253: Create the Perfect Book-Signing Event | Nick Gray

Hosting a Two-Hour Cocktail Party That Makes an Impact

“The biggest benefits come not from our best friends but from our weak ties and our loose connections.” —Nick Gray

When Nick Gray moved to New York City, he didn’t know anyone. He began going to different kinds of events and parties to meet people, but he quickly became disappointed that he still wasn’t connecting with anyone. He soon realized that what he needed were better parties, so he decided to host his own. Through hosting over five hundred of his own parties, Nick learned what a successful party looked like, and people soon sought him out for party-hosting advice.

In this episode of “Authors Who Lead,” I talk with Nick about his book, The 2-Hour Cocktail Party: How to Build Big Relationships with Small Gatherings, and his journey going from hosting museum tours to hosting successful parties.

Introverts and Parties

Even if you’re introverted, hosting parties can be enjoyable and successful. Nick admits that he’s still an introvert at heart and will sometimes still leave his parties to have a few moments to himself. He’s also learned through experience that introverts value knowing what to expect ahead of time at parties. He calls this his “secret weapon” when organizing a party.


Nick urges anyone who wants to host a successful party to think about their goal. If you want to impress important people, start with a smaller party first with maybe friends and neighbors. Learn from your guests what to do better the next time, then plan that all-important gathering.

In this podcast, Nick also shares with us:

  • How his party tips can also help authors plan a successful book-signing party
  • That his book journey took more than five years
  • The best marketing is not waiting in line at the post office
  • It’s important to think about your guest list
  • Diversity is important for a successful party and can include different professions and interests
  • To take group photos at your parties
  • Gentle icebreakers are important to get people comfortable

What was your biggest takeaway from this episode? Are you planning a book launch party or another event? Share in the comments below!

That’s all for this week. If you have a message inside of you that needs to be written, today is the day to start. Don’t delay—take action.

Episode Resource: 

Connect with Nick here:

Other Resources:

Friendship Recession website
Icebreaker Card Games: Questions & Review of 5 Popular 2023 Decks
How to End a Party: Exactly What to Do
Partiful Event Platform: Review and Comparison (2023)
Party Times: Start, End, & Best Times
The 2-Hour Cocktail Party: Amazon

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253: Create the Perfect Book-Signing Event | Nick Gray253: Create the Perfect Book-Signing Event | Nick Gray

253: Create the Perfect Book-Signing Event | Nick Gray