The best parties mix the right personalities who arrive ready to meet, mingle, and connect. What are the secrets to creating the perfect guest list and pulling together the most fun party crowd?

Ever enter a party scene and the crowd is buzzing and everyone is talking and having a good time? That party host managed to invite the right people, the ones who add to the atmosphere and fun. Here’s what I recommend for doing just that.

[1] Invite characters. We’ve all got people in our lives that are unique. They love attention and live to socialize. Have at least one person like this on your guest list. They will take the pressure off you as the host, and hold court telling funny stories, acting wild, or dancing up a storm. Their happiness is contagious.

[2] Invite someone new. Get that person you just met and found to be fascinating over to meet the rest of your friends. It will do a lot for your budding friendship, and give the regulars someone new to talk to (or talk about!).

[3] Think about romantic alliances. Nothing is more compelling to a single person that having the opportunity to meet a potential love who has been sanctioned by the group. Do it right! Tell only one person about the other, otherwise it could be too much pressure on both parties. Or have more than one candidate to keep things interesting and see if anything develops.

[4] Ask guests to bring along someone fun. It’s fantastic meeting friends of friends, especially the ones you’ve been hearing about. I have a whole slew of friends that I’ve met through friends. Remember the Girl Scout’s song, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold.”

[5] Stage a reunion. Have old friends that have moved away? Invite them back into the fold. Everyone will have fun catching up, and a party is a perfectly good reason to head back home for a weekend. If your friends can stay with you and help with the party, even better!

Check out our other party plan featuring mini ingredients in 13 Everything Mini