The goal of any event is for people to socialize and learn something new. So why not make the event enjoyable? People derive great enjoyment from conversing with other like-mined folks. Create a system for maximum conversation, and your soiree, or other type of function will be the talk of the town!
Why not give out stickers at your event? These stickers could contain great quotes (be sure to credit the author), or pictures of famous attractions (be sure to credit the venue). You could also showcase pictorial photos of well-known media personalities (licensing might be required). Temporary tattoos might also be an option. Generate a flow of discussion, and the affair will be greatly enjoyed.
Another possible idea is to engage your participants in creating stickers. Firstly you will need to find out who can draw, from amongst your event attendees. Upon your request, you will receive some volunteers, while some people will volunteer others who they know are good at sketching. Visitors should form groups, of whatever number, depending on the size of your audience. For this type of exercise, you will need blank stickers and a sketching board / easel pad. Suggestions for the stickers can be offered verbally, or by written submission. Immediately, your event will have generated visitor involvement and excitement.
Once a design has been agreed upon, it can be committed to a sticker(s), and then distributed to guests. For onsite sticker creation, each sticker will need to be carefully drawn independently. Therefore, designs should simple and clearly visible. Each attendee, will feel be greatly privileged, to have been part of the creative process. Guest will gratefully showcase their display of a recently created work of art. Fun times are here for sure.
Another option is to have an adequate number of laptop computers, onsite, to utilize the easy-to-use software, for instant sticker creation. Then, all that will be required, once the design is completed, is to print enough of the newly branded stickers. Of course make sure the stickers are fairly distributed to all in attendance.
Whatever strategy you choose to utilize for your event be sure that the mixer creates ample opportunities for networking among the attendees. Introductions for business and regular exchanges of business cards is most important for a networking event. You want visitors to believe that they have successfully networked through your event.