What does it take to arrange a great party atmosphere? Bluntly: People having a good time. If people are talking with other people, they are more likely to enjoy the party. Get-to-know-each-other-games are not exactly a new invention, but how to break the ice in a fresh and fun way? New kinds of games. Here’s some very simple examples that I’ve been using as arranging ~100 people events so far.

1. Divide the guests into groups with people they do not already know. An easy way is to use color-coded tickets for example. This gives a good basis for people to network during all the competitions and hassle you have planned for the evening.

 2. Give them something surprising to talk about: something they can all take part of and compare their end-results. You can use simple mods like a surprise smoothie bar where the guests order the ingredients blindly by combining stuff from a given list that fits to the theme. (In Finland, blindly selected alcohol cocktails usually work pretty well.)

 3. Themed team quizzes: Who knows what about what? If the events theme is related to people’s passions and interested, they can get really excited about talking about these matters with new faces, no big magic there. Remember to reward your audience as well.

 4. Networking-game: give people tasks and rewards based on how well they manage to network during the event.

Gamelike elements can also be used as a tool to make people create something (artworks, sports achievements, etc.) together. A good old-fashioned treasure hunt is a party-gem when arranged properly. Light LARP-elements can also be added to certain themed-parties with adding some extra characters and turns of events to the evening. Kadonnut kaupunki – The Lost City – gives a good example on adding playful layers to reality.

Good events can also a playful theme itself, check out these for example:

Polar Bear Pitch fest

Ice Music Festival

Air Guitar World Championships