This is a great question, and we appreciate you asking. In our experience, emphasizing a focus on the Artist above everything else is the most effective way to create a listening atmosphere at a show, which means that while the Artist is performing they have the full attention of the audience and participants. Have the Artist perform in a central location in the space, and consider getting up there in front of the audience before a show to introduce both yourself as the Host as well as the Artist, and simply ask for everyone’s attention. This is a great way to ensure an audience starts off captivated. You could include a note in your venue description and/or message to the guest that there is a quiet policy during the performances, or encourage people to arrive early when doors open so they can get their socializing in before the show. 

Sometimes you may have to gently remind talkative attendees to please be respectful, and/or provide an alternative space for them to socialize. You could also consider having an intermission between sets which will allow people a moment to fill their drink and go to the restroom, and hopefully avoid any of those disruptions during the performance.

If you are planning a party, communicate that to the Artist in the show thread before confirming, as this may affect their decision to perform.

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