This method is good to quickly get beyond the standard questions when people meet each other for the first time. Its especially good in a semi-informal setting such as dinners or a networking event.
The participating people write down what they feel like talking about the very moment. Make sure people feel comfortable to write really ANYTHING on their note, not just what they think is appropriate for the event. This way you can make sure the conversations become truly interesting. The paper with the hints, often shaped as a speech bubble, is stuck with security pins to their backs. The topics of the main interest so become visible, and when choosing whom to speak to, you always have an entry point to interesting conversation.