Entertaining Survey

cakovalNovember 19, 2007

Hi, I'll just give a brief explanation about my post and why I'm asking these questions. I'm a 4th year Industrial Design student at the University of Alberta. I'm doing research to help me develop ideas about how to design a, Entertaining device which will also assist keeping track of party planning details, invitations, and all party preperations to make planning a party a truly enjoyable experience. I will be using any information I recieve as a basis for making desicions about my project only. I thank you very much for you participation in advance and please feel free to be as elaborate with your answers as you like.

Entertaining Survey:

1. How often do you entertain?

2. How many people usually attend your functions?

3. What type of people do you usually invite? friends, famliy co-workers or other?

4. Where do you usually entertain? At home, or Other?

5. Do you prepare all food items?

6. Do you ever serve food not prepared by you?

7. What magazines do you read?

8. How would you describe your style? (ie. modern, eclectic, minimal, contemporary)

9. Do you usually send out invitations?

  1. What type of food do you usually serve?

  2. What do you usually serve to drink?

  3. Do you play music at your functions? If Yes, what type?

  4. Is the dress at your party formal or in formal?

Thank you once again

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lindac

OK I'll try it.....

Entertaining Survey:
1. How often do you entertain? I have a guest or guests for dinner at least once a week.
2. How many people usually attend your functions? 3 to 4
3. What type of people do you usually invite? friends, famliy co-workers or other? Friends
4. Where do you usually entertain? At home, or Other? At home
5. Do you prepare all food items? Yes
6. Do you ever serve food not prepared by you? Rarely...and only when a friend or family member brings something. No take out food.
7. What magazines do you read? Time, Smithsonian
8. How would you describe your style? (ie. modern, eclectic, minimal, contemporary) Traditional
9. Do you usually send out invitations? No

  1. What type of food do you usually serve? All kinds
  2. What do you usually serve to drink? I usually offer a full bar
  3. Do you play music at your functions? If Yes, what type? Yes, Classical
  4. Is the dress at your party formal or in formal? Depends on the situatioin.
    My most trusted piece of party planning equipment is a card file!
    Linda C
    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 2:39PM
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sherrmann

Here you go:

1. Once or twice a month, if I'm lucky
2.3.&4. Between 2 (another couple or two) and 19 (our kids, spouses, GKs,)
5. At home
6. Yes
7. Once, to prove a point
8. Well, eclectic/traditional? And once in a blue moon, formal
9. No

  1. It depends. Family favorites or requests for us, elegant for friends
  2. Wine, beer if appropriate, soft drinks
  3. Yes. Depends on situation - classical, salsa, some rock
  4. Nice casual, even for elegant dinners

I love to set the table with flowers, candles, even when the whole family is jammed in the dining room, and believe me, it gets very crowded. Best compliment I ever got was when a future SIL said, "I tell stories about how this family eats!" as his eyes bugged out at the dessert cart.

I make the menu, then the shopping list, and then a to-do list that includes housework, shopping, table-setting, utensils and cooking plans, and what I call "Battle Stations" for the last ten minutes or so before the family sits down. It's not as frantic for fewer people, and I try not to ask my non-family guests to help too much.

Sherry

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 8:10PM
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chase_gw

Glad to help a fellow Canuk and good luck with your studies.

Entertaining Survey:
1. Once every two or three weeks in the winter, once a week in the summer
2. Depends, 2 to 4 usually when we are in the city , except for family occasions and then it's 16 plus...however I never consider having family over as entertaining, more like getting together ! LOL At the cottage it is always 8-20 people and is usually entertaining in the sense I am hosting.
3. Always friends and family. If it's a work related thing we usually go out. However if I do entertain business associates it always a more formal affair and usually quite small, 4-6.
4. Both at home and at the cottage. Most of my entertaining is at the cottage.
5. Yes, except of course for cheese, olives etc...?
6. Only if some one else brings it. I never buy prepared items.
7. McLeans, Scientific American, Bon Appetit and Fine Cooking
8. Casual/Traditional
9. Nope

  1. Depends on the season and the reason, all kinds but not a lot of ethnic foods, unless you count Italian...which I serve a lot.
  2. I always offer a full bar but usually end up serving wine and beer.....in the summer I offer coolers as well.
  3. Depends on the function but we always play music from classical to rock. Seems the more people the louder the music!!!
  4. Always informal unless I am having a cocktail party, usually around the holidays.
    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 9:15PM
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craftfetish

Entertaining Survey:
1. How often do you entertain?
I host a few friends for dinner once a week. More official entertaining 5 or 6 times a year.

2. How many people usually attend your functions?
3-16, typically 8

3. What type of people do you usually invite? friends, famliy co-workers or other?
friends and coworkers I consider friends

4. Where do you usually entertain? At home, or Other?
at home

5. Do you prepare all food items?
usually, yes

6. Do you ever serve food not prepared by you?
I don't use caterers or anything like that, but I'll occasionally have guests bring an appetizer or dessert, so I'll serve guest-prepared food. I'll also serve the occasional bakery dessert or bagged salad or whatever. Does purchased and plated by me count as preparing?

7. What magazines do you read?
on theme, Blueprint, Real Simple, Craft
not on theme, Newsweek, Marie Claire, whatever is in the rack at the gym

8. How would you describe your style? (ie. modern, eclectic, minimal, contemporary)
I would describe it as contemporary, though it may come across as more eclectic (I'm in the gradually replacing my hand-me-down, starter furniture & housewares phase of life, so my life doesn't always reflect my style)

9. Do you usually send out invitations?
I typically send electronic rather than written invitations.

  1. What type of food do you usually serve?
    I usually invite more people than I have dining chairs, so I lean more towards heavy appetizer and dessert buffets. For the small, weekly affair we sit down to a 2 or 3 course dinner, grilled if the weather is at all appropriate.

  2. What do you usually serve to drink?
    Beer, wine and lemonade (or non-alcoholic something or other)

  3. Do you play music at your functions? If Yes, what type?
    Yes, whatever indie bands come up on shuffle. It's pretty much never on theme.

  4. Is the dress at your party formal or in formal?
    Informal

Good luck with your project!

Here is a link that might be useful: craftfetish blog (with examples of my random ideas and entertaining style - e.g. purple dinner)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 9:52AM
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gellchom

Well, I don't understand how all of this could be useful, but I'll try.

1. How often do you entertain?

About once a week on average.

2. How many people usually attend your functions?

It varies so much. Friday night dinner, our family plus another family; dinner party, us + 6-8 guests; big party 40-75 people; youth group event usually about 40; organization event 15-100.

3. What type of people do you usually invite? friends, famliy co-workers or other?

Family is out of town, so other than big holidays, friends.

4. Where do you usually entertain? At home, or Other?

At home

5. Do you prepare all food items?

Usually, except for a very big party or for an organizational event (when the organization provides it). "All" food items is confusing -- I don't make my own wine or butter!

6. Do you ever serve food not prepared by you?

[I don't understand how this is different from question 5.]

7. What magazines do you read?

??? What does that have to do with entertaining? Okay, Harper's & The New Yorker.

8. How would you describe your style? (ie. modern, eclectic, minimal, contemporary)

I don't understand -- do you mean my entertaining style?

9. Do you usually send out invitations?

Only for dinner parties or big parties.

  1. What type of food do you usually serve?

This varies with the event. Certainly not the same thing every time.

  1. What do you usually serve to drink?

Depends on the event.

  1. Do you play music at your functions? If Yes, what type?

Only at a big party.

  1. Is the dress at your party formal or in formal?

It depends on the party.
***
I have to say, some of these questions are a little strange and/or too general to answer, and I have trouble understanding how they will help anyone develop an "entertaining device," whatever that is, but I did my best.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 9:03PM
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nicoletouk

To start, I have different areas of entertaining. I have my FIL or parents over for dinner usually once a week, but to my mind that isn't entertaining. If my SIL's family joins us, that is a get-together. We'll have informal dinner parties with another family or two once a month. DH has a large extended family who comes over a few times a year, usually in the summer so we can be by the pool. I do a couple of major holidays a year and usually have a large cocktail party around the holidays.

1. How often do you entertain?
Once or twice a month

2. How many people usually attend your functions?
Anywhere from just another couple/family for dinner, to 20ish for holidays, to 50+ for cocktail parties.

3. What type of people do you usually invite? friends, famliy co-workers or other?
Extended family, friends, co-workers that I would like to be friends, no business entertaining.

4. Where do you usually entertain? At home, or Other?
I usually entertain at home, and just bought this house primarily because it is great for entertaining.

5. Do you prepare all food items?
Small dinner parties, I make almost everything - maybe serve dessert from my fave bakery and my friends usually insist on bringing an appetizer. Pool parties tend to be potluck. Cocktail parties I have probably 70% of the food catered.

6. Do you ever serve food not prepared by you?
Yep!

7. What magazines do you read?
Traditional Home, Better Homes and Gardens, lots of entertaining ideas and menus I see online.

8. How would you describe your style? (ie. modern, eclectic, minimal, contemporary)
Decor - eclectic (though I hate that word)

9. Do you usually send out invitations?
For my holiday cocktail party and kids birthdays

  1. What type of food do you usually serve?
    For small dinner parties I'll serve a roast, braised short-ribs or some kind of fun dinner thing, pool parties get pulled pork sandwiches and the typical picnic fare, cocktail parties are substantial appetizers that don't need a fork!

  2. What do you usually serve to drink?
    I always have beer, wine and pop offered, plus for extended family and dinner parties - a pitcher of one type of cocktail. Cocktail parties get a full bar.

  3. Do you play music at your functions? If Yes, what type?
    I really like those party collection CDs they sell at Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma that match the music to the mood of the event. I especially like martini lounge music from the 50s and 60s.

  4. Is the dress at your party formal or in formal?
    It's usually informal, except for holidays dinners and cocktail parties.

Good luck and let us know how your project turns out! Nicole

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 1:09PM
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Meghane

I'll help out too:
1. How often do you entertain?
4 major parties a year: weekend after New Years, Spring, End of Summer, Halloween, plus small gatherings about once a month.
2. How many people usually attend your functions?
Major parties: ~50-75 Smaller gatherings 2-8
3. What type of people do you usually invite? friends, famliy co-workers or other?
For the major parties: I invite the entire faculty, staff, and student body of my veterinary school, my ex-coworkers, husband's coworkers, and friends (many friends overlap former categories). I also welcome everyone to bring friends. The smaller gatherings are friends. Our families live several hundred miles away, but sometimes we throw a party coinciding with visiting family member(s)
4. Where do you usually entertain? At home, or Other?
Home
5. Do you prepare all food items?
No- dips, salsas, veggies are pre-made and/or pre-cut.
6. Do you ever serve food not prepared by you?
See above. Sometimes people bring items they've prepared for the party, and I serve that too.
7. What magazines do you read?
Rolling Stone, Cowboys and Indians
8. How would you describe your style? (ie. modern, eclectic, minimal, contemporary)
Southwestern with a funky modern twist
9. Do you usually send out invitations?
Never

  1. What type of food do you usually serve?
    Usually snacks except for some small gatherings I make a meal. Sometimes I serve chili and/or soup on the after New Years party.
  2. What do you usually serve to drink?
    Choices of beer, margaritas, mojitos, sangria, plus whatever else anyone suggests or brings
  3. Do you play music at your functions? If Yes, what type?
    Usually we end up singing Karaoke. Yep, we're a huge bunch of dorks. Actually, it's a ton of fun...
  4. Is the dress at your party formal or in formal?
    Informal-I dislike formality. Costumes of course encouraged at the Halloween party.
    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 6:39PM
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sharon_fl

Entertaining Survey:
1. How often do you entertain?
Usually 3 big parties a year...3-4 smaller

2. How many people usually attend your functions? Big parties-25-50; smaller-8-10

3. What type of people do you usually invite? friends, famliy co-workers or other?
Neighbors & friends

4. Where do you usually entertain? At home, or Other? Bigger parties at the clubhouse-smaller-in my home.

5. Do you prepare all food items?
Yes-unless I'm hosting a 'pot luck' style, but I still provide the main entree, etc.

  1. Do you ever serve food not prepared by you?
    No way.
    7. What magazines do you read?
    Home Decorating mags, Southern Living, many food mags
  2. How would you describe your style? (ie. modern, eclectic, minimal, contemporary)
    Contemporary

9. Do you usually send out invitations?
Always-I have fun 'creating a mood & theme' in my invitations

  1. What type of food do you usually serve?
    Depends on the affair..Have done Holiday Breakfasts w/buffet of many food choices, Soups & appetizer type parties, full course dinner parties-Prime Rib, Cordon Bleu, etc; luncheons for gal pals-salads & fancy desserts, have done a few Luaus-lots of items apprapro for a luau, etc.
  2. What do you usually serve to drink? I make sure in my invitation of the beverages I'll be serving & let my guests know they're welcome to bring their own if they choose. I provide wines, beer, soda, 4 types of liquor, coffee. At Xmas-I have Egg Nog also & my breakfast parties-I also serve mimosas & Bloody Mary's.
  3. Do you play music at your functions? If Yes, what type? Always background music..oldies, holiday or theme music-based on my party...but not so loud my guests cannot converse! Ultimately we always end up in a 'sing-along'.
  4. Is the dress at your party formal or in formal? always informal
    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 7:19PM
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kathleen_li

Entertaining Survey:
1. How often do you entertain? once a month, more often at Christmas, and summer

2. How many people usually attend your functions? 12 for dinner parties, 20 to 30 other times

3. What type of people do you usually invite? friends, famliy co-workers or other? Friends, family, co workers who are my friends too!

4. Where do you usually entertain? At home, or Other? Home

  1. Do you prepare all food items? yes

6. Do you ever serve food not prepared by you? only if someone brought something....

7. What magazines do you read? Coastal Living, Taste of Home, Cooks Illustrated
8. How would you describe your style? (ie. modern, eclectic, minimal, contemporary) traditional

9. Do you usually send out invitations? for large parties, yes, sometimes for dinner parties too.

  1. What type of food do you usually serve? filet mignon, crown roast, bbq in the summer

  2. What do you usually serve to drink? wine, non alcoholic bevs. I have everything available, but usually only the old relatives drink Scotch

  3. Do you play music at your functions? If Yes, what type? Yes, all kind, depending on the crowd..

  4. Is the dress at your party formal or in formal? well not black tie, but nicely dressed...summer is different

Thank you once again

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 9:48PM
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steelmagnolia2007

I've never seen an 'entertaining' survey before, but I'd be willing to bet that the people who have responded to this one host parties at least 10 times more often than the average person!

1. How often do I entertain? Well, as nigel-bigel said, it depends on how you define it. During the fall and winter, my children (young adults) usually come over for Sunday night suppers with friends in tow. During the spring and summer, the kids usually go to the lake on the weekends, and I send at least one meal for a group of 15-20. In these cases, I guess I'm the hostess 'in absentia'. :) Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter dinner are all held at my home. We also usually do a holiday party. Then there are family birthday dinners and cook-outs and special meals for my gal pals. So I'd say once every week or two would be a reasonable average.

2. The number of guests ranges from 1 to 75.

3. Guests are always family members and/or good friends.

4. I've hosted two rehearsal dinners in the last year -- one at a fabulous restaurant, and the other at a museum. Other than that, I've never entertained outside my home. (Well, unless you count the fund-raising dinners I've organized...but that wasn't personal entertaining.)

5. Yes, I prepare all the food from scratch.

6. Okay, there is one exception. Fresh Market sells this Cajun crab spread that my family is all addicted to! I often buy it, along with their garlic toast rounds, to serve as an 'instant' appetizer. And, of course, anything a guest brought would be given pride of place.

7. Magazines? Traditional Home, Southern Accents, Southern Living, Cooks' Illustrated, Gourmet. Paula Deen's mag is also good. I used to read Time and Newsweek religiously -- until they turned into propaganda outlets. Now I get my news online....

8. My style is definitely traditional! The napkins are cloth, the flatware is sterling, and there are always lots of flowers and candles.

9. Invitations are usually issued orally, but there are lots of exceptions. To the r.d.'s, they were engraved, of course. For Halloween, I've sent rubber snakes and bloody 'fingers'. For Easter, I've painted 'cracked' eggs that opened up to reveal a poem. For baby and bridal showers, always! For birthday or anniversary or christening parties involving more than immediate family, definitely. But over the years, way less than 1% of my parties have involved written invitations.

  1. The type of food offered varies wildly. Maybe (if you're very lucky) beef tenderloin, with potatoes au gratin and roasted asparagus. Maybe (if you're even luckier) turnip greens and black-eyed peas and cornbread and tomatoes fresh out of my garden. I mostly do Italian, Tex-Mex, and lots of seafood. Oh, and Southern, of course. :)

  2. I always offer beer and wine and soft drinks. But I also 'research' my guests' preferences if I don't know them. Basically, there's always a full bar option.

  3. Our musical tastes are eclectic, to say the least. Country, classical, old-time rock and roll...

  4. The dress isn't necessarily "formal" or "informal". It's just "appropriate", depending on the occasion. I think I must be extraordinarily blessed, because my friends would never show up at a cocktail party wearing jeans or with a child. On the other hand, they'd know instinctively that they could wear shorts and bring their kids to a backyard BBQ. What is so hard about this???

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 11:11PM
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jkom51

1. How often do you entertain?
Used to be a lot (10x yr, big elaborate sit-down dinner parties); now, only about 4x yr, small informal stuff. Family get-togethers are always potlucks (we all like to cook) about 5x yr.

2. How many people usually attend your functions?
2-15

3. What type of people do you usually invite? friends, famliy co-workers or other?
Friends, family, co-workers

4. Where do you usually entertain? At home, or Other?
Home, sometimes restaurants

5. Do you prepare all food items?
Yes, at my house. Family events are potlucks since we're all rabid cooks.

6. Do you ever serve food not prepared by you?
Commercial stuff, you mean, as opposed to potluck? I seldom use commercially prepared foods.

7. What magazines do you read?
Cooking Light, Sunset, Fine Cooking, Cook's Illustrated, Architectural Digest, Fortune, Forbes, USNews & World Report, Prevention, Home, AARP

8. How would you describe your style? (ie. modern, eclectic, minimal, contemporary)
contemporary

9. Do you usually send out invitations?
Yes

  1. What type of food do you usually serve?
    Eclectic: Chinese, Indian, Mediterranean, French, California-bistro

  2. What do you usually serve to drink?
    Good wine along with Martinelli's sparkling for the non-drinkers. No hard liquor but there's cognac, amaraetto and port for those who like it.

  3. Do you play music at your functions? If Yes, what type?
    Relaxing New Age

  4. Is the dress at your party formal or in formal?
    informal all the way

    Bookmark   November 28, 2007 at 11:49AM
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cakoval

Thanks to everyone who responded! I've finished my project and appriciate your help. If anyone would like a copy of my presentation I'd be happy to pass it along.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 5:06PM
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homersgarden

Entertaining Survey:
1. How often do you entertain? Family & friends for dinner about once a week or more (usually people tend to just show up). Bigger events about six times a year.
2. How many people usually attend your functions? Dinners 4 (not including my family) to 10 people.
3. What type of people do you usually invite? friends, famliy co-workers or other? Family, friends and co-workers come
4. Where do you usually entertain? At home, or Other? At home always
5. Do you prepare all food items? Usually I make things. I might buy something like cream puffs from Costco or a salsa/dip (again Costco)
6. Do you ever serve food not prepared by you? Other than the above...maybe a pizza once in awhile
7. What magazines do you read? A Taste of Home, Martha Stewart, Portland Monthly
8. How would you describe your style? (ie. modern, eclectic, minimal, contemporary) MMMM not sure. Pottery Barnish...some French Country.
9. Do you usually send out invitations? For the bigger events always using Evites.

  1. What type of food do you usually serve? I do a lot of mexican food (carne asada tacos are a specialty)
  2. What do you usually serve to drink? Not big alcohol drinkers...beer and pop
  3. Do you play music at your functions? If Yes, what type? Just the music from my Dish Network music channels or mixes I make on my Ipod
  4. Is the dress at your party formal or in formal? Informal thus far.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 1:27AM
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jaybird

Entertaining Survey:
1. How often do you entertain? couple times a month
2. How many people usually attend your functions? 4 - 30
3. What type of people do you usually invite? friends, family, co-workers or other? all of the above...sometimes all mixed up :^)
4. Where do you usually entertain? At home, or other? at home
5. Do you prepare all food items? yes
6. Do you ever serve food not prepared by you? only if the event is pot luck
7. What magazines do you read? mostly all shelter mags
8. How would you describe your style? (ie. modern, eclectic, minimal, contemporary) traditional
9. Do you usually send out invitations? often....sometimes homemade print types, sometimes via email

  1. What type of food do you usually serve? one dish meals...soups, stews, spaghetti, lasgna, taco salad, sometimes bar-b-q since I am in Texas :^). In the summer I often set out a big salad bar with all sorts of things to add to cut up lettuce.
  2. What do you usually serve to drink? Iced tea, water, lemonade and sometimes a punch made of orange juice, lemonade, gingerale and pineapple juice.
  3. Do you play music at your functions? If Yes, what type?Yes, easy listening stuff; lots of times Christian instrumentals or classical.
  4. Is the dress at your party formal or in formal? business casual all the way down to very casual...we are not fancy people although once or twice a year we may do a little fancier party...since we are older folks, the attendees tend to dress a tiny bit fancier.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 2:10PM
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