number participants, individuals, couples, mixed compilation, number of courses, preferences, guests, circulation as couples or as individuals, exemptions, drink in advance, coffee afterwards, necessaty of (walking) directions, communications, allergies, dietwishes, blokkades, guests in the past, unexpected cancellation, etc..
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Problem: not te meet each other twice

De biggest challenge in producing the table settings is that participants do not meet twice. That is the case in the setting above. Different techniques exist to solve this problem with pen and paper. A check is done on each host by placing horizontally their guestsnames and names of other participants they meet at other courses. That is done in the matrix in the last column. No name may appear twice.

Problem: history

Some may be well-known with the pen-and-paper technique. However: the bigger the group the more extensive the job. But it will be extremely difficult if one has to take into account the table settings in the past: as host one doesn't want to have the same course or guests as last time.

Other complicating facts

1. a mixture of partners/couples and indivual paricipants;
2. a rdinner for couples/partners but with individual roulation (exempt on own course);
3. the number of particpants is not a multiple of the number of courses (mostly 3);
4. participants who are strongly restricted in the number of guests they can/want to have;
5. participants exempted from a course;
6. participants with a strong preference (either course or guest);
7. participants who strongly do not want to meet;
8. preference voor a certain particpant as guest.

In short: an almost endless and time-consuming puzzle, whereby the result even can be thrown into the bin when somebody unexpected cancels his/her participation.

continu: Problems (2)