|Kitty's called Lilo! Found via Fuckyeahcats.|
Start by making a blog post, twit, etc asking if anyone would be interested in a meet up. A community discussion would be brilliant for finding out activity ideas and good locations. Now everyone knows there's a meet up happening it's time to make it official.
Place and time.
You need to decide on an appropriate time and date, you don't have to ask every single person if that date is okay before confirming. Just make they have a good amount of time to book in any holidays from work and mark it in their calender. Some people won't be able to make it but don't keep changing the time to suit other people, stick to your time and place to make it easier for everyone else. Keep reminding people every month with an email or blog post whatever you prefer, when it gets closer to the event you can post weekly with new of information and photo previews.
Finding a venue can be more tricky than you think, you need a good amount of space on a budget. Predict how many people will be interested and quote this to manager, it's important if you're considering having food or are using seats. If it's a good meet up you could try a village hall or a community centre, they're usually willing to rent them out for a low price. Function rooms in pubs are fairly priced and may even let you use it for a free during the day. If it's a small meet up I recommend using a pub or coffee house, you don't need permission to meet there if there's only a few of you. You could even host at your own house if you're generous enough.
Personally I recommend you skip the food and ask people to bring their own nibbles to share, if it's in a pub or coffee house you could organize some cupcakes on a tray but don't go overboard. Food rarely gets finished at meet ups because everyone is too busy talking and enjoying themselves.
There's a few things to consider before deciding on a venue, number one is consider the location. Is it central and easy to find? Are there enough tables and chairs? Would food be an issue? Would it be okay if we brought equipment (for example a sewing machine or face masks). Always check with the manager if they're okay with the meet up theme and activities involved.
One long last important things: please check the weather! Don't plan a tea party in the graveyard with no back up.
Whether you want a theme if up to you, if meet ups are regular it's a good idea to have a themed one to keep things fresh. Keep the theme optional though, if you have to dress up as a pirate to enter people may not come. Typical themes include:
- Alice in Wonderland.
- Tea party.
- Make do and Mend.
The more creative the better, most people love to get dressed up and plan outfits.
Spread the word.
Use your blog, twitter, facebook or anything social networking website to get the message out. You could try handing out flyers in your area and pinning some up in community boards. Contacting a magazine would be better but only if it's a large meet up and could appeal to a wide audience.
During the meet up I recommend using activities to get everyone relaxed and talking, you can't have an awkward silence with knitting needles clicking away! There's a few ideas to get you started:
- Diy beauty, make your own face masks to apply or give each other a manicure.
- Crafting, teach each other to knit or make a quilt together.
- Party games, they lighten the mood and make everyone laugh.
- Do something for charity, you could do a walk together and make a blanket for hospitals.
- Baking, help each other with icing cupcakes. Keep it simple and yummy.
The activity should relate to your meet up but don't be afraid to think outside the box, if it's a large group you could set up a few activities so there's something for everyone to enjoy. Activities usually involve bringing materials and equipment, ask everyone to bring something in. Personally I would ask individuals to bring a certain something but just in case bring your own box of basic supplies, some people will forget or be lazy.
Now you've finally organized your meet up you can practise your hosting skills. Being a host usually involves being nice and sociable, making sure the party doesn't flop and everything is organized and ready. Don't panic if anything goes wrong, the meet up is about having fun and making new friends.