Unplugged

Leave connectivity out of your next theme party

New research shows that most people regardless of their age are burned out on the internet and and social media. In fact, many would welcome the chance to return to a time when those things didn’t even exist.

Read More: Party Like It’s 1989. Or ’79, or ’69, or…

Before the internet, life was very different than it is today. Although some things have not changed, like eating and drinking, other aspects of life are unrecognizable today. For meeting and event attendees that is what makes a pre-internet party so intriguing. Here are five elements to include when you’re planning such an event. 

Start with lots of books, any books.

You had to work to find information before Google was even a glint in Sergey Brin and Larry Page’s eyes. There used to be things called books, specifically encyclopedias often found in buildings with books (called libraries). Take those books and scatter them around the venue, on the walls, on the tables, even stack them on the floor. Then create a bar that looks like a library check-out desk and have the bartenders dress like librarians.

Cover the walls with message boards.

This is for the attendees to make social media posts. Back in the day social media posts were posted on a real wall with boards made of cork. You might hire a performer dressed like a police officer who randomly arrests an attendee pinning posts to the cork board, or, heaven forbid, checking their smartphone. Haul them before a judge sitting behind a bench who sentences them to a few minutes in makeshift jail, just like some people occasionally find themselves in Facebook jail. (Give them a cocktail in a tin cup to ease the pain of incarceration.)

Have table games available.

Back in the day, multiplayer games needed an actual table for people to sit around. Avoid long games like Monopoly. Instead have quick ones like backgammon or checkers and maybe some vintage children’s games circa 1960—1980 like Trouble, Rock ’em, Sock ’em Robots or Mystery Date. You could even include a few gaming tables for black jack. If you’re budget allows a few pinball machines and a foos ball table would be a nice touch as well. 

Invite some trolls.

Not the social media kind. The little dolls that were popular pre-internet. Use them as table decorations. Maybe have them holding little signs saying, “It’s okay politely disagree with someone in public.” 

Don’t forget selfies.

Since this is pre-internet, put disposable cameras on all the tables, so attendees can take vintage selfies. If you have the party early in your event you could get the film developed and do a slide show of them on the final day of the event. At the very least you put them up online after the event. If you’ve got the budget you could higher an old-fashioned photo booth which would develop the selfies in a couple of minutes so attendees could post them on the walls that night.

Any thoughts, opinions, or news? Please share them with me at vince@meetingsevents.com.

Photo Credits:
Unplugged: Photo by Lars Kienle on Unsplash;  Books: Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash; Cork Board: Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash; Foos Ball: Photo by Stefan Steinbauer on Unsplash; Troll Dolls: Photo by Meg Jenson on Unsplash; Disposable Camera: Photo by bady abbas on Unsplash

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