Last Sunday I tried something a little different with Chatterbox. I’d gotten some feedback from regular attendees that they’d like more opportunities to move around and meet new people, so I decided to test out a new system, something more like a language ‘mixer’ than a language exchange.
I could not have anticipated just how effective this would be!
Well. In some ways. In others… not so much.
The basic concept went like this. I’d prepared two activities – the first was to gather one piece of information from everyone in the room and write it on on the handout that I’d given everyone. For the second activity, I gave everyone a picture, asked them to categorise themselves, and then find the odd one out.
These games were an immediate hit.
Sometimes when you go to a party, you meet a few people and you stick to that little group for the rest of the night. These activities gave you no option but to mix it up after a few short conversations, and gave you the material you needed to seamlessly enter new ones without any pressure. Nice.
In terms of giving attendees more opportunities to make new friends, this was an undeniable success. By the end of the event, everyone in the room had met everyone else, and I’m pretty sure some lasting friendships were created throughout. As a language exchange event? I think everyone was having such a good time meeting new people that they decided to speak in whichever language was most comfortable to them!
When I noticed, I was thinking about whether this event was a success or not. But then I remembered that sometimes the greatest ideas come by chance, and I decided to roll with it, maintain the energy, and in that moment… a new event was born.
This concept was such a success, that I’ve decided to separate this from Chatterbox entirely, and instead create an event that focuses on creating new connections, encouraging participants to meet someone new every time.
The mixer will be back soon! I haven’t decided what I’m going to call it yet, but for sure, it’ll return even bigger and better than before.
Thank you to everyone who came and helped make such an exciting and unexpected event! I’ll see you all at the next one 😉