Shake it up: games to help social mixer events
A social mixer can be tricky to get going. This is true whether you are organizing a staff social for your company, a mixer event for a social organization or the end of year celebration for a charity. The natural tendency is for people to stay close and talk to the people they already know. Normally, this will be the teams and groups that see each other more often.
To create a wider group trust you have to have people talk and meet people they don’t know well. The problem is, this leads to a burden on the extroverts, who will feel they have to take on social interaction. Furthermore, introverts will feel uncomfortable if they are there’s no-one there they really know. A traditional social mixer just expects everyone in a room to get along if you apply snacks and drinks. This does not always work.
Memorable Event Planning
A room full of people and some food does not create any differentiation for the event. You will want to create a memorable event. Memories create attachment to causes and organizations. If you’ve designed your event using an Event Empathy Map, you may have identified a gap in this area. Thinking about how your audience will interact with each other, as well as the space, is a key element to making it a successful night.
Therefore, we can use a social mixer game will act as an icebreaker to get people talking. The game needs to be easy to play and simple to explain. This will let people get started with it fast. We don’t want to overload people’s senses on first arriving into a new space. Next, the game should also allow people to disengage from it. They may want to spend more time talking to new found friends. If no-one is playing, but everyone is talking outside their typical silos, that is a sign of success. The aim is to produce and play a game that are a reason to interact, not a reason to compete.
By creating these interactions, people will remember both the people they meet and link it to the event they met at. If someone recalls meeting a key contact a few months later during ‘that event where we played the Duos game’, the memory will be a useful key for both sides to build from.