How to Host an Event-Viewing Party

What’s better than hunkering down on your sofa to enjoy a big event on TV? Throwing a party, so you can watch it with all your friends.


  • Step 1: Optimize the seating Arrange seating around a coffee table facing your largest television. If you have smaller TVs, place them where guests could miss the action, like in the bathroom and near the buffet table.
  • TIP: Try to have a flat surface within reach of every seat so guests have a place to rest their plates and drinks.
  • Step 2: Organize a pool Prepare whatever betting grid or handouts are required for a pool. Make sure you provide enough pens or pencils for guests to fill out ballots. Have small favors on hand as prizes.
  • : Several states officially bar all gambling, including pools in which the organizer does not profit. Know your local laws before organizing a pool involving money.
  • Step 3: Set up a self-serve bar Set up a self-serve bar near the TV, but not in a position that will force people to walk in front of the TV to get a drink. Keep beer, soda, and water in ice-filled plastic tubs.
  • TIP: Whip up some cocktails and snacks that go along with the theme of the night.
  • Step 4: Plan a drinking game Plan the rules for a drinking game, when everyone takes a sip or does a shot if certain cliches are uttered or—if it’s a sporting event—certain plays are made.
  • : Don’t drink unless you’re of legal age. Drink responsibly, and never drink and drive.
  • Step 5: Cook in advance Make a one-dish crowd-pleaser that you can prepare in advance and guests can grab whenever they like, such as a tray of lasagna or a pot of chili. Set it up alongside a big salad, a basket of rolls, and plates, napkins, and utensils.
  • Step 6: Spread out the snacks Divide appetizers and snacks among several plates and bowls, and place them so everyone can conveniently reach for a treat.
  • Step 7: Humor the nonfans Cater to guests who have zero interest in the Big Event by setting up an area away from the action where they can congregate to talk, eat, and perhaps watch something else.
  • FACT: Football fans devour more than 40 million pounds of avocados, mostly in the form of guacamole while watching the season's big game.

You Will Need

  • Strategic seating
  • A betting grid or ballots
  • Pens or pencils
  • Small bills to make change
  • A self-serve bar
  • Ice-filled plastic tubs
  • A drinking game
  • A one-pot dish
  • A big salad
  • A basket of rolls
  • Plates
  • cutlery
  • and napkins
  • Snacks
  • Small plates and bowls
  • Themed cocktails
  • Shots

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