Monday, September 12, 2011

Large Meetup Tips (And a Meetup Report)

Yesterday there was a yukata-themed meetup! It was for both yukata and Lolita, so I went with the happy medium and wore Wa-Lolita :P

It was a larger than usual crowd and consisted of both new and not-new Lolitas. Since even the organizer didn't know everybody, she developed a really handy system to make sure everybody who came was actually invited, everybody paid, and everybody got to know each other a little bit. I thought it was pretty rad so I am going to share!

This was my outfit :)
Open Invitation
The meetup was organized on Plurk, open to all. The theme was clearly stated (yukata and Lolita) and an updated guest-list was kept.

After a final headcount, the hotel restaurant was called and our space reserved for 30. Each attendee then had to pay a NT$100 deposit. Those who missed the deadline got their names put on a list which was reposted every day as a reminder. Not only is it embarrassing to have your name on the "Did Not Pay" list, it actually was helpful because one Lolita hadn't been online in a few days and one of the other Lolitas saw her name on the list and texted her to let her know there was a mandatory deposit. If anybody hadn't paid by the day before the meet, their spot would be canceled. Luckily, that didn't happen to anybody!

2 days before the meet, the organizer sent out a notice to all attendees that there would be a checklist and name tags for everybody to avoid any uninviteds mixing their way in or any no-shows since we would have to cover the cost of their absence if anybody didn't show.

Checking In
As each guest arrived, she checked in on a list of guests and received a name tag with her name on it to make it easier to meet and remember new people. Due to the large number of people, we were split into 3 tables but throughout the meet migrated between tables to chat. A few girls arrived late but called ahead to let the organizer know that they were still coming!

Eating and Introductions
As food was served, we all got to know our tablemates better. Some people were familiar with each other already, and some were at their very first meetup, so it was fun to get to know everybody!
Our food was a 3-tier Japanese thing!

It was really fancy and surprisingly filling! I had to take a break after the second tier and chat before moving on to the third tier

Yes, the entire third tier is dessert!

After most people were finished eating, we started self-introductions. The organizer went first, of course and then we just went around in circles around each table. For those who were shyer they went up in pairs to introduce themselves. Many photos were taken and everybody was warmly welcomed~

After several hours of chatting and photography, it was time to pay! Each table had a "cash collector" who collected the money from everybody. Those who did not have exact change would get their change from the "collector." After each person paid, they could hand their name tag back in. This way, there wouldn't be a mystery amount of leftover unpaid bill which, unfortunately, has happened at a meetup I attended back in Minnesota. After all name tags were checked in, we paid the restaurant and went outside for MORE PHOTOGRAPHY!

I hope these ideas are somewhat helpful to those of you thinking of organizing your own meetups either with large groups, people you haven't met before, or both!

To finish off this post, have a group photo!!

I'm all hidden in the back ;)