Sneaky Ways To Get People Interacting At Parties
Updated: Sep 14
We've all been to a party where we don't know anyone. Or maybe we just know one person... so we corner that one person and we don't let them leave our side for any reason. No bathroom breaks, no food, no other friends. Okay, that's a bit over the top, but you get my point, right? I think that as many of us get older, it becomes more difficult (or more of a task) to interact with people we don't know. It's so hard sometimes! We've met everyone we need to meet and we don't need to meet new people, right?
You never know if that stranger standing over there will become your best friend. Heck, that happened to me! I met one of my closest friends in California, who was just some guy who happened to be standing in the same line as I was. We got to talking for a bit, and it turns out he was from Fort Worth, Texas! He was blown away when he learned I was from Dallas, Texas. We've been friends ever since. And to add even more to the "you never know" topic, I randomly met my wife in Chicago! For those of us who aren't as keen to just walk up to someone and strike up a conversation, here's a couple of simple ideas to get that conversation flowing. Your future could depend on this, people!
1. Name Tags
If you have the luxury of knowing every guest in attendance for a corporate party, banquet, or holiday party, getting some printed name tags is a great idea! If everyone is wearing a name tag, several people are bound to say hello to someone with a unique name, or perhaps to someone they've seen in passing but never had the courage to do so until now. There's some sort of magic about it... if someone is wearing a name tag, they're just magically more approachable (see what I did there?). If you don't know names of everyone attending, simply having a cocktail table near the entrance, stocked with stick-on name tags and a handful of sharpies should suffice!
Many people like to hold on to name tags for some reason, so your company will be on the minds of guests long after the event concludes. Just think, by having name tags available, you could personally be responsible for people becoming great friends!
2. Hire a Magician
Well, of course, right? Seriously though... hiring a magician can create some explosive laughter and awe, which will naturally lead into icebreaking conversations like:
"Oh my gosh! How is that even possible?"
"No idea, I think he's a wizard. Do you wanna get a drink?"
I work really hard to properly scope out a room before I approach it. Are people bored? Are there cliques? Are they drinking? After taking all of this into consideration from the shadows of the banquet hall or wedding venue, I dive in. I begin by spotting several people who aren't engaged in conversation with anyone. Three different people, from three different areas. I gather them together and perform some mind-blowing magic for them, and they're instantly laughing and chatting with one another about it! By the end of the night, my magic, mind reading, and mentalism has created an evening filled with meaningful connections.
Now, be sure to hire a magician who is right for your event, because not all magicians are suited for every event. I've figured out that I predominantly perform for corporate events, trade shows, luxury events, grand openings, dinner parties, and adult birthday parties. Don't get me wrong... I've performed magic for other types of events, but these just seem to suit me best.
When in doubt about the success of your event, HIRE. A. MAGICIAN. If you're in the Dallas, Fort Worth, or Austin area, I'd love to help make your event a success!
3. A Scavenger Hunt
This may sound a bit campy, but scavenger hunts are making a comeback. It doesn't necessarily need to have the vague clues or anything like that, but something that gets people excited is bound to strike up some valuable conversation. For instance, if the venue has several separate rooms, one room could be the champagne room, where each guest gets a glass of Veuve Clicquot and a stamp on their paper upon arrival. Next, they head to the magic room, where Dallas Magician Anthony Dempsey wows them with some tricks of the mind. Don't forget the room where guests get a goody bag of treats and fun stuff to take home! Finally, after an evening of roaming around a venue with new friends and collecting stamps, each guest with a completed card is entered into a drawing for a grand prize. Believe it or not, some guests won't complete the card because they'll be off chatting with a new acquaintance that they'd like to do business with. We're in the new the new age of scavenger hunts!
4. Photo Booth
I know these have become increasingly popular lately, and it's obvious as to why. They're so fun! They're getting so advanced these days- I've even seen one in Dallas that's a moving photo booth, so it takes a sort of 3D photo of you. I'm sure there's a much more technical way to describe that, but hey... I'm a magician, I can only do so much!
Anyway. If the booth is positioned so that it's visible to all guests, people are bound to "people watch" throughout the evening. We all love watching other people make goofy faces and make fools of themselves. Seeing someone else in a vulnerable position like that can really open up the channel of striking up conversation. Starting with something like "So, do you always wear 12-inch clown sunglasses with a Viking helmet?" could be all it takes to have a great time with someone new.
With one, or a combination of these tips, your party guests are sure to be communicating more. It always makes me smile when a client approaches me at the conclusion of an event with a huge smile on their face, all because their guests are having a great time. I hope you enjoyed this little rant of mine! For other great ideas on eliminating boring events, check out this article!
Until next time,
Name Tags in the cover photo available on Etsy.