I was browsing the Dumnonni Chronicles forum when I saw a discussion about an IC Social get together.
Seems some people think that if players come IC together it might ruin the actual game itself.
Well I disagree. Nothing is more fun than players coming together IC to socialise IC. They may even make big plans, forge alliances, try to kill one another (without really killing someone as that should be reserved for during the actual game), ...
For Manticore we've always allowed that (we even encourage it) and most players even invite us (the crew) to attend. When we have time we gladly accept the invitation and create an NPC character for ourselves.
For players it's always nice when crew attends since we can then give them some extra background information, mostly concerning their own group. We do try to make everybody equal be making that info either group specific or publishing the given info in the IC newspaper.
One of the fears that some crew have is that people would undertake actions that might break the game. But I don't understand this fear. Players can always secretely come together (IC or OOC). At least when the crew knows about the get togethers they can invite themselves :-) and check that everything goes well.
Most notoriously of all player IC get togethers I participated in must be the annual Rafiki's Birthday party each August. In 2008 there was even a murder attempt on Rafiki, without actually killing him. Result: the players who attended it were even more anxious for the next Manticore event.
I believe that the crew should be thankfull that players want to organise IC get togethers. It proves that you have players who really enjoy your fictional world and want to spend time in that world. What better praise can there be? :-)
It also means your players want to prepare themselves for the next game, meaning better IC-ness on their part.
This makes me remember Dragonbane, the day before the game started we were already IC-ish, which helped us get to know each other better in RL (we only knew most of the other players from the internet). Get to know the IC names of everybody etc. All in all the end result is in most cases better IC moments and immersion.
The only caveat of IC get togethers and crew attending is that the crew might give those attending the get together some advantage. Here I mean that the crew can give some background info that is specific to some plot of the (next) event. Crew should take caution to make sure that (a) the info they give is solely intended for the given playergroup or (b) that the info will be distributed via an IC newspaper or such.
As it would else be unfair to those players who are unable to attend/organise IC get togethers.
Let me know if I missed something major :-)