Last year I had a party on New Yearís Eve where I invited everyone I knew. The day before the event I realized that although everyone coming to the party knew me, most of the people coming didnít know anyone else. I also realized that many people had things in common, they just didnít know it yet.
I looked at the people who had said they were coming and the facts I knew about them, and found things my friends had in common. For instance, two of my friends had lost a serious amount of weight and another couple of my friends had been to Switzerland.
I found 16 facts that two or more of my friends had in common, typed them into boxes 4 across and 4 down on pieces of paper and stuck them onto card. Then I made enough for everyone coming to the party.
As people arrived they were given a card and a pencil and told that each personís name could only be in one box and they had to find a name for each box. I did wonder if people would approach others they didnít know and ask them questions, but it worked. The competitive streak took over and as people arrived they were bombarded with many people asking if they kept chickens or lived in Livermore (a neighboring city).
The whole idea of the game from my point of view was not to have a winner, but to get people talking on topics they had in common. The homeschoolers found each other, the joggers discussed their exercise routines, and as for me, I discovered that a lot of my friends kept chickens.
One of the characteristics people were looking for was to find someone who could tell a good joke. A number of people were asked to prove the point by making people laugh.
The most important thing was that as people arrived they were made to feel welcome and drawn into a social group that lasted past midnight.
Afterwards I received many positive comments that my friends had enjoyed socializing with the people they hadnít met prior to the party. And that, I think, amounts to a successful party.
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