There's nothing like a cocktail hour for socializing and networking in a relaxed, leisurely setting. New acquaintances are made and old ones rekindled. Job openings are circulated, and the seeds of many successful business dealings are planted.
Remember that these events should allow people to talk. Keep the music soft and in the background, and save the loud music for the closing evening event when everyone is all talked out.
Bars take up a lot of floor space at these events