The room was hip. The sponsor was on the ball. The crowd was eclectic. But there was no room to move - folks lined up down the stairs - and then the music started playing. The lack of space and noise level kept folks only talking to those they already knew and could comfortably yell into their faces.
All of us who hold events wrestle with the same things: how many is too many? how much fun? how much facilitation? what exactly is a networking event to a particular crowd?
If folks will mostly talk to those they know - do events need some hands-on guidance beyond simply being thrown into one room?
Call it "facilitating" or being a "hosting", would you prefer an event where:
- Someone actively introduced pairs around the room throughout the event?
- Room chatter was periodically broken with a message, a door prize or a piece of information to give a natural break in which you could circulate?
- Attendees were guided and encouraged around networking before and during the event beyond simply being in the same room?