I like to be surrounded by friends and family, and I like to eat in good restaurants, so I don't really care if I can hear them or not. But for those of you who'd actually like to have a conversation at your birthday party, here are some tips.
Have a picnic! It's much easier to hear out of doors, especially in a quiet back yard but even in a public park, than it is in the quietest of restaurants.
Celebrate with just one other person. I know, I know -- I said friends (plural) and family (usually plural). But if you're like me your friends and family get chatty when they're having a good time and soon they're talking over each other and you've totally lost the train of the conversation.
Use your hearing assistive devices. If you have an FM system ask your guests to please talk into it. This not only makes their voice clearer but also helps to deter lots of people talking at once.
Ask your guests right at the start to try to have a group conversation, no side chats. Those side chats make for multiple overlapping voices, and you won't be able to hear either the main conversation or the side chat.
This sounds bizarrely counter-intuitive, but have a big party. As long as the overall acoustics are good, the collective sound of many voices will blur into a kind of background clamor. If you talk to just one person at a time, facing them, reading their lips, you'll probably be able to follow what they're saying. Most of us with hearing loss read lips intuitively. At a party where no one can hear (whether they have hearing loss of not) that lip reading ability helps level the playing field. Maybe even gives you an advantage! Try it.
What are your suggestions for a hearing-loss friendly gathering that includes mostly hearing people?