You are correct , you cannot use the verb 'avoir' for 'to have guests',
'recevoir' in the context of friends, family, guests means to have people in your home. e.g.
J'aime recevoir des amis chez moi le weekend = I enjoy having friends at home at the weekend
Nous allons recevoir des amis étrangers pour le jumelage le weekendprochain = We are going to have foreign visitors for the twinning next weekend
Hope this helps!
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