Tips for Planning an Unofficial TravBuddy Meetup
Tips for Planning an Unofficial TravBuddy Meetup Reviews
I don't know what to write here, but I have to write something ;) Jan 11, 2008
After the first official TravBuddy meetup in Ireland and the successful first unofficial gathering in Los Angeles, meetups are popping up everywhere! They are so much fun and a great way to meet local TravBuddies and people traveling through your area (and travelman727 :P). After recently planning one I thought it would be helpful to give some tips based on my experience:
THE NUMBER ONE THING
Come up with the date and general plan before you post it in the forum. When an internet forum is the main way of communication, if everyone is throwing ideas and info around, it will probably lead to confusion and stress on the part of the person(s) planning. It's probably best to have 1-3 people working on the details through messaging and/or phone calls. Also, there will always be people traveling in and out of any area so it's impossible to set a date on which everyone can make it. But there will always be people around who can make it! So if you have the idea to do it, don't be afraid to plan it and post it. Message a few of your local TravBuddy friends to find a date that works for all of you and go from there!
TIME AND DATE
Obviously Saturday is the best day for a meetup. Depending on where you do it or what you do, it's probably a good idea to schedule it early. If you decide to do it at a nightlife oriented place, it's good to do it before the regular Saturday evening crowds arrive. Renting a place/room is expensive and you shouldn't do it (if you have to pay out of your own pocket). Also, TravBuddies seem to run on what I call "Ghana Time". Most people casually stroll in an hour or more late! So allow for this and also for people who get caught up in traffic or have a hard time with parking. I think it's best to avoid doing a meetup during busy travel times like mid summer, holiday weekends or on days where you know there's a big event going on in the area (big sporting events, Barry Manilow on Ice, etc). If you're up for it, you can also try a pre-meetup gathering the night before the main meetup so people can have more of an opportunity to chat with each other.
LOCATION AND WHAT TO DO
This is probably the trickiest aspect of planning a meetup. You should plan something that's not too specific, something that everyone can enjoy. I'm liking the OC meetup's beach idea so I'm curious to see how that goes! The main entertainment is each other and most people can agree on food and drinks. My first instinct was to do it at a restaurant, but with a large group, sitting at a table can be restricting. Then I looked into bars, but it's hard to find something that's not just a narrow strip of a bar. Most clubs usually have really loud DJs and aren't open early. I didn't want to go with something too fancy, but I also didn't want to do it in a dive. And yet another thing to think about is proximity to public transportation, parking, and the general area it's in.
I picked Jade Bar because it was open at 5pm and it serves small plates and specialty cocktails. I was hoping that if people had a little to eat there, they wouldn't take off too early in search of food. It's about 5 blocks from public transportation which isn't too bad (although I think Lauri claimed it was a long walk :P). Most of us who used BART got rides back with our new friends at the end of the night. Jade Bar is small but bigger than most bars and I knew Saturday wasn't their big night because it's the only night without happy hour. And I wanted to get there early so we could take over the bottom room without reserving it. So you might have to take a chance and hope for the best!
Now people are starting to have mutiple part meetups. I think that's a cool idea! This gives people options on what they want to participate in and it gives people more time to spend with each other!
SPREAD THE WORD
Enlist the help of others to spread the word. Look up people who seem active and live in the area or people who are traveling through and send a simple comment or message to let them know. Many people are willing to drive several hours or fly an hour or two so don't forget about these people. Put it the details and info on somewhere on your profile. It's helpful to post updates in the first page on the forum so people can easily find information about the meetup and who is coming.
The easiest part. We all have one thing in common so this immediately makes for a really fun time and non stop conversation!
P.S.- I'm reading this for the first time in awhile and realizing these are great tips... I don't always follow my own advice!
13 / 13 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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