When hosting a party at your home, you might want your guests to bring food or drink. You can let them know on the invitation. You want to word it so it sounds like a request, not a demand. Even though you are asking guests to bring food to the party, you should still prepare several dishes to serve.
Decide on the type of party you are having and what you will be supplying as host. Select 2-3 dishes for you to make that are easy to create. You do not want to be overwhelmed with making food in addition to all the other party details.
Select the date, time, and location of your party. If you are planning a theme for your party, decide on decor and the types of foods you want served. For example, cocktail parties should have finger foods such as cheese and crackers, fondue, and raw vegetables with dip.
Prepare the invitations and be specific when telling your guests to bring food. If you are hosting a barbecue, let guests know that you will supply the meats to grill, but will need them to bring the sides such as salads, baked beans, corn, and similar foods. If you are having a small gathering, your invitations can be specific to each person. If a guest is known for a delicious dish, be sure to ask that guest to bring it. When wording the invitation, mention potluck and add please bring a side or dessert.
Themed parties are a lot of fun and should have complementary food, so make sure your invites state the theme. Let guests know how many people are expected. Mention that their dish should be easy to throw together. This is your party and your guests should not have to do a lot of work preparing for it.
Don't demand guests to bring food. Don't get angry if they don't show up with anything. You invited them as a guest to your party. Bringing a dish wasn't a requirement, it was a request.