How To Organise a Meet Up

The first time I met people off the internet, it was 20 bubblers at some pub I’d never been to, and I was supposedly the organsier- I was a nervous wreck!

Meeting complete and utter strangers off the internet isn’t always easy, even for the most social butterflies, and even if you feel like you know them pretty well from online.

So think about how best to comfort people and make them realise that not everyone on the internet is a scary monster…

- meet in a public place where there are passers by
- consider a daytime meet
- ensure any activities include people
- invite attendees to bring a friend or partner along for moral support
- be clear about how to identify each other at the meet up point
- have a way for attendees to contact you/someone on the day
- touch base with attendees prior to the day so they know you really do exist and that it will be going ahead.

Inviting People
Well I can tell you how not to invite people- with a vague open ended forum post like “anyone in suchandsuchatown want to meet up one weekend?” This results in three pages of umming and arring and trying to work out details.

What you need to do is give it some thought and present a cohesive idea along with the message that you are flexible to other people’s ideas.
Here is an example of how I first suggested a group of us drive 3 hours out of melbourne for a night in Lorne.

I suggest having the following details in your invitation post:

- A date and time to meet
- A specific meet up location (somewhere well known is best)
- A suggested activity for the day/evening
- How you will identify each other
- How you will contact attendees should there be a change of plans
- How attendees should contact you/someone else should they be late etc.
- Advise people on what they should bring- lunch money, camera etc.

Once you have written and posted your invitation in all the right places, (such as a relevant group) people will start to respond. Some will jump in with a big YES!, others will express disappointment at living at the other side of the world, others will ask you to change the date, some will ask you to change other details.

When negotiating details, remember that more changes, the more confusing it gets. So don’t feel like you need to bend to every person who can’t make a certain date, or whatever. Some people will miss out – they can come to the next one!

Lorne 07 – RB Melb Group Shot by whoalse

A few days before

Let attendees know that it is in fact going ahead, confirm the details and get yourself orgainsed. If you have promised them red balloons to mark the meet up point- buy them. If you need to wash your picnic rug, do it. Just trust me on this. You will be nervous on the day itself and are more likely to forget things.

Some of my suggestions for the day before are:

- charge you camera batteries
- print off a list of people who are coming and any mobile numbers you have for them
- double check any reservations you have and confirm numbers
- Charge your mobile phone and ensure you have enough credit to make several calls
- If you are doing the popular red balloon thing, bring string to tie them to something
- Pack a map, even if you know the area well. It makes giving directions to others easier.
- If there is a reservation, make sure attendees know what name it is under

Once you are all packed, leave everything you are taking at the front door or in a pile somewhere like that.

On the Day

This is the bit where people call you to cancel, rock up late, get lost, and never arrive for reasons you will never find out.

- Have your mobile phone on Loud. Boy I have learned this the hard way several times over!
- Be the first person to the meetup point
- Decide how long you are prepared to hang around waiting for latecomers
- Watch out for people arriving
- Introduce yourself with a smile and if your real name is different to your username, introduce yourself with both names.
- Introduce people to each other as they arrive

Then you all go off and have a bunch of fun!!!

The rest takes care of itself, trust me :)

Oh yeah, almost forget… the absolute most important bit of all
post all the photos in a journal post on redbubble so we can all see :)

Journal Comments

  • Anne van Alkemade
  • John Robb
  • Melinda Kerr
  • Boadicea
  • RoughDiamond
  • edwinng
  • SpaceAce07
  • Steven  Lippis
  • Matsumoto
  • Melissa Vowell
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