Last updated: September 6, 2023
This is an article showing how Jake Hastings used The 2-Hour Cocktail Party to host a mixer for single people before a comedy show.
He used name tags and rounds of icebreakers to help the crowd mix and mingle and meet new people and maybe go on some romantic dates.
Meet Jake Hastings
Jake Hastings is the host of The Pickup Lines Comedy Show, a live show in Montana that talks about the funny and romantic sides of being single and being in a relationship.
After hearing me on a podcast show and reading my book, he decided to host a very unique 30-minute cocktail party for his comedy show.
The Singles Comedy Party
Jake hosts a comedy show for single people and people in relationships. It is called Pickup Lines. He decided to host a gathering for single people after receiving feedback that they wanted more recognition at his comedy show.
Jake held a 30-minute cocktail party right before his comedy show. This would give people some dedicated time to get to know other people, mix and mingle, and feel more welcomed and comfortable at the show afterward.
One of the most notable parts of my formula is the RSVP page. I highly encourage people to create an RSVP page because this is a very important process in planning a party and securing your guest list. But Jake had a different approach. Because their show was open to everyone, he handed out flyers instead.
How to Run An Icebreaker With 40 People
A good icebreaker is a quick icebreaker! Doing an icebreaker with a large group is very difficult. So I suggested that Jake do two icebreakers that might help the group mix and mingle:
Name Tag Icebreakers
I recently tried adding a built-in icebreaker into the name tags. I’ve asked the guests what their favorite hobby is and I put it at the bottom part of their name tags. This helps start a conversation easily.
Fast Group Icebreaker
To run a fast icebreaker with 40 people, first, you have to tell them why. Say:
Hey, we’re going to do a round of icebreakers. Since we have a big group, we’re going to do it fast. The reason we’re going to do this is to give you an excuse to go talk to somebody new. This is a conversational crutch. We know they’re cheesy, but just trust us and that’s why we’re gonna do it.
Say your name and in five words or less, describe one of your favorite vacations. Ex: My Name is Nick, naked skydiving Las Vegas.
The other thing is to run the icebreakers constantly during the first 20 minutes for all the new arrivals when you can break ’em off into small groups.
You can see me in action doing one of the icebreakers above here:
At this show, I instructed Jake to collect email addresses from everyone who attended. This will help him collect RSVPs next time and get a better headcount.
The event was a big success! Here’s what Jake said afterward:
The event went really well. We had about 30 people at the meet and greet beforehand. We collected email addresses and used name tags. Overall, it was a big success. It was very useful for the following dating comedy show as well.
Q: The last time you did this, how many people were at the cocktail party part where you did the round of icebreakers?
A: The last time we did this, it was about 20 people or so. So the next one’s going to be huge and we’re already marketing it. We’ve printed out flyers, we’re handing out flyers around town.
Q: Are you collecting RSVPs for the cocktail party beforehand?
A: We haven’t implemented an RSP yet, but I’ve discussed the idea with my girlfriend. It would be great to have one, especially since it’s something you mentioned in your book. However, it’s difficult to implement since our show is currently free and open to everyone. We don’t know who will attend since they are complete strangers. We do have a core group of regulars and fellow comedians who attend our shows. Unfortunately, we’re unsure about how to get people to sign up for an RSP.
Q: Will your girlfriend be working the event as well or is she on the stage?
A: We’re both working the door at the cocktail party and we’re mingling with people, but we co-host, so we’re both up on stage right away. And so the last time we did this, it was a tornado of a time because she and I are just meeting and greeting everybody. Totally. And then boom, we had to get right up there on stage and start the show
Q: The last one you did, was there anything that surprised you about it?
A: The last one was really our first big one. What surprised us was the number of people that came at 5:30 on a Saturday. That’s what blew our minds. I mean, the place was sold out, we couldn’t believe it. And it was our first go at it. So we’ve spent a lot of time trying to polish the show. There are a lot of things that we’re going to fix with it, but adding this cocktail party portion of it and really getting people with icebreakers and name tags and all that kind of good stuff.
Q: How many people come to the meetup beforehand?
A: We’ve already got last time we had our show, it sold out and we were over a hundred people. So we’re expecting it to be pretty big for the singles mixer. I mean, we have people canceling their vacations just to go to the cocktail party beforehand. And the irony is that it starts at five because what we found is that people love to come to our show early and then afterward if they hit it off, they could go on a date after the comedy show and spend the rest of the evening together
These are photos from Jake and Keys’ cocktail party.
After Jake’s first cocktail party was a hit, he decided to throw another one to make sure that single people feel just as welcome and appreciated as those in relationships.
By incorporating some of my formula, Jake learned how to:
- Create a flyer as an alternative invitation
- Do an icebreaker for a large crowd
- Make the most out of a 30-minute cocktail party
Don’t forget, hosting a cocktail party is the perfect way to get people together and meet new people. You can do it easily just like what Jake did.
Congrats to Jake and Keys for a successful cocktail party!
Hello, My name is Nick Gray. In my book, The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, I provide helpful guidance on how to host a great party for any event. I wrote this book to support anyone attempting to meet new people and develop closer bonds with their community.
When is your party? Send me an email and I will give you some bonus tips, including a pre-party checklist that you can print out. Plus I’ll answer any question you have, free of charge. I love talking about parties and I’m on a mission to help 500 people host their first party.