Our Secrets to Meaningful Dinner Party Conversations

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1. Start with the guest list

Great conversation starts with the guest list. Invite friends from different circles of your life who are naturally curious, and watch as new friendships are formed right before your very eyes!

2. Have a presidential party

Thomas Jefferson was famous for hosting dinner parties around specific topics. Begin with an icebreaker, followed by probing, insightful questions on the evening’s subject. Choose someone to “moderate” the conversation with helpful questions and to guide an authentic, interesting exchange. Drawing a blank on topics / questions? Convers(ate) has you covered!

3. Mix + Mingle

Allow 45 minutes of mingling for guests to get to know one another before sitting down to dinner. As the host, circulate the room and introduce your guests to each other by sharing an interesting fact about each to jumpstart the conversation.

4. Banish no man's land

Seat everyone in a way that allows for each person to make eye contact and engage with one another. Make sure your table is arranged in a way that no one is stuck in no-man’s-land at the end!

5. Go screen-free

While there are no dinner party “rules,” it’s always nice to avoid screens and invite people to be truly present. Consider having your guests drop their phones in a big jar or fruit bowl when they arrive!

6. Pass the potatoes

Serving dinner family-style is a subtle, (almost subconscious), way to encourage connection. Sharing food is one of the most time-tested ways to create community.

7. Reflect

At the end of the meal or conversation, ask everyone to write down an insight, an “aha” moment, or something they’d like to remember in a guestbook. Use the guestbook whenever you have people over to capture the memories you created together.

8. Make sure the party never ends

And as the host, be sure to send a post-dinner party “thank you!” Share any references and resources discussed during the course of the evening so that the discourse may continue!

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