When you go out for an evening, whether it’s to a bar, party, or lecture, isn’t one of the benefits of being out, the fact that you might meet interesting people? If you agree with this, then think back to what usually happens on a night out for you. Do you meet new people?

Last Thursday I held an event. It was a great evening (I am biased). And, I did something that I haven’t done before; I emailed the guests beforehand, and asked if anyone would like to ‘help’ me on the evening. I assigned them various tasks, such as: making sure everyone had a name tag, introducing people to each other, passing around my mailing list signup page (you don’t think I am above using unpaid labour, do you?). People recognise that it’s easier to begin conversations when it’s not about them, but a task. By creating these tasks, people felt it easy to approach others.

Here’s a secret: you can create tasks as well. The next time you are at an event, give yourself the task of getting three numbers, making someone’s day, speaking with 4 people, etc. You could even ask the host if you can help in any way, giving you free license to mix and mingle like James Bond.