Parties are becoming increasingly predictable these days.
You can pretty much imagine the usual suspects on the spot: someone’s house or
a large table at a bar, copious amounts of drink, some food, and hopefully good
conversation. It’s the conversation that really saves the day, or late evening
rather, but it is never guaranteed. This is why people get so excited about
parties that have a theme or an occasion behind that serves as the organizing
core. Halloween can be regarded as a type of masquerade provided people are
willing to go the extra mile with their costumes, and not just resort to some
haphazardly applied makeup to make them look marginally undead. The point is
that it’s the ability to look and wear something unusual, which would be not
only acceptable but encouraged, that gives people something to look forward to.
That is why some experts believe that deliberately hideous Christmas sweaters
will soon become a billion-dollar industry.
All of this is to say that while masquerades sound kind of silly upon initial
thought, when done right they can become memorable experiences and a perfect
way to break up the routine of using alcohol to lubricate the evening’s
conversation, which is usually a downhill slide anyway. However, as you will
note with other outfit-and-accessory-laden festivities – they have an
organizing principle underlying them that contains purpose and meaning. A masquerade shouldn’t be just a “and now we
drink, but with masks on because of reasons” event. The masks should have a
Anonymity was the very first purpose of the Venetian masks, which are one of
the easiest styles of a mask to procure in this day and age. Think of an event
where anonymity would be welcome. For instance, if you are planning a party for
a group of people who scarcely know each other, the party should facilitate
breaking the ice, which may otherwise be thick enough to sink your gathering.
When initiating conversation people reach for social coordinates that may serve
as common ground. In a party of strangers, those coordinates are largely
unknown on a personal level, so strangers tend to go for the most likely common
enemy. That is why small talk involves deep meteorological discussions. The
masks themselves can serve as the icebreaking element for people to engage
with. You can gamify this further – for example, encourage people to introduce
themselves with a pseudonym and create a different identity to the one they
have in real life. Don’t overcomplicate it through – the point is to make the
rules fun, create a few laughs, and once people become amicable wearing masks,
they’ll be more inclined to take them off and make a proper acquaintance; i.e.
– the actual goal of the party. Of course, you can make it into a fancy
masquerade, with a strict dress code, fancy food, and a carefully vetted guest
list, but such gatherings are not for the casual audiences.