Starting Your Own Survival / Prepping Group Part 3: The Big EventDecember 24, 2015 by Aaron Chappell | Be the first to comment »
All of your preparation and boring administrative work is about to pay off now that you’re actually getting ready to run your event. In this article we’ll talk about event flow and how to keep people from falling asleep in their seats as well as getting contact information and setting the momentum for the next event. This part should be the most fun of all the work you’ve put in, both for you and the members of your group.
7: Greet everyone at the door
Either figure out a way to do this yourself or have someone who’s helping you (if you’re lucky enough to have any volunteers) do this. Ideally make sure that the person is greeted a few times within 5 minutes of walking in the door and have the greeter introduce the person to several other people there. Introducing a new person around helps prevent groups “clumping” into cliques and can help get everyone over the social awkwardness of first meetings early on.
8: Short group introductions and what they’re preparing for
Once you get everyone to their seats I highly recommend doing a round robin brief introduction and letting everyone mention what they’re preparing for. Place a time limit on the introduction, something along the lines of:
“Hey everyone, we’re going to go around the room real quick and introduce ourselves real quick in case there’s anyone you didn’t get a chance to meet before the meeting. If you wouldn’t mind just tell everyone your name and take about 30 seconds to tell everyone who you are and what you’re preparing for. Please be brief since we’ve got a lot to cover today.”
This was one of the most important little side notes I found from organizing meetings and attending meetings that others organized. For a lot of the people that will attend these gatherings they feel ostracized or crazy around groups of “normal” people who just want to talk about the local sports team and how little Timmy is doing in math. These meetings have an important secondary function of providing a place to decompress and build a little community and comradeship but once people start relaxing it’s easy for stronger personalities to hijack the course and content of your meetings. Setting a time limit and then enforcing that time limit is important for maintaining a good flow.
9: Body of the meeting
Briefly introduce your instructor (“Hey everybody, this is Earle and he’s a local butcher who’s going to show us how to break down a pig” or “Hey everyone this is Tony and he’s a local pyromaniac) or yourself if you haven’t already and then get down to it. I recommend keeping everything fast paced and then planning to have questions asked during specific period. If possible try to get the attendees involved in some sort of hands on way.
10: Aftermath and Admin
After the meeting is over thank everyone for attending and refer anyone interested in coming out further to a contact sheet (this can be as simple as a note pad set aside for contact details or as elaborate as references to online groups or websites with forums). I’ve found it extremely useful to mention when the next meeting will be (even if you don’t have a topic all you need to provide is location, contact information for yourself, and a date and time) and then invite anyone who is still hanging around to come out for a bite to eat. Some of the best comradeship and friendships I have developed in the prepper community were at the “meeting after the meeting” over beer and hotwings and really getting to know people.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article series. In the future I’ll be launching another series on using the core group that forms out of open meetings like this to form the nucleus of a Mutual Assistance Group.