I really think that you are on the right track with your thoughts on this.
I'd pick a neutral place where you can be social - I have done the "getting to meet" thing in an Applebees and a local coffee shop (I preferred the latter). Let things flow, and don't try to "facilitate" or force things too much.
Please check out The Birdcage - an open, friendly Polyamory forum for all parts of New York State
"Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf." - Native American Proverb