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It's not just a game. Hosting a party takes some preparation, and preparation means things can take longer than expected. I sometimes arrive at parties at the moment they're scheduled to start and never has the host been anything but welcoming and gracious. But don't mistake, I'll be helping the host finish up the party decorations, set up the bowls of chips and arrange the beverages for the first 10-20 minutes.

Arriving to a party early is nonetheless a very good idea. It almost always means you get to intimately socialize with the host, a chance you might not get when the party has already started, especially if you're on the shy side of the spectrum.

Arriving early to parties is one of the tips in Leil Lowndes' "How to talk to anyone"[1] that I read and can recommend.

1] https://www.amazon.com/How-Talk-Anyone-Success-Relationships...

Party arrival times are an exercise in social standing. Those higher on the ladder come later, forcing those lower to wait for them. The ulimate example is "queen time". She is never on time and countless thousands regularly wait. The order that the royals arrive to an event signals thier rank. Our version of this is waiting for the cool people to show up.

I use a similar tactic for professional networking at tech meet ups: I always offer to help clean up afterwards. Every single time it has resulted in me being on a first name basis with the group organizer (who is usually pretty well integrated into the tech community).

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