Usually in life, the thing that feels the most “comfortable” in the short-term is damaging in the long-term.
For example, sitting on the couch and eating ice cream feels quite comfortable at the moment, but we know that causes long-term health problems. The same is true, in my opinion, of trying to get comfortable by meeting people online before an event. It feels great and proactive, but ultimately you’re much better off walking into the event not knowing anyone.
Whether it’s a Kik group, Facebook group or even a party’s web-platform, it’s a crutch. It may alleviate some of the uncomfortable pre-event anxiety, but it will very quickly become an anchor that’s slowing you down. The temporary relief can cause you long-term pain.
If you’ve talked with attendees online before, you’re no doubt going to sit and speak to those couples at the event.
You’re already in a “clique” before the event has even begun. You “know” those people and you do not know anyone else. The chat group will circle up and chat amongst themselves.
The people who did not know about, or have the time or energy for online chatting end up getting left out of the clique mentioned above.
You may immediately realize you’re not attracted to anyone in this chat group after you see them in person. Regardless of attraction, if you’ve invested dozens of hours chatting online, it would be rude to not spend time with them at the event. Therefore you’re talking to people you aren’t going to connect with, while missing out on people you find more attractive.
The bottom line is that you’d be better off finding couples that “catch your eye” and approaching them. Sounds scary, but that’s exactly why you need to do it. There are 70 couples there all roughly the same age. You do not need the Internet to help you spot potential play partners. They are everywhere you turn. You have to walk up and say “hello” and that’s a skill that will only be retarded by you trying to bypass your anxiety.
Remember that it’s ok to be nervous, and there is only one way to overcome it.