A Foolproof Guide to the Perfect Social
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A Foolproof Guide to the Perfect Social

We're called social organizations for a reason. So get out there and be social, the right way.

A Foolproof Guide to the Perfect Social

We’re not called social fraternities and sororities for nothing.

Our social chairs have probably one of the most difficult jobs in the world: finding a way to entertain more than 200 thirsty 20-somethings on a weekly basis, often with little-to-no help. Socials are tricky. They require hours of planning, timeless preparation, and the ever inevitable mortar of stress put on each social chair to come up with a flawlessly successful social experience. But after all is said and done- after the DJ packs up and the bottles are empty- socials and mixers are some of the most fun and memorable experiences we get to have in college. So it’s about time we learned how to do them right.

1.     Pick your Partners  

The first step to planning the perfect social is to pick the organization you’ll be socializing with. Many a social endeavor has died before it even had a chance to be successful because organizations try to mingle with other groups that just don’t mesh well. Be real. If your fraternity/sorority has different priorities or an overall different vibe than the group with whom you want to mix, neither party is going to end up happy. By all means, be social and reach out to many different groups, but sometimes some people just don’t get along as well as others. It’s a sad fact of life. On that note, don’t just pigeonhole yourselves to mingling with the same few organizations either. Diversify! Actually be socialand make friends in all groups. After all, that’s what socials are for right? Building friends and making connections. It’s basically fraternity and sorority networking, with the addition of dancing, crazy lights, and loud music of course. Pick a sports team or a club to mix with- it doesn’t necessarily have to be another Greek organization. 

Moreover, it’s important to match each other’s energy for the event. Get both parties eager and ready to show up to the point that they’re talking about it days in advance. If only one group sends a quarter of their chapter, and the other floods to the venue by the dozen, how will that look? Ladies (and gentlemen), it’s a courtesy to attend an event that is thrown and held for you. Anything less is disrespectful both to the chapter hosting the event, and your own. 

2.      Pick your Date 

Once you know who you’ll be socializing with, it’s time to pick a date. Like with any other event-planning process, timing is everything to maximize attendance. Know your school, and know the organizations that will be attending the event. If there’s a major tailgate day coming up on Saturday, don’t plan a Friday night banger and expect everyone and their big to be there. Mid-term season or big test period? Maybe that Tuesday bar night isn’t the best idea, go for Thursday. Also, don’t afraid to use the other five days of the week when planning your social calendar. There are seven days for a reason; Friday and Saturday aren’t the only times you can do something fun! Don’t be afraid to plan an event on a Wednesday (if timing permits) or even Sunday. 

3.      Pick your Event 

Just because it’s a mixer, doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up. Keep things fresh! The key to throwing the perfect social is doing something out of the box. Take a step away from the norm and try something new. Host an organized competition or activity- split both organization into teams and get to know each other by actually talking to people outside of your pre-established social network. Do something classy- champagne and mimosa Sunday brunch anyone? Whatever it is your organizations decide to do, make sure it’s something that both parties can enjoy socially and will leave a mark in their memory. Gauge interest and move forward. 

4.      Pick your Location 

Believe it or not, not every social or mixer needs to be confined to the four composite-covered walls of a fraternity house or in a muggy unfinished basement. Get out of the house and pick somewhere interesting. You can’t host the perfect social if everyone is cramped into the world’s smallest living room, crawling over one another to get to the awkwardly placed make-shift bar. Just go to an actual bar instead. Or a club. Or even the backyard for what it’s worth. Let’s be real, nobody actually enjoys swimming in their own sweat while clawing through the sauna-like jungle that is the “dance area.”  Get some fresh air and take the party elsewhere.

5.      Pick your Theme 

I swear, if I have to attend one more “Heaven & Hell” themed anything, I’m showing up in a clown costume. For heaven’s (and hell’s) sake, please pick a theme that you haven’t done at least a million times before. Sure, it was awesome the first time. It was good the second. But by the third and fourth, people are going to get bored of the same old song and dance. Themes are your chance to add a creative twist to any social gathering. It’s ok to repeat every now and then, but there are literally endless possibilities for themes that you can choose from, so choose. Plain and simple. Also, do your best to avoid using the same theme or idea between different organizations. Copying themes is not only a sign of laziness, but one of disrespect to all organizations involved. Do them, and yourself, a favor and think of something new. 

**Special notes

Guys: This means you dress up too. It’s not weird for you to get dressed up for a theme (have you seen TFM lately?), and not dressing in-theme might actually make you stand out more. Don’t be “that buzzkill” at the social who shows up out of theme, gentlemen. 

Ladies: Help the guys come up with theme ideas! It’s a mutual event so you should be taking part in the planning process. Guys aren’t psychic. We can’t read your minds. If you have an idea, pitch it. We'll thank you for it later.

6.      Pick your Decorations 

This isn’t a must, but it’s definitely a bonus. Adding some environment to the social will definitely get the party going and add to the overall experience. To continue with the Heaven & Hell theme, make an actual heaven and actual (well, not actual) hell for your guests. Creating the two different areas will be a nice little gimmick to get people talking. Changing the scenery can change the game- use your space to your advantage. If you need an example, see the neon party scene in Neighbors. Given, I doubt any college fraternity or sorority is working with a Hollywood-sized budget, but it’s still good to get ideas. Also, don’t segregate or split the groups for the sake of a seemingly good idea and don’t try to “force” socializing by cramping everyone in a small area. Make sure everyone can be together, talking and enjoying the event and the social aspect will come naturally. 

7.      Pick your “Trump Card” 

Ok, you’re all set up and ready to go, but there’s still something missing. Every social and mixer needs something, anything to act as what I like to call the “Trump Card.” What’s the one thing that when everyone leaves the event, they’ll remember and retell for days, weeks, maybe even months to come? One thing many a Greek organization forgets is that this isn’t the only (or last) social that the groups will have; there will be more, and when those more come, it’ll make this one seem like just another Friday night. Unless you have a Trump Card. Think about it, when you recount your favorite socials and events, why do they stick in your mind? Probably because there was something there to make it stick out and stand separate from the rest of the same old “enter, talk, leave” social events you’ve attended throughout your college career. The key is to do something to make the other group feel special, appreciated, and that you took the time to go the extra mile to really show them a good time. You can spell out the organizations letters in Jell-O shots, or bring them personalized invites to their house instead of the usual “R u goin to the social Friday??” text. Whatever it is you decide to do, make sure the other group knows you’re putting in the work to make this the perfect social, and they’ll surely return the favor.   

What’s the point in hosting a social if you’re not going to put in the effort necessary to make it count? Every social gathering is your chance to leave your impression on the group you’re mixing with; you should be going above and beyond to show up and show out. Next time you have the chance to plan an event, follow these steps. Plan it out, put in the work, and it’ll pay off.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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