The Five C’s of a White Elephant Party 2.0

Posted on: January 31, 2009

Marketing blogger Mike Fruchter collaborated with several other social media pundits to write Social Marketing in 2009, Valerian Maltoni’s new eBook. I particularly liked Mike’s five C’s discussion. He suggests that they represent the foundation and core of social media – Conversation, community, commenting, collaboration and contribution.

The thought occurred to me that these five C’s represent much of the DNA of a traditional party game or activity. If a social party was hosted in a Web 2.0 world, it would need to pay attention to these five elements in order to become a Party 2.0.

In a traditional party the conversation, community and commenting activities seem to happen organically. To some extent collaboration and contribution stay in the background unless the host provides a reason to bring them forward. A party really needs all five C’s to fully be memorable social event, so it is the host’s responsibility to find ways to build collaboration and encourage contribution.

For illustration on how a party game can add in all five C’s, let’s dissect the traditional party activity called the White Elephant Gift Exchange. Millions of these gift exchange events are included in parties each year. It is my contention that they remain popular specifically because they introduce all five C’s into the party.

This activity involves gathering a Community of family and friends into one room where they Contribute a gift for the common good of the party. This gift giving Collaboration is at the core of the White Elephant Gift Exchange game, because everyone comes together in a win-win activity. One of the rules of the White Elephant Exchange is that people are allowed to steal any open gift. The act of stealing a gift from another player forces a comment from ether or both involved. In reality, this action usually elicits extreme Commenting among all players. The final C’s of Conversation is a part of any human gathering. But in the White Elephant game there are many reasons to discuss the play of the game.

The more that I watch the social interaction of people in a party the more I am convinced that a host is doing a huge disservice if they leave out a game. Without the connecting activity, all the C’s have trouble creating a Party 2.0 type experience.

Do you use all of the C’s in your traditional parties? I don’t think that you can without a game…


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