At an event a few weeks ago, the organizer decided to try and build a little networking in a group. We were at dinner, with 7 or 8 tables of 4-6 people each. Those are manageable groups, and I had the chance to meet people I was sitting with, but as is the case with many events, it's harder to get to know other people.
Not leaving people to their own devices, the organizer had each person stand up in front of the group, give a two sentence bio about where we were from and our function at the event, and then tell us three things about themselves. The kicker: one of the things was a lie and the rest of us were supposed to guess which one.
It started slow, but people started to get interested, and there were some very cool facts and lies being told by the various people.
That won't work everywhere, but it would have been easy to get groups of 5-10 people to play the game, and tell something about themselves. In a more professional setting, you could limit the things to truths or lies about your job or career.
The idea of a game is often unappealing to many people, but once you get them started, they usually enjoy it. At your next event, consider doing some sort of short game that might get people to network and introduce themselves, and build a little bit of a bond among themselves.