So you don't think you're much of an entertainer? So what! Have a party tonight! Everyone likes them more than they want to admit. It's a lovely way to get to know people a little better and doesn't require any more event planning than you choose. A catered affair is nice if you have the money. If you ask the guests, it not more or less fun than a pot luck! The party is in the guest list. Your event will only be as entertaining as the people attending.

Guest list: Try to balance men and women. No man likes to be the only male at a party. If you are doing sit down dining, separate the couples so they can make conversation with someone new. Alternate seating male then female to ensure discussions get rolling. Make name tags, they don't have to be fancy, so people sit according to plan. If you have a centerpiece make it low enough that people can talk over it. If you are inviting children too, consider having a children's table so the adults can cut loose with their discussions.

If you are having a sit down dinner party, don't try to cook something you've never made before. Stick with the tried and true. Minimize the clean up, consider using better disposable plates. They even have plates make of recycled material if you want to go green. Unless you are an accomplished cook, you can focus on one aspect of the meal, ie the main course and fudge on the rest. Buy bagged salad, and bread at the deli to compliment homemade lasagna or spaghetti noodles. Roast a chicken or a turkey for a super easy meal. Buy premium ice cream, and serve with assorted fresh fruits for a super easy dessert with nice presentation.

If you want to be entertaining on a limited budget go pot luck! Ask several people to do vegetables, one to bring dessert, do the main course yourself and let the evening unroll. Invite diverse people from different aspects of your life for lively conversation. Don't let one person monopolize the talk. Try to draw out the quietest person in the room with an open ended question. If you are going to have an event make it a board game that engages all the guests and invites conversation.

Unless you are having a party around a sporting event, like superbowl, having the TV on squashes interaction. Also, having games available that are only for a limited number of players can be off putting. I went to a party once where the guests were lined up to try the hosts' new "Wii." The evening did not exactly resemble the happy family shown on the Wii ad. I noticed the players who were waiting their turn were preoccupied with getting the the front of the line, and were not making conversation amongst themselves. The evening was sort of a spectacle, with everyone watching the hosts' son, obviously the best player in the room, NOT a very entertaining evening.

If you want to have an evening where people get to know each other I would limit the guest list to no more than 10. More than that an the quietest person may feel withdrawn and shy. You may of course go way more than that, however even at parties with hundreds of people attending, human nature is to break down into smaller groups. You will find a "kitchen" crowd.
When I was in college my room mate and I used to invite the football team over for a home cooked meal on occasion and as many single female friends as we knew. Seating was arranged by clearing the living room and throwing a blanket on the floor picnic style. Everyone had more than enough food and clean up was a snap.

So don't let lack of funds, food, or furniture stop you. Have a party!