analytical Q May-Aug 2000 Sept-Dec 2000 Jan-Apr 2001 Discussion

The Diary
Anne Ku

10 March 2001 Saturday




Almost four years ago, I attended a party which ignited my curiosity about key success factors. I wanted to know what it took to organise a party to remember.

This party didn't serve food -- okay, I don't count a few slices of delivered pizza adequate. There was only beer. Yet, I stayed there way past midnight. Why?

The diversity index was high. There were people from different nationalities and cultures, different types of professions. There was not enough people to form a clique of any sort. The weather was pleasant, so people spilled outside to the lawn and the street. There was plenty to drink. But most importantly, everyone there was single.

I came to the conclusion that high diversity index, plenty to drink, and comfortable surroundings were the critical success factors. Everything else was icing on the cake. By high diversity index, I mean nationality/culture and profession -- enough to make each person interesting to everyone else. Running out of drinks is horrible - I remembered attending a wedding reception once - and toasting the bride and groom with empty wine glasses.

The best party I ever organised was my farewell party in Houston. It started at 5 pm and ended the next day, with several people sleeping over. I had handpicked wines from the Napa Valley a month earlier. But it was really my friend's potent sangria that did the trick. It was spiked with all sorts of liquors, and we dished them out by the potful. The food that my friends contributed and I ordered was ethnically diverse: Vietnamese Springrolls, Thai satay chicken, Jamaican jerk chicken, Filipino baby ribs, French bread, French cheese..... There was live music - piano, violin, guitar, and voice. The most remarkable thing about that night was the thunder and lightning, which struck my neighbour's apartment.

Tonight I hosted another party - a home concert. It was therapeutic for me to clean and prepare for it. The diversity index was high - 21 people from 11 nationalities and so many more industries and job functions. The majority of the guests was single. Perhaps, that's what did it.

Introducing Avalon