6 Appetizer Food Swap Party Planning Tips for Hosts

Food swap parties are loads of fun and offer great benefit for all party guests in attendance–if the host does his or her job. The premise of a food swap is ultra cool-guest invitees bring along a favorite themed dish in multiples to share with all of the other party attendees.

If you want your next food swap party to be a hit, follow this tried and true guide to hosting a food swap party with friends. Appetizers are so varied and versatile–and can be useful for any season, holiday or upcoming event. Hosting an appetizer themed food swap party is a great way to add some ready made appetizers to your upcoming holiday party.

Choose a seasonal or guest list appropriate theme.

Choose a holiday close to your food swap party, such as a Super Bowl event or other holiday theme to get your guests into the party mood. If your guests are less motivated by traditional holidays or mainstream events–choose a food related theme that everyone in your group loves such as pastries or comfort foods and center your gathering on that theme.

Create themed invitations.

Swap parties offer great opportunities for hosts to create homemade or computer generated invitations. Websites such as Punchbowl.com offer a wide range of creative themed invitations that can be customized to fit your food swap party. Or you can get creative with paper, scissors, and card making supplies to create your own specialty invites. Remember–the invitations are the first impression that your guests receive of the upcoming party.

Make it a swap lottery.

Let’s face it–everyone who participates in your themed food swap may not be a culinary genius, so try to ensure that even those without the greatest skills in the kitchen–but, trying hearts–are able to send home personal creations with other guests. Numbering swap entries and forcing a “luck of the draw” keeps guests from both selecting favorites and from feeling left out if his or her swap entries are left behind.

Plan the party online.

Using popular party planning sites or even by creating an event in your favorite social networking site allows food swap party hosts and guests to communicate more freely than ever before. Encourage guests to announce the food item that he or she is bringing so that your food swap party doesn’t receive ten versions of a simple themed dessert.

Prepare guests well ahead of time.

Make sure that your guests bring storage containers to carry home swapped items–or plan to offer those containers yourself. Choose to either have guests pre-portion food swap donations or have cutting and serving tools available for use at the party.

Do not forget the party favors.

While one of the best aspects of a food swap party is that the party involves sharing–there is still room for party favors from the host. This can be as simple as cute recipe cards with ingredients and instructions for all of the food items shared or as elaborate as gourmet, hand-dipped chocolates–but, should not be ignored.
The most important part of any food swap is the sharing aspect. Enjoy sharing the time, recipes, laughs and memories with your friends.

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