If you had a party and served frozen foods, beer in cans, wine out of a box, no music at all, and kept the light on, the party would not be too great at all. The rules for good entertaining are; Good food, good drinks, and good atmosphere.
Casual parties should even serve fresh, good food. Serving finger foods is a good idea this is because there are no utensils used so there is less of a clean up afterwards. Serve the finger foods on a tray so you don’t need to run back and fourth from the kitchen. You also need to enjoy your party.
Never ever serve canned beer. Wine should be bought in bottles. There are still great deals even though it is not from a box. It is always a good idea to have some liquor in the house anyway, just in case you have guests drop by that like to have a drink or two.
As for atmosphere it had three components music, lighting, and decoration. There needs to be music at every party. If there is good music then there might be some dancing, parties are always better if there is some dancing. You will see nobody dancing with the light on. It is a good idea to have your light switches changed to dimmer switches sometime if you plan to have a few parties over the years.
The focal point of the room will be the table that you will be serving on and the liquor so make it look good with a table cloth and some flowers. If it is a theme party then decorate accordingly. There is no need for anything tacky, just flowing decorations.
Mingle with your guests; there is no need to be running back and fourth. Enjoy the atmosphere that you have created, have some fun too.