I have been thinking about what content I can add to CfG that would be useful and not the same old marketing content that I usually write about. So today, I want to share some ideas about running a club or weekly/monthly meetup.
But what do you know?
Currently, I run:
- 3 martial arts groups that I run weekly in two different locations
- and 1 property networking group with over 150 members.
In the past, I have run:
- a European-wide Klingon fan club (Pre Internet. So, we had monthly print newsletters): locals would run get-togethers and sit and watch episodes, go to comic shops or even go bowling.
So I know a few things.
Face-To-Face: Get Started
Here are some ideas for you to start and grow a group. It is fantastic fun and can help you to develop better connections and relationships with people. And give you new skills.
Here we go…
- First, what do you want to run?
- What floats your boat?
- What do you want from it?
- Why is it going to be about?
Having put some thought into that then you will be able to start work on the fun part.
Face-To-Face: The pre-launch
Now you know what you want to run and what it will be about. You might need to find a venue:
- Want to run a film club? You might need a cinema
- Want to run a D&D group? You might need space you can use regularly, check hotels and pubs for function spaces
- Do you need a private space?
- Can you run it from home?
Some of these will cost money, so you need an audience, which means the next thing to do is…
Setup up a Facebook page.
What? Really? But I’m not ready!Anyone starting a new thing.
And that’s the point. You will never be ready until you get interest; once other people show interest, you will have momentum.
Having a page means you can pitch ideas and then share the group with friends family. You can then even do some small low-level advertising on Facebook to get more relevant people to the group to interact.
I have done this every time we build a gathering or club. I am considering one right now but still need some thinking time.
Get people interested interact and keep them up to date. Getting everything in place could take a few weeks to a few months.
Face-To-Face: Location And Costs
Once you have found a location, will you need to pay for it or can you use it for free?
If you need to pay for it – how much does it cost and therefore how many people do you need to attend to pay the costs? The simple model is if you need to pay for a room each time. Work out a fair ticket cost so you can cover the fees, any surplus can go towards marketing or even snacks/pizza… The choice is yours, really.
Then fix the cost. I hate maths, so I keep this really simple: If you have a room for £80 a time, and you charge £10 a session, you need 8 people to break even.
I’m going to stop now. This should give you enough to consider.
It sounds like hard work, and it can be, but for me it is hugely rewarding. I expand my circle of friends, I have fun interacting, I learn stuff and get to hang out with likeminded souls – which in today’s online world is a rare but precious thing.