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What Should I, an Average Guy Who’s Throwing a Halloween Party, Do to Make Sure People Show Up?

Step one: Use an ‘A’ list and ‘B’ list

There was something empty in the air this past week — something that hopefully doesn’t carry through into the Halloween festivities. First, the Washington Post reported that no one showed up to a six-year-old’s birthday party at a pizza parlor. “He didn’t understand it,” Sil Mazzini, the boy’s mom told the Washington Post. “If that happened to an 11- or 12-year-old, it would be tough. But he’s so young that he’s fine.”

A few days later, former chief strategist to the Trump campaign and multiple shirt wearer, Steve Bannon, held a campaign event for Republicans at a firehouse outside of Buffalo, New York. But while technically speaking 200 people showed up to the firehouse, none of the actual candidates who were invited were amongst them.

“Bannon had originally been slated to appear with David DiPietro, running for re-election to the New York state assembly, but after the first venue pulled out, so did DiPietro. A couple of hours before the event, Michael Caputo – conservative strategist, organizer of the Bannon event and DiPietro’s campaign manager – still thought DiPietro might actually turn up. Caputo said he had invited all Republicans running for office in the western New York area, but had yet to receive a single reply,” reported The Guardian.

Considering Bannon is an outspoken white nationalist who’s often been referred to as a man who’s recently lost his mind by another man who presumably lost his shit a long time ago, the no-shows aren’t so much surprising as they are perfectly expected. But Bannon aside, if you’re throwing a party this Halloween season, there’s always a chance that, well, no one shows up. So what next?

It’s always a possibility that your party’s a bust, but what are some actual reasons why no one is going to show up?

According to Joshua Johnston’s article in Mumbling Mommy, one reason why people may not show up to your party is because, well, we all live increasingly busy lives.

And we’re not necessarily talking about bad stuff. I mean, what’s not to like about Girl Scouts, the arts or kids being physically active and learning things like balance and sportsmanship? But, oh, how fast it multiplies on the calendar! That makes it nigh impossible to come up with, say, a birthday party date that a group of people can all make happen in their schedules,” writes Johnston.

Not to mention that social media has taken away our incentive to get together, Johnston adds.

Okay, but I’m not talking about throwing a party once a month, I’m talking about a Halloween party that happens, at most, once a year. So what can I do to make sure that I’m not doing keg stands by myself?

First and foremost, if you’re over the age of 21 and you still consider keg stands to be a regular party activity, you’re going to be alone… forever. But more importantly, according to Allyson Joseph, co-owner of Bob Gail Party Planning, and who’s never once in her 17 years as a party planner thrown an event where no one shows up, the key is setting the right tone with the invitation. “A fabulous invitation really opens the door,” she says. “It’s the first tease, and so, you want to make a statement.”

Additionally, Joseph suggests creating an “A” list and a “B” list so that you have extra people in case some don’t show up. “We request RSVPs, and if we don’t hear back, we reach out to confirm they’re attending,” says Joseph. “You can also send secondary invitations out to a ‘B’ list in case not enough of the people you originally send the invitation to can make it.”

Any other hot tips for making sure I’m not chasing vodka with candy corn as I sit alone on the couch waiting for my guests that will never arrive?

“Host the event near where most of your guests are coming from,” says Joseph. “And if that’s not an option, make sure the guests that can’t make the drive have the option of using alternative transportation.”

I don’t have that kind of money, and now I’m really starting to worry now that no one is going to show up.

In that case, heed this advice form Bree South, owner of Trails, Trinkets and More, who learned her lesson in sixth grade when she threw a Halloween party and no one showed up. Here’s what she took away from the experience according to her post on Quora:

  1. Never host a party on a holiday.
  2. Never invite people you halfway know (this includes your Twitter friends).
  3. Never do something that can destroy your already dusty self-confidence while developing depression.

Admittedly, that last rule is oddly specific, but it makes a good point in that, if you’re the type of person who’s already feeling shaky about yourself, setting yourself up for disappointment by throwing a Halloween party isn’t a great idea.

So I didn’t listen: I threw the party anyway, and well, no one showed up. What should I do now?

The good news is that you probably have a ton of food to eat over the next week or so. The bad news is that, well, based on the results of your party-throwing arrogance, you’ll be eating most of those mini-croissant wrapped sausages by yourself. I hope you’re hungry.