by Jonathan Vatner | July 19, 2010

Attendees base their expectations on the time of an event. Hold it at 7 p.m., and they'll expect dinner. At noon, they'll want lunch. But if you time the event, say, between 2:30 and 4:30 in the afternoon, they'll expect nothing and therefore be overjoyed when they see a spread of light snacks and soft drinks. If you have the budget, you can even serve afternoon tea. Thanks to Jill Lazar, a principal of Everything Events ( in Providence, R.I., for the idea.