As the host or event facilitator, you should always be scanning your crowd to ensure that the party or event is unfolding at a good pace. When I host mystery events, during the “investigation” portion of the evening, I am constantly circulating, checking to see if my suspects have a drink and that the “buzz” in the room (the general din created by people questioning the suspects) is high.

I like to eavesdrop on peoples’ conversations to find out how the party is going. While that may sound creepy, as an event host, it’s my job to make sure that everything is going according to my plan, and a host can learn a lot about how people are feeling by overhearing a conversation ? things people won’t tell you to your face because they don’t want to hurt your feelings, or feel as though you have enough on your plate as it is.

Once I overheard someone say to someone else while fanning themselves, “Woah, is it ever hot in here!” which was my cue to get some ventilation going through the room to keep everyone comfortable. I was hot, naturally, because I had been running all over the place, but hearing that my guests were warm as well was vital information for me as the host. I opened the back door to the venue and heard what seemed to be a collective sigh of relief from people ? everyone else was warm too.

Another great example was the time, early on in my career, when I threw a mystery event ? one of my first ? and was circulating while the investigations were taking place. It had been going for a while,  and as I was testing and perfecting our Mingle Mystery format, I didn’t know when the proper time was to end the investigations. While this was a hard lesson for me, it was very valuable, as I overheard someone say, “When are they just going to end this?” I figured out the killer a half hour ago.? OUCH! It hurt. Bad. BUT it also helped me immensely, as that one person’s snarky comment to someone else in the room gave me valuable insight as to what my guests were feeling, and helped me make changes so that my subsequent events were more successful. The very next event, I put a time limit on the investigations and found that not only was the party more successful, but that it also added a really cool sense of urgency, which is a technique I have used ever since, and highly recommend to my clients. If I hadn’t been listening and reading my crowd, it never would have happened.

While the term ‘eavesdropping’ might be a bit extreme for what I’m discussing, the idea is the same. You can get a great feel and read for how your party or event is going simply by listening to people and adjusting your party events accordingly. The more people at your event, the more you should be eavesdropping on your guests to get a feel for how your party or event is being received.

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