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Give & Taste

This experiential concept was inspired by Priya Parker’s book The Art of Gathering. Written in 2018, the book gained new resonance during the pandemic and was top of mind for me as we started to gather in person again. Priya helps people create experiences which are far more personal, strike the right balance between structure and free-flowing, encourage attendees to let their guards down and create room for ‘good controversy’.

I designed this experience around a dinner party, with hopes to create gatherings that were unique and specific to those in attendance. The approach provided structure, but ensured there were no hard and fast rules. Tailored guides were included to be suggestive and helpful, but the event is designed to ebb and flow.

A Dining Experience with Intention


Identifiying the audience
Prior to assembling guests, the host would take a short survey to help them identify the audience and structure for their event. They could be assembling a group of people who are potentially meeting for the first time or have only surface relationships (colleagues, neighbors, friends of friends, distant relatives, etc.) or they might be bringing people togehter who have the need or desire to dig deeper in their knowledge of one another (a tight circle of best friends, a grief group, a faith group). 

Hosts have the option of including a collection of dinner table settings with place mats, napkins or they can choose a pared down version with simple place cards to set the table. A toolkit arrives with cards and  components that include a series of prompts to keep the evening pointed and exploratory. The host may assign themselves as master of ceremony, but roles on who and how the discussion is led will change over the course of the meal. 

The ideal party size for this experience is 6-10 guests.

Getting to know your guests
​An important principle that Priya discusses is her 90 percent rule: 90 percent of what makes a gathering successful is put in place before the event occurs. The invitation for these events will lead to a short digital experience to collect tidbits of information from the guests, which will help structure the event itself. Some sample survey questions:

  • Do you have any food sensitivities/allergies?

  • In one sentence, how would you like to be introduced? (include pronouns)

  • How do you feel about leading part of the dinner conversation? (rate your comfort level)

  • What topics would you prefer we leave at the door?

  • Which two of these words/ideas sparks the most interest?  (Wishes, Change, Trust, Origins, Happiness)

  • Share an image you took over the last two weeks that makes you smile/laugh. 

  • List three songs you’re loving right now/always. 


A personalized entertaining kit would arrive prior to event with components to aid in creating a memorable gathering for all attendees. A detailed instruction manual gives tips on how to plan your meal in advance, take helpful short cuts and thoughtfully set the table. 

The kit also includes placecards for each guest, question cards for the main course, numbered cards to identify topics of discussion, thank you cards and envelopes, and if opting for a fully branded dining experience, custom napkins and placemats.

The Packaging

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