Ah, the mixer. Arguably the most important events the social chair puts together next to the semi-formal and formal. Since I am obligated to host one of these every other week—the other week, we typically are invited somewhere by the fraternities—they can get kind of dull. The trick is to keep making them fun. Seriously, you can only go to so many luaus and toga parties. And those are typically thrown by the boys because they have no imagination or finesse whatsoever. But if you don’t throw fun parties, you won’t get invited to fun parties and then you fail as social chair. And I do not fail.
The whole point of a mixer is for people, typically in the different greek organizations, to meet each other. They are actually a really good rush tool as well, so they need to be well planned. Since I have been in this job, I have learned that there is definitely a fine art to organizing a mixer. The first thing is that you need to have the other people agree to come right up front. It’s the first question the girls are going to ask—who is going to be there? That means I have to have an answer. I try to rotate it around but a lot of the girls have boyfriends in one frat, which makes it easy to get them to hang out with us. Once you have boys locked down you can decide on the actual focus of the party. You need a draw. Ours aren’t mandatory for the girls to attend so I try to make it worth their time. If there is a sporting event, televised or at the school, that is a built-in get-together. Plus more of the guys will come that way. Holidays are also a big draw. There is another sorority who has Halloween on lockdown, you don’t dare throw a party that night (unless you don’t mind standing around in an empty room) but we do a fairly popular Bunny Hop right before Spring Break, and we had an Ugly Sweater Contest for our holiday party. I’ve also had “stress-buster” parties during finals week. Anything to make it stand out from what other sororities are doing will get people to come and—more importantly—have fun. Once you have the reason everyone is going to get together, you have to decide what to serve them. Beer can get boring but everyone expects it. So I try to at least rotate what kind of beer we serve. We don’t always have real food at these, but when we do, again, I like to serve different things. You can only stand around a frat house lounge drinking flat Bud Light and eating stale tortilla chips so many times before you want to run away screaming. To break the monotony, sometimes I will find a bar or a club to host the mixer at. These cost more and can affect attendance, so I have to do them strategically. But we always have fun when we go out, so it can be worth it. And there you have it—a mixer.
A quick summary:
- Be sure you have somebody to mix with beforehand. Get with their social chair and set a firm date.
- Make it worth their time to come. Have a fun concept or a cool location. Know what people will likely be doing anyway and build something around that if you ca-.
- Don’t be boring with what you serve. It doesn’t always need a clever tie-in to the “theme” but it is a good way to get people in the door AND stay there.
Hope you find this helpful when you plan your next mixer!