Create the Perfect Party Atmosphere With Math

Throwing the perfect party requires more than just drinks, nice music and delicious snacks. It takes the right number of people to create the atmosphere you want. This formulaic approach to party invitations will help you throw your biggest celebration or the most charming dinner party ever.

Measure your hosting space

First, calculate your hosting space by adding up all the square meters (area or length x width) of the rooms you will be hosting most of the time. Places such as living room, dining room, kitchen and patio. If you can, subtract square feet from large pieces of furniture and other obstructions.

This will be your total usable square footage .

Decide on the type of party

Different party styles require different density of guests. For example, a regular dinner shouldn’t be as crowded as a dance party all night. To determine your density, we’ll use Maxwell Ryan’s calculations at Apartment Therapy (sticking to the “live” category):

  • Gathering : If it’s something more intimate, like a dinner party, you’ll need 15 square feet per guest to create the atmosphere you want.
  • Party : If you have people for cocktails, a little birthday, or general fun, you’ll need 10 square feet for each guest .
  • Rager : If you want to dance and drink all night long at the crazy party of a lifetime, you only need 6 square feet for each guest . Less and people will feel too shy to relax and dance.

Now that you know both your hosting space and the type of group, you can get down to the math.

Calculate the maximum traffic

Your maximum attendance represents the total number of people you can keep on your hosting space, depending on the type of party you are hosting. Here’s how to calculate it:

( total usable square feet ) / ( 15, 10 or 6 square feet per person , depending on the type of party) = Maximum Attendance (MA)

Since density is important to creating the right mood, you need to get as close to your attendance as possible.

Find your real attendance number

However, your maximum traffic is not how many people you should invite. At the end of the day, you have to consider how many people will actually accept your invitation. By all accounts, two-thirds of the people you invite will actually come , so:

MA x (2/3 Percentage of Acceptance or 0.67 ) = Actual Attendance (RA)

You now have an educated guess about how many people will be shown.

Guess the invitations to your clipboard

However, you want to adjust this ratio to get as close to your moving average as possible. To do this, you need to add a buffer:

MARA = prompt buffer (BI)

By getting to know your business analyst, you can find out how many invitations you really need to send out to the party:

MA + BI = Mandatory Invitation (RI)

This will ensure that your party atmosphere matches what you planned.

(Optional) Calculate an unexpected guest buffer

Okay, but what if you expect some of your guests to bring additional people with them? Unless you have a no +1 rule, you need to give yourself some wiggle room. Smooth Weddings’ Patti suggests that in this case, you should expect 115% of the guests you invite . So:

(1.15 x RI ) – RI = Unexpected Guest Buffer (UGB)

This means that the total number of invitations must decrease slightly to accommodate the tags:

RIUGB = your total number of invites (TI)

You have now calculated almost all the possibilities.

An example of party architecture

So what do these formulas look like in action? Here’s an example (numbers are rounded):

Let’s say you want to throw anger into 200 square feet of usable space.

It will look like (200/6) = 33.3333, but we’ll round up to 33 MA.

Now we find the buffer of prompts and required prompts …

33 – (33 x 0.67) = 33 – 22 = 11 BI

33 + 11 = 44 RI

And we will arrange for ourselves an unexpected guest buffer …

(44 x 1.15) – 44 = 50-44 = 6 kill.


44 – 6 = 38 total invitations (TI) to perfectly fill your 200 square feet

These 38 invitations will get you close to the maximum of 33 people. If you want to get the whole formula in advance, you can use this:

If y = square feet per person and z = total usable square feet, then total invites (TI) = ((z / y) + ((z / y) – ((z / y) x 0.67 )) – ((1.15 x ((z / y) + ((z / y) – ((z / y) x 0.67))) – ((z / y) + ((z / y) – ((z / y) x 0.67))

Or calculate MA in advance and use this (it’s a little easier):

(MA + (MA – (MA x 0.67)) – ((1.15 x (MA + (MA – (MA x 0.67))) – (MA + (MA – (MA x 0.67) ))

Now when people ask you how you throw the perfect parties, you can tell them that you are using the power of math.


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