A couple of days ago I joined Robin Hanson, briefly in town, and about twenty of his other friends for dinner at a restaurant. We were seated at a long table, with the result that my conversation was limited to those at my end of it. That struck me as a pity, since Robin tends to have interesting friends.
I proposed a solution and Robin's wife proceeded to implement it. Every five minutes, everybody shifts one seat to his right. The displacement is small enough so that no conversations are immediately interrupted, but, as those you were talking with move gradually farther away, you can taper off one conversation and start another with those now coming into range. In the course of less than an hour you have an opportunity to meet and converse with everyone.