It's awkward when a group of strangers are dropped in a room together.
A few bold people will introduce themselves and start a discussion.
Others will frantically try to think of a reason to speak to the person standing next to them.
The rest will play with their phones hoping someone tells them what to do.
A simple tip, don't drop a group of strangers in a room together. Don't force everyone to introduce themselves to the rest of the group. This isn't natural. Neither party enjoys it.
Begin with you. Then invite a few people and begin chatting to them. Invite a few more, then more. Each person that arrives is greeted, introduced to someone, and you can ensure they're talking to others in similar situations.
Better yet, give everyone a separate time to arrive. Create 7 time slots, spaced 10 minutes apart, for people to arrive over the course of an hour.
Far easier to integrate a few people at a time into an existing group than force a batch of strangers together.
If you come to FeverBee SPRINT, you might see this in action.
This works for online communities too. Don't invite everyone at once. Bring people in steadily. Socialize them into the group. Hold back on the mass emails.
On October 29th to 30th, the world's top 250 community professionals are going to SPRINT in San Francisco. Will you be one of them?