It has been famously said, Know thy enemy. Well, honestly, not all that many people have what could credibly be constituted as enemies. What people do have are guests (some more than others) and occasionally, more ambitious people will decide to throw a get together that includes said guests. Sometimes, the get-together could consist of a couple people all the way up to and including a huge party.
These get-togethers where hosts invite guests should actually be fun. Anything other than that will serve no purpose other than turning the evening into a collection of socially-awkward moments and stress.
In order to make the evening fun for the guests, the hosts must be able to entertain the guests in such a way that the guests are happy that they decided to come. If the guests are unhappy, then all the host has done is wasted their time and their evening.
First, one has to understand who the guests are. Are they employees or employers? Are they members of a mutual club or affiliation? Are they from the local church or are they from a collection of churches? In other words, if one bases the evenings entertainment around the origins of the relationship with the guests, one will be able to more effectively pinpoint the type of entertainment that the guests will enjoy. If you're hiring entertainment for the event, this is especially important. For instance, if you hire a comedian and do not specify that he is performing for a church group, you might end up a devise and embarrassing party.
Keep one thing in mind: a party or get together should be held at the benefit of the guests. It should be for their entertainment and for their appeasement. They should feel like they have made a wise investment of their time and that their presence is genuinely appreciated. This is especially true for corporate events. If you're holding an event to boost company morale to show your workers that you care make sure you hire good entertainment, pay for a catering service, and even purchase favors for all of the attendants.
In addition to this, your party or get together also needs to have some sense of focus before it can even offer a pretext of entertainment. That is to say, what will the evening consist of? Has a dinner been planned? Has there been a set beginning and end of the evenings festivities? In other words, what will the evening consist of? If there is no actual structure to the evening, then it will descend into thorough boredom in no time. You may want to start off with something like a dinner and then move on to some active event like dancing to a DJ or a live band. If not, you may want to consider a comedian or a hypnotist, both of which are often party favorites.
And, most importantly of all, one must entertain guests by giving the guests what they want as opposed to trying to steer their interests into the direction of what the host wants to do. Always find out that the interests of the guests are and what they would prefer to do as opposed to trying to impose what they should like upon them.
Follow these precepts and entertaining your guests whether they be friends, workers, or members of your church and your party will be the talk of the town.