Whether you're a guest or the host, follow these tips to take the stress out of the party.
FOR THE GUEST
Be reliable. Your host is counting on you and your dish. Arrive when the party is scheduled to begin, and stick to the item that you told the host you would bring.
Arrive at the ready. Try to prepare your dish so it can be placed on the table when you walk in. The kitchen is sure to be crowded and the host busy, so avoid planning a dish that requires additional cooking or elaborate finishing touches at the party.
Mark it. Create a pretty label to place next to your dish. If the food contains any allergens, make a note (for example, “Includes peanuts”).
Source: Linda Larsen, author of The Everything Potluck Cookbook