Mixers allow like-minded people to come together and have a great time while networking. Business mixers allow staff members to get better acquainted in a non-professional setting to further foster their professional relationships. Companies also host mixers as a way of attracting new investors or recruiting strategic business partners.
Mixers are usually not as formal as fundraisers and they lean more towards the same atmosphere as the company holiday party. As the person in charge of organizing the mixer, you should put your best foot forward so to speak for the success of the occasion. Folks will only get in the right mood for the event if there's hype built around the mixer. That involves making the right decisions related to the function beginning with where to host it.
Even for company mixers, it's best to take the event out of the office. Consider various types of venues to find the best one near you.
The Best Mixer Venues
Whether you are organizing a social or business mixer; one of the biggest decisions you'll have to make is choosing the best venue for the occasion. The stakes are higher because you want to get the most value out of the mixer venue while also making sure that it's a location that will truly impress your guests.
- Shopping Malls and Retail Centers
Shopping malls and retail centers are ideal business mixer locations. For starters, they represent where business takes place and most have various spaces where you can host such events. These venues particularly work for informal company mixers that aim at bringing together businesses that operate within the same complex or location.
- Upscale Hookah and Cigar Lounge
An upscale hookah and cigar lounge provides the right combination of casual, intimate, and elegant. It suits social mixer events as well as business mixers for staff members who want to interact away from the office setting.
- Workshop Spaces
Workshop spaces work as mixer locations for artistically-inclined events. For instance, they favor crafts programs, pottery classes, DIY events, fairs, and mini-festivals. In the same case, they suit mixers that bring together creatives to mingle while engaging in an artistic session.
- Commissary Kitchens
Commissary kitchens are perfect locations for hosting various food-based events. Most feature a front-of-house space where you can host diverse occasions. The scale of the kitchen can support a decent number of people who come together to learn how to cook a certain dish or participate in a cooking competition.
What To Look For In Mixer Spaces
Much like planning any type of gathering, pulling off a successful mixer is pegged on the location. There are certain aspects that you should keep in mind during your search for the best mixer site for your function.
It's expected that a mixer will gather a sizable number of people to mingle within the chosen space. The rule of thumb is to go for a mixer location that provides enough room to move around. However, it doesn't mean settling for a larger space than needed because the atmosphere you want for a mixer should be cozy but not restricted.
The type of mixer event determines whether or not you'll need full catering services. Often than not, bite-sized snacks are ideal for such occasions because sit-down meals might defeat the purpose of the function. You want participants to move around the room, and if they sit down to a meal, they'll settle in one spot.
- Service Staff
With bitings served at most mixers, you'll need service staff moving around the room with trays stacked with the treats on the menu. An alternative is to set up food stations in different areas around the room so that guests are compelled to move around. In either case, it helps if the venue provides service staff to handle the meals.
- Presentation Equipment
You'll need certain types of equipment when hosting a mixer event. That includes microphones, projectors, and PA systems. If that's the case, settle for a mixer location that is equipped with these items or one that can connect you with a rental company that leases such equipment.
- Bar Service
It's a great touch to serve welcome drinks to the guests as they arrive at the mixer venue. A location that provides bar service is an added plus because it's more cost-effective compared to outsourcing this aspect. Likewise, it helps if the venue provides an in-house mixologist to prepare cocktails for the guests.
Mixer Space Inspiration
Perhaps you have your eye on a mixer location but can't figure out how to fuse it with the theme of the occasion. Here are a couple of ideas to get your creative juices flowing through the process of organizing the best mixer yet.
- Scavenger Hunt at a Shopping Mall
A scavenger hunt is a classic mixer idea that is suitable for social gatherings. The whole idea is to have guests work together as a group to uncover a series of items hidden around the mixer location. Each guest should be given a different clue to encourage them to collaborate with others so that they can collectively locate the hidden items, and a shopping mall is the best venue for such an activity.
- Karaoke Night at a Hookah and Cigar Lounge
Get your guests to showcase their vocal chops by hosting a karaoke night at a hookah and cigar lounge. There's no better icebreaker and group bonding activity than by having everyone croak their way through beloved duets. Making it even more challenging by choosing acapella hits for the occasion.
- Group Art Project at a Workshop Space
For a crafty group, host an activity-based mixer aimed at having the group come up with collaborative works of art. It could involve pottery, sculpting, painting, or drawing, with one person or group working on half the work while the other completes it. That will instantly get everyone talking which is the whole purpose of a mixer.
- Cocktail Mixer at a Commissary Kitchens
Foodies and professionals involved in the culinary business will love attending a hands-on mixer hosted at a commissary kitchen. The event can take on the format of a cooking competition pitting groups against each other or a cooking class whereby everyone gets to learn how to cook something new.
- Speed Networking at a Retail Center
Warm up the room by scheduling a speed networking activity as part of your mixer event. The goal is to have folks make their way around the room and hold meaningful conversations with as many people as possible. If done right, participants will also leave with great business connections.