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Help me create a fun scoring system for a party
January 30, 2013 7:08 AM   Subscribe

So we've got a chocolate-tasting party next month, with about 50 people attending. We divide into dark, semi, milk and (yes, sorry, purists) white, around 20 types. I've done this before (really fun) but used paper and pen, tallying up the winners at the end of the night. This time I was thinking of giving guests a few of something to hold - poker chips? - and have them drop them into jars or something near their favorites. I'm not so hot on the poker chips in a glass jar idea, though, since you can't see them from far away, and it doesn't really have much volume in the jar. Any fun ideas?
posted by VeniceGlass to Society & Culture (26 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
M&Ms? Since it's for a chocolate tasting party? The almond ones are the biggest, I think. Give everyone a bag of M&Ms. Done.
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:10 AM on January 30, 2013


Pick up some hefty foil-wrapped chocolate candies. Chocolate coins would be fun! Or maybe hearts, since people are choosing their favorite.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:13 AM on January 30, 2013


Use smaller jars?
posted by chrisfromthelc at 7:15 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seconding Solon and Thanks. Since Valentine's Day is coming up, find some foil wrapped chocolate hearts in all red, both so it stands out and lends to the chocolate theme.
posted by deezil at 7:18 AM on January 30, 2013


Chocolate coins would be fun!

Chocolate coins have the advantage that no sane person would want to eat them.
posted by zamboni at 7:24 AM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


In a non-chocolate category, what about getting a big bag of pom-poms from a craft store and using those as tokens? They'll show up well and take up a bunch of space in a glass jar, plus they're festive.
posted by SeedStitch at 7:29 AM on January 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Marbles? Ping pong or bouncy balls?
posted by *becca* at 7:32 AM on January 30, 2013


Something metallic (foil-wrapped chocolates would work), give each person one gold, one silver and one bronze. Have them vote for first, second and third favorites accordingly. That way you can see not just how many votes a chocolate got but also whether it's overwhelmingly people's favorite or just in their top three.
posted by payoto at 7:40 AM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thought about the ping pong balls (a little big) and marbles (accident waiting to happen!)

I'm leaning towards the chocolate coins or M&Ms
posted by VeniceGlass at 7:41 AM on January 30, 2013


It depends on your set-up, but maybe you can do a board at each station that guests can put stickers on.
posted by Fig at 7:41 AM on January 30, 2013


Jellybeans might be less liable to melting than M&Ms.
posted by jeather at 7:42 AM on January 30, 2013


Jellybeans might be less liable to melting than M&Ms.

Yeah, I wouldn't want to walk around all night having to hold any candy. It'd get all melty and sticky in my hands/pockets.

If you're going for something visible, you might as well make it pretty! Go to a craft store and spend ten bucks getting a few bouquets of fake flowers like this. Cut off the individual stems, put a little vase (or the jars you already have work great, too), and give each guest a few flowers. Chocolate with the biggest bouquet at the end of the night wins.

I also like payoto's ranking system idea...color rankings would be easy to achieve with the fake flowers.
posted by phunniemee at 7:48 AM on January 30, 2013


Jellybeans, M&Ms and other candies might be too sticky for people prone to warm, sweaty hands. How about plastic or acrylic beads meant for making jewelry? A huge variety here to look at. Or at any local craft store. You could drop them into clear vases, apothecary jars, wine bottles, etc.

Or the marble idea could be rescued by just a circle of felt placed on the bottom of whatever the vessel is?
posted by houseofdanie at 7:50 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


How about cacao beans?
posted by FreezBoy at 7:54 AM on January 30, 2013


Maybe small vases with colored stones like you can get at craft stores? And then your guests could take them home as party favors.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:01 AM on January 30, 2013


Espresso beans?
posted by spinifex23 at 8:34 AM on January 30, 2013


Felt balls?
posted by like_neon at 8:47 AM on January 30, 2013


Big puffy marshmallows! Everyone gets a little bag. They are super-light, take up plenty of room visually and will not melt.
posted by kate blank at 8:47 AM on January 30, 2013


Little plastic dinosaurs from the toy section of the local dollar store.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:11 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I helped organize a fundraising event where we used pop beads as currency for people to "spend" on drinks, games, etc. It worked really well: people bought a bracelet of pop beads, worth $1 per bead. Then throughout the evening they could detach beads whenever they wanted to buy a drink or play a game.

At your party, people won't be buying them, but you could still do the same thing: as guests arrive, give them a bracelet or necklace of pop beads which they use to vote on their favourite chocolates. Maybe they could be colour coded (red=favourite, blue=2nd fave, yellow=3rd fave) or you could have people put 3 beads in the one they liked best, 2 in their 2nd fave, 1 in their 3rd fave.

Pros: easy to carry and keep together, can be colour-coded, take up space in jar, easily visible. Also, reusable for your next tasting party or for kids' crafts.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:17 AM on January 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Lego bricks and have them get built up into something as votes accrue.
posted by advicepig at 9:31 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


If I was handed something edible at an eating party, I would eat it. I'd go with a non-edible voting mechanism.
posted by amanda at 10:33 AM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Use little round things [M&Ms? marbles? mini marshmallows? little plastic balls?] and tall tubes just big enough to hold them. As people drop them into the tubes, the relative popularity will be easily visible across the room.
posted by chazlarson at 10:44 AM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


bouncy balls from the dollar store.
posted by theora55 at 10:45 AM on January 30, 2013


Oh I love those tubes! How to mount them... I guess more acrylic and a glue gun as a base.
posted by VeniceGlass at 10:56 AM on January 30, 2013


Not to be a downer, but once one type of chocolate starts obviously scoring ahead of the rest, people's choices will probably be subconsciously influenced by seeing that. The score-at-the-end-of-the-night system works better for that reason.

I went to a chocolate tasting party once, and the best thing about it to me was how unexpected some of the results were, and also finding out how my own tastes differed from other peoples, and also from what I would have guessed. (All the chocolate we tasted had the brand names and prices obscured, so we only found that out later).

So in case there are people like me there who would rather try to keep themselves from becoming biased, I think the m&ms idea or something else where the scoring items are small enough that the winner isn't hugely obvious until you count them might be best.
posted by lollusc at 3:21 PM on January 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


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