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REVIEW: Squadify’s 1920’s Murder Mystery Networking Night

Words by: Tahlia Sanders

Squadify, the Perth start-up promising to help young professionals “network smarter”, held its first event last weekend: a 1920’s themed murder mystery night. The event took place at Wolf Lane, an alleyway-nestled, vintage furniture-stocked, spectacularly grungy artwork-adorned cocktail bar off Murray Street. I was surprised to note how much of an effort all of the guests had put in for the event, none of them would have looked out of place in a 1920’s speakeasy.

The night kicked off with a great deal of enthusiasm on behalf of the guests and the hosts. We were very well provided for, with delicious canapés being delivered throughout the night and an impressive cocktail menu available at the bar. Guests were provided with envelopes at intervals throughout the night, which revealed increasingly important information about our role in the game as time went on and provided us with fake cash for bribing important information out of others. Upon receiving the first of these envelopes, all the guests quickly stepped into character. I was Cindy Butt; the cigarette girl at the party, as well as a collector of secrets and a vindictively independent woman. At the beginning of the night I was subject to a great deal of suspicion from other guests, but as the plot thickened it became apparent that I was but a red herring in a much bigger picture.

When a key player in the game, mob boss Notorious Nick, was murdered early on in the night, multiple viable lines of suspicion emerged. Was it Flora, Nick’s ex wife? Mugsy, Nick’s right-hand man? One of the wannabe actresses vying for the lead role in the movie Nick was funding? Or even the bootlegger, Bernie Booze, whose business was blacklisted by Nick after Nick was served a tainted bottle of gin? In the end, a somewhat underwhelming plot twist saw the police chief in handcuffs, revealing he wasn’t as squeaky clean as one might have expected.

Overall, the night was exciting, professional and well executed, although there were a few giveaways that this was Squadify’s first time organising an event. Some of the guests were complaining that Squadify had sold too many tickets by creating unnecessary secondary character roles, leaving them on the sidelines for much of the game. I was also left wondering whether the structure of the evening was very conducive to networking, with most people remaining in their character the entire night and with the guests coming from such a range of potentially incompatible industries. Perhaps Squadify could tweak their next event to make networking with relevant people a little more accessible to guests.

Guests were rewarded for their performance throughout the night with various prizes upon the evening’s commencement. I walked away with a “Best Dressed” award for my cigarette girl costume and other guests received prizes for their acting, guessing the correct murderer and accruing the most money throughout the night. It was a nice way of wrapping up a pleasant evening.

I look forward to seeing what Squadify comes up with for their next event.