What problem does this solve?
People like to have some time to socialize with one another after a long day of editing. Many editing events bring together people who may not know each other, but who share common interests. There is often not time during the event for people to get to know each other very well.
What is the solution?
Advertise an informal social gathering after your event, that everyone is invited to. Have the social event at a nearby location, rather than the event venue, to create a relaxed, casual atmosphere and so that people don't feel like the party is required.
At the beginning of the event (perhaps when you are going over the agenda for the day), let participants know that there is an optional social gathering at the end of the day.
- You don't need to offer to pay for the event (although you can if it is in your budget!).
- But make it clear to everyone who's gonna pay for their drinks :)
- Wikimedia Italy organized a "Culture walk" for participants in their 2013 Wikimedia Conference
- Grant report: WMIT Wikimedia Conference 2013