Let’s be honest: one of the best things about Section parties is the food.
A great way to get people excited to contribute a dish to your party is to have a food theme. People seem to have more motivation if they are working within a given theme. You help to narrow down the limitless options into a more realistic list of ideas, AND you make sure everyone feels a part of the event.
Here are a few examples of themes, and how to invite others to participate:
Mexican food. This is usually a crowd pleaser. Enchilada casserole, crock pot barbacoa, taquitos, or a personal favorite — sopapilla cheesecake. Even for those who don’t know a spatula from a spork, they’ll have the option to bring chips and salsa.
Italian food. Again, crowd pleaser. Baked ziti, bruschetta, lasagna, tiramisu — there are so many options.
Pastas. Imagine if you had Hosts bring different types of noodles: penné, shells, spaghetti, angel hair, bowtie, all with both wheat and gluten-free options. Then, various red and white sauces in crock pots. What a unique “make your own” buffet. Hot, fresh breadsticks are an option for those with close proximity to an oven, and salads are an easy addition, too.
Sandwiches & Salads. Again, something easy that helps people build their own. Breads, spreads, meats, veggies, cheeses, and the same options can be added on spinach/garden mixes for salads.
Comfort food. This is so fun because everyone can interpret that theme differently. For some it means an old family recipe from grandma, and for others it’s simply meatloaf.
Thanksgiving/Fall dishes. Some of my favorite foods are associated with Thanksgiving, so fall parties provide the perfect place to eat them once again. Dressing, baked ham, cranberry sauce, and of course, pumpkin pie.
Taco Bar. This can take a bit more coordinating, but it’s worth it. In order to make sure you don’t end up with five bowls of shredded lettuce, have one of your Hosts email suggestions or a sign-up sheet of needs.
BBQ. A year-round theme with delicious and easy additions: baked beans, salad, buns, corn on the cob, etc.
In your weekly email, possibly a few weeks before the party, share the theme so your people can start thinking about what they would like to bring. Two weeks before the party, send out a reminder email of the theme and a few ideas of what to bring. It’s helpful to share what you plan to bring so they know you’re invested. Be sure to ask them to respond and let you know what they are going to bring! The week before, you can send out an email with a list of what people are bringing and suggestions for missing items that are needed.
You don’t have to stop with the food. If you have hosts that enjoy decorating, they can decorate to coordinate with the food theme. Walking into your party with decor in place sets such a fun tone.
Hopefully you feel inspired and a little more equipped to create a theme for your next party. We can’t wait to hear about it!