There are several forms of greeting that are traditional. Whenever a host is bidding guests goodbye after an event, they usually say “Thanks for coming”.
This is a standard greeting in America and in some other parts of the world.
In response to “Thanks for coming,” you can emphasize how much you enjoyed the event. Depending on the occasion, highlight how much you learned or what other progress you made and that you would be happy to attend again at the next opportunity.
Why Do Hosts Say Thanks for Coming?
Hosts say thanks for coming because they appreciate your presence. They want you to know that they were glad that you put time aside in your busy schedule to be with them.
In today’s world, people don’t often spend enough quality time with those they love. This time is important for bonding.
Face-to-face interaction communicates much more clearly than text messaging or many of the other forms of communication that people are forced to use nowadays because of the hectic pace of life.
By saying thanks for coming, a host communicates that they want to be in your presence. They also communicate that they noticed you and you are seen.
Say That You Are Glad to Be There
The easiest way to respond to a host saying thanks for coming is to say that it was your pleasure to be there.
You can say:
“Don’t mention it.”
All of these expressions communicate that you were glad to be there. You want your host to know that you thoroughly enjoyed the time spent in their company, even if you just sat quietly together.
It’s important to communicate this verbally. Some hosts might need to hear the words. If you don’t say something, some might jump to conclusions.
Hosts often put a great deal of work and attention into planning an event. Sometimes they notice things that guests might overlook, such as an item on their menu not being exactly the way they wanted.
By explicitly saying that the pleasure of being there was all yours, you make them feel good and let them know that despite any misgivings they have, you thoroughly enjoyed yourself.
Say That You Had a Good Time
Saying that it was your pleasure works well in formal situations and in more casual situations as well. However, there may be times when you just want to use another phrase to let them know that you had a really good time.
In those cases, simply say so. You can say:
“I had a great time.”
“We had a good time.”
In this way you let them know that you really enjoyed the activities that they had planned. You also let them know that the total experience was pleasant for you.
Say That You Learned a Lot
Some events are for relaxation. A host could also be thanking you for attending an event with an educational focus. In that case, you want to let them know that the aim of the event was achieved.
So, for example, if you were there to learn more about a particular topic after they say thanks for coming, you could let them know that you learned a lot.
Alternatively, if the host also planned the event in order to assist with networking, you could let them know that it helped you in that regard.
So, you could say:
“Thanks for inviting me.”
“I learned a lot. Thank you.”
“I gained a lot of new contacts. Thanks so much.”
“This issue really needed to be addressed and I’m glad that you organized this event for that purpose.”
Praise Their Management of the Event
Hosts spend a lot of time planning and preparing for events. It doesn’t matter how big or small it might be. It often receives a lot of time and effort.
If you want to put a smile on your host’s face, consider letting them know how much you enjoyed their management of the event.
You could praise their overall organization of the event, in terms of the sequence of activities, prompt starting time, and other factors that appealed to you.
You could also focus on specific aspects of the event that displayed their skill in planning. All of this shows that you appreciated being there.
People are different. So, while some hosts will appreciate you praising the decor, others may be glad that you liked the level of engagement at their event.
Your response should be designed to show the host that you enjoyed yourself. So listen, ask questions, and make references to aspects that are meaningful for your host.
If not everything went smoothly and they thank you for your patience; reassure the organizer that it was hardly noticeable.
Keep It Short
Hosts often try to say thanks to as many people as possible toward the end of an event. That might mean that they won’t be able to have conversations that are longer than ten minutes with each person.
Keeping it short and spicy is a plus if you’re on your way out. You may want to go into detail about just how much you enjoyed the event but a quick summary may sometimes be best for that moment.
If the host is someone you know well, you can always give a detailed compliment at another time. However, what you do depends on the personality of your host and the unique situation.
If they seem to have time to talk about the event right then and you know they would like to, you can respond to their thanks with detailed compliments on what made attending a pleasure.
Responding to their thanks with a compliment boosts your mood too. 
Let Them Know You Would Like to Attend Future Events
After letting the host know that you appreciated being invited to the current event, you can show how much you enjoyed yourself by hinting that you would appreciate an invitation to future events.
For example, if you really enjoyed being at a pool game, after the host says thanks for coming you can let them know that you enjoyed being with them and that you’re available for pool in the future.
You could say:
“No problem. I enjoyed being here.”
“Let me know when you’re planning the next event.”
“Thank you too. Keep me in mind next time as well.”
“I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Feel free to invite me again if you’re doing another event like this.”
Sophie Hammond is a journalist, psychologist, and freelance speechwriter for people in politics and business. She lives on the edge of the Rocky Mountains with her dog and a lifetime supply of books. When she’s not writing, she can be found wandering through nature or journaling at a coffee shop.