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An Aro Guide to Creating In-Person Community

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I'm posting this information on Tumblr too as a follow up to this poll, but I think a lot of the more active aro community members are on this forum and not all of y'all use Tumblr (and as formats for keeping track of information goes Tumblr is actually kind of terrible) so I wanted to post this here as well. If you have other advice for aros trying to start in-person communities, please add on! This is by no means the end all and be all of community building, it's just meant to create a starting point for people who need one. 

 

In-person groups are something that every community needs before it can do more on the ground activism, and creating in-person spaces is something I actually have some experience with so that’s where I’d like to start. This information is intended to be general, so you can apply it to creating a larger communal aro space, or to creating a smaller space for an aro subcommunity. Please also note that this is certainly not the *only* way to create an in-person space, every organization does things differently. This is just supposed to give basic and overarching information about how an in-person group can be run, using the knowledge I’ve gained from working with several long-lasting LGBTQIA+ and religious groups.

 

Creating in-person community doesn’t have to take a lot of resources, but it can be hard to maintain. With this in mind, I would like to split this post into 4 parts: Creating a community, maintaining community, general advice, and the benefits of putting in the work. Let’s get started!

 

Creating a community:

 

In order to create in-person community you need five things:

 

1. Space - You will always need a place to meet but take a deep breath, this isn’t the challenge you think it is. Many people get stuck on this, thinking that they’ll need to spend a lot of money to rent a space, but public parks, coffee shops, and free library meeting rooms (which, just fyi usually need to be reserved ahead of time) are all perfectly fine places to start a group.

 

2. Leadership- If you start a new group then you and anyone else you may have started it with, will probably become that groups leadership by default. If you’re the one setting up all the meetings then that makes you the person in charge whether you like it or not and this steers a lot of people away from starting new organizations. And I get that, most of us grow up with very intimidating ideas of what a ‘leader’ looks like and as a result, feel that’s leadership is too much responsibility to take on. But if we want in-person aro groups someones gotta do it, so as someone who has been running my church youth group for 3 years now, I’m here to tell you that my job is 90% herding cats and 10% arts and crafts. That’s it. As long as you know how to make lists, use craft scissors, and keep a schedule you’re perfectly qualified to be the person in charge, don’t let the idea of leadership intimidate you out of trying to start an in-person aro group.

 

3. Time - Especially when you’re first starting out creating a new group can take a lot of time and energy. So make a schedule, take as long as you need to, and if possible, split the work with other people. Putting everything together as quickly and with as little effort as possible is not the way to build an effective community, so go slow if need be, there’s no shame in that.

 

4. An online presence - Every modern organization needs an online presence. This can mean anything from making a Facebook group to creating a whole new website, but whatever you do, you will need a centralized online space where people can consistently find information about your events. If you’re not someone with a lot of web design skills then I recommend using Facebook, or, if you have the money for it, Meetup (Note: Meetup does tend to bring more people to an event than Facebook does, but I know many people have tight budgets, so like don’t worry too much if you can’t afford it. I know a lot of groups that do all their event organizing on Facebook and still have great attendance).

 

5. An Activity- Especially when a community is new, activities are often needed to get people talking to each other. Facilitated group discussions are, IMO, the easiest way to do this, but anything that gets people to talk with each other can work.  

 

Once you have all this the final step is to promote your group. And I mean actually promote it, don’t just make one post about it on your favorite social media site. Leave flyers in coffee shops, post about it on relevant Facebook groups, contact local queer groups and see if they’ll promote it, post about it on neighborhood blogs and bulletin boards. Don’t half-ass this part, aro’s are few and far between and you will need to be loud about your group's existence if you want people to find you.    

 

Maintaining Community:

 

Creating a community is one thing, but maintaining it is another and this is, arguably, the more challenging part of the process. Lots of new organizations never make it past their first few months of existence, but that’s not what we want for the aro community. So here’s are the things that,  in my opinion, are most necessary to keep a group going.

 

1. Persistence - There is a very good chance that the first few meet up’s you arrange will have low or no attendance. New groups are like that, and I know it’s discouraging, but don’t give up. Keep promoting and keep showing up, and then be prepared for no one else to be there. This may sound like an exercise in futility, but I promise it’s not. This summer my church youth group tried to set up a program for teen and young adult Pagans. It took four months for anyone outside of our youth groups to actually show up, but we kept meeting despite that, and now, eight months in, we have relatively high attendance. So bring a book, bring some other work that needs to get done, and if no one shows up do that instead. If you’re doing a good job of promoting your events someone will show up eventually.  

 

2. Have Help- Burn out is real, and trying to run everything yourself is the fastest way to fail, so figure out who can help you run things. Ideally, of course, the people helping you will be other aro’s, but many of us don’t have any irl aro friends so figure out your other options. You’re out to your sister and she’s really good at social media promotion? See if she'll help you get the word out about events. Your friend just really fricking loves graphic design? See if they’ll help you with posters, web design, informational pages, or other similar design needs. As your community grows other aros may be able to take over these tasks, but you will need help from the getgo, so make sure you have at least one or two people to share the work with.   

 

3. Have Community Guidelines- Humans! Are! Messy! And everyone has different ideas about what behaviors are and aren’t acceptable. A good way to prevent these differences from creating issues is to have a set of community guidelines. Put them up on your facebook/website/other social media so people can see them, or better yet, go over them at the beginning of each meeting, this will make sure that everyone knows your group's code of conduct. I suggest involving other community members in the creation of these guidelines so that everyone is happy with them.

 

4. Consistency- This isn’t necessary, but it is helpful. If you can make sure your group meets at the same time or in the same place every meeting it can help people fit your group into their schedule. That said, this isn’t always something that can be managed, so don’t be hard on yourself if it isn't possible. Consistency is an ideal, not a requirement.

 

5. Stay out of Drama- Drama can break up even the most stable communities, so while it’s sometimes unavoidable you should try to stay away from it (especially if you’re leadership). Play well with other queer organizations, and if possible, try to have community members that can act as mediators within the group. I’ve seen more communities then I can count break up because a few people couldn’t get along, don’t let the same thing happen to yours.

 

General Advice:

 

Make something you would want to go to

 

When first starting a group, make it something that you would be excited to participate in. What you want is likely to be what others want too, and if you’re doing something that you already love it will be a lot more bearable if other people don’t show up the first few times.

 

Look at other groups

 

If you’re still anxious about starting a group, take some time and go to some other small meet up groups first. See what they do, and if you’re comfortable, talk to the organizers about how they run things. It’s easier to get started when you can see that other people have done the same thing.

 

Money, money, money

 

Use free spaces, websites, and other materials as much as possible. Once an organization starts needing money just to exist funding will become the top priority no matter what other issues are going on. If you just love finances maybe this will work for you, but I think most of us get stressed out when money becomes an issue. Sometimes these things are unavoidable, but if you can organize your community without spending too much it will let you focus on other things.

 

 The Benefits of Putting in the Work:

 

Running an organization, especially as a volunteer, can often feel like a thankless job, but try and remember how much good it does. Community building can help you understand others better, it allows people to create necessary social networks, and most importantly, people with in-person communities can organize larger political action. Not everyone has the time or energy to start an aromatic group in their area, and that’s perfectly understandable, as we’ve seen it can be a lot of work. But if you can start a group, and you want to start a group, then your organization can do a lot of good

 

Here are some more resources on organizing communities, clubs, and meetups, that, while not aro specific, might still give you some ideas. Hopefully, some of them will be helpful for y’all!

(x) (x) (x)

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@assignedgothatbirth also wrote about in-person aro communities about a month back. Some relevant considerations, maybe.

 

1 hour ago, bananaslug said:

(and as formats for keeping track of information goes Tumblr is actually kind of terrible)

 

You can say that again.

 

1 hour ago, bananaslug said:

3. Have Community Guidelines- Humans! Are! Messy! And everyone has different ideas about what behaviors are and aren’t acceptable. A good way to prevent these differences from creating issues is to have a set of community guidelines. Put them up on your facebook/website/other social media so people can see them, or better yet, go over them at the beginning of each meeting, this will make sure that everyone knows your group's code of conduct. I suggest involving other community members in the creation of these guidelines so that everyone is happy with them.

 

For advice purposes, it seems like it would be good to have some prompts/topics to suggest formulating those guidelines around. I know a lot of people like me aren't usually inclined to even think of an issue until it comes up, if that makes sense. I could easily see somebody getting stumped here.

 

1 hour ago, bananaslug said:

5. Stay out of Drama- Drama can break up even the most stable communities, so while it’s sometimes unavoidable you should try to stay away from it (especially if you’re leadership). Play well with other queer organizations, and if possible, try to have community members that can act as mediators within the group. I’ve seen more communities then I can count break up because a few people couldn’t get along, don’t let the same thing happen to yours.

 

What... does this mean, in practice? "Drama" just means "interpersonal conflict," so... do you have any particular conflict resolution tips besides just "avoid it"? I'm wary of advice like this, tbh, because I think "avoiding drama" can sometimes motivate people to... avoid and not resolve stuff that could have been more easily resolved if it had been just addressed right off the bat, as opposed to dragging it out.

 

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This is great and really useful!  I wanted to elaborate on some things and provide some more resources. I've previously been involved in leadership of my college's queer organization and have been to workshops with tips for different aspects of queer community organization.

 

Coalition Building: If there's local lgbtqa groups in your area, it can be useful to build an alliance with them.  As you mentioned, these such larger groups can help spread awareness of your group.  They can also help with stuff like providing space to meet at a local lgbtqa center and even fundraising things.  In general, they will have more experience on running queer organizations in your area, and therefore might be able to provide resources and advice specific to the area where you live.  This is good both with overall queer organizations but also if there are established ace organizations in the area, they would be well positioned to help.  (TAAAP has a list of ace groups that exist in america, seen here).

 

Advertising: Advertising is very important, though it can be difficult posting to a bunch of different social media platforms.  Make your life easier by using a media management tool which allows you to post to multiple social media sites simultaneously, such as hootsuite and others found here.  Also, it's good to have aesthetically pleasing and easy to see advertisements/pictures; you can use websites like this to make them more easily.

 

Leadership: Most people in leadership positions for communities like this kinda stumble into it; people might look like they know what they're doing, but often they're trying to figure things out themselves and that's okay.  I also agree, it's very important to get help because then there's multiple people to do the work and hold each other accountable.  Also, never stop recruiting people for leadership: many hands make lighter work, plus eventually people will leave for one reason or another so it's always best to have more people.   Another thing is set realistic goals; trying to do too much too quickly just leads to burnout. 

      Additionally, it's important to communicate well with leadership team; if you notice conflict, stop and address it because a lot of times it's due to miscommunication or different leadership styles.  Lastly, use things to help stay organized, including: google drives, trello (online to-do list for groups); also "slack" is a good messaging app for those kinda things...it has a bunch of different channels and overall is like the "professional" version of discord.  (these are based on things I've previously used, I'm sure there's many more)

 

Activities/Meetings: Community discussions are really good, though sometimes it can be difficult if people struggle to think of what to discuss, so plan discussion questions ahead.  Also, especially as an organization grows, you might want to have themed discussion topics.  In my old club, each week we'd have a powerpoint presentation for themed discussion, such as representation in media or intersections with other minority groups; though, it's good to make sure these still are discussions with questions rather than just lectures.  Additionally, it's good to have a social element, such as going out to eat after meetings if people want.  Discussion groups are important and form camaraderie, but more fun and social things help people become friends.
 

Community Guidelines: These are really great to have for facilitating discussions!  Here are a few community guidelines I've often seen used in queer spaces:

  • "Take space, make space": People are encouraged to talk but remember to leave space for other people, who may be more shy, to be able to talk too
  • "One diva one mic": Don't talk over someone who's speaking
  • "ouch-oops": If someone says something hurtful to you, say "ouch" and then they'll respond "oops" to acknowledge they did something that upset you. This is a useful way to address these things without completely derailing the conversation; I've most commonly seen it used when someone accidentally misgenders someone.
  • Gender inclusive language: Remember not to gender people based on presentation and to use gender inclusive language in general.  For example, instead of addressing a group with terms such as "guys", use terms such as "Y'all".
  • "Stories stay here, lessons leave": there's a certain amount of confidentiality around things people share, and it's important to remember not to share other people's stories which they shared in confidence.  Take and share the lessons you learn, but don't repeat the stories.
  • "I" statements: talk about your own experiences, not other people's.
  • Diversity: the queer community has a lot of diverse intersections to other minority groups, and it's important to respect all aspects of other people's identities.

(Here is a link to "Campus Pride" which has similar guidelines and more)

 

Accessibility: It's important to try and be accessible and provide relevant accessibility information.  Now, it's generally unrealistic to be 100% accessible to everyone due to limited resources and also conflicting accessibility needs, but there are some relatively simple things that can help:

  • Provide accessibility information for events
    • this includes how physically accessible the location is and also if it would require much walking/standing or if it is very loud which might cause sensory issues.
  • Food and dietary information
    • if your event has food, that's great! people love food! But remember, a lot of people have dietary restrictions including food allergies, so it's important to make sure food is properly labelled.  Also, have information available on what kind of food it will be beforehand, perhaps providing a link to restaurant/caterer as relevant.
    • Examples of common dietary restrictions: Vegan/Vegetarian, gluten (Celiac disease), lactose intolerance, Food allergies (including nuts, shellfish, eggs, & soybeans), and religious dietary restrictions (Kosher & Halal).
    • (I personally have had a lot of issues with this; if something says there's food but doesn't specify what, I have to assume there will be nothing for me to eat...and I'm typically correct.  I can think of at least two times where I was at events where I expected there to have enough to eat only to discover the provided information was insufficient, and I found it very stressful and it made me unable to enjoy the event).
  • Communication accessibility
    • Making visual presentations easily visible (with size and font/background colors); use bullet points and frequent paragraph breaks to make things more readable 
    • Speaking loudly/clearly; when talking to people who have problems hearing, speak facing them; have discussions in a circle so people can see each other
  • Avoid use of ableist language

(There's more detailed info for accessibility here, especially under "Holding inclusive events")

 

Hope this helps!

 

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13 hours ago, Coyote said:

What... does this mean, in practice? "Drama" just means "interpersonal conflict," so... do you have any particular conflict resolution tips besides just "avoid it"? I'm wary of advice like this, tbh, because I think "avoiding drama" can sometimes motivate people to... avoid and not resolve stuff that could have been more easily resolved if it had been just addressed right off the bat, as opposed to dragging it out.

 

As I said in the original posts, the best way to deal with ingroup drama is to have people who can act as mediators within the group

 

As for drama with other queer and aspec groups, this is advice for people within a leadership role, and when you're in that role, maintaining relationships with other organizations does often require more finesse than just talking it out. When you're in charge your actions reflect not just on yourself, but on your entire group, so you have to be aware of how you're presenting yourself.

 

In the context of coalition building and working with other groups my advice on avoiding drama is:

- Separate the personal and professional, it's okay to work out issues with individuals from another organization in a personal setting, but there's no place for that when collating with their group

-Don't bad mouth other organizations to other queer community leaders or during official group meetings. You never know who things will get back to.

-If you have a friendly relationship with another group then be open to doing projects or having shared events with them when possible because this builds goodwill between your organizations. 

 

You might think this stuff is all really obvious, but I can tell you from watching things play out in my own local community it isn't for some people. Play well with others if at all possible because it will help you gain credibility and make it easier for your group to access needed resources. 

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23 hours ago, Magni said:

Food and dietary information

  • if your event has food, that's great! people love food! But remember, a lot of people have dietary restrictions including food allergies, so it's important to make sure food is properly labelled.  Also, have information available on what kind of food it will be beforehand, perhaps providing a link to restaurant/caterer as relevant.
  • Examples of common dietary restrictions: Vegan/Vegetarian, gluten (Celiac disease), lactose intolerance, Food allergies (including nuts, shellfish, eggs, & soybeans), and religious dietary restrictions (Kosher & Halal).
  • (I personally have had a lot of issues with this; if something says there's food but doesn't specify what, I have to assume there will be nothing for me to eat...and I'm typically correct.  I can think of at least two times where I was at events where I expected there to have enough to eat only to discover the provided information was insufficient, and I found it very stressful and it made me unable to enjoy the event).

 

Very very important. I am sort of fascinated and horrified at some of the allergies that children at local schools have, and have to be catered for: eggplant, Kiwi fruit hairs, severe touch contact lactose allergy, strawberries, certain natural red food colourings from cochineal to the one made from berries, Peach fuzz....

 

There are so many good points here. Great information!

 

You could decide your group should have an annual grand meeting (AGM) which is generally something larger groups do but certainly everyone can do them. Basically the only rules of a good AGM is that it happens once a year and is notified weeks or months in advance so people can work it into their scheduled if they can. 

You might have a guest speaker or a poetry reading as the 'meeting' part but for the most part they are just social events to get the whole groups together which is especially beneficial if you have sporadic attendance from members (so not everyone knows each other, which is more of a problem in larger groups). 

Tying back to the food comment:

(The AGM) If it is to be an event with food, but not in a location that serves a variety of suitable food you can use the rule of Bring for yourself, to share. Which is simply bring a shareable quantity of a food you are happy to eat. (Being Australian this normally turns into a 'bring a traditional dish' to celebrate different cultures and see different foods)

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On 3/28/2019 at 11:46 PM, bananaslug said:

Maintaining Community:

 

Creating a community is one thing, but maintaining it is another and this is, arguably, the more challenging part of the process. Lots of new organizations never make it past their first few months of existence, but that’s not what we want for the aro community. So here’s are the things that,  in my opinion, are most necessary to keep a group going.

 

1. Persistence - There is a very good chance that the first few meet up’s you arrange will have low or no attendance. New groups are like that, and I know it’s discouraging, but don’t give up. Keep promoting and keep showing up, and then be prepared for no one else to be there. This may sound like an exercise in futility, but I promise it’s not. This summer my church youth group tried to set up a program for teen and young adult Pagans. It took four months for anyone outside of our youth groups to actually show up, but we kept meeting despite that, and now, eight months in, we have relatively high attendance. So bring a book, bring some other work that needs to get done, and if no one shows up do that instead. If you’re doing a good job of promoting your events someone will show up eventually.  

 

2. Have Help- Burn out is real, and trying to run everything yourself is the fastest way to fail, so figure out who can help you run things. Ideally, of course, the people helping you will be other aro’s, but many of us don’t have any irl aro friends so figure out your other options. You’re out to your sister and she’s really good at social media promotion? See if she'll help you get the word out about events. Your friend just really fricking loves graphic design? See if they’ll help you with posters, web design, informational pages, or other similar design needs. As your community grows other aros may be able to take over these tasks, but you will need help from the getgo, so make sure you have at least one or two people to share the work with.   

 

3. Have Community Guidelines- Humans! Are! Messy! And everyone has different ideas about what behaviors are and aren’t acceptable. A good way to prevent these differences from creating issues is to have a set of community guidelines. Put them up on your facebook/website/other social media so people can see them, or better yet, go over them at the beginning of each meeting, this will make sure that everyone knows your group's code of conduct. I suggest involving other community members in the creation of these guidelines so that everyone is happy with them.

 

4. Consistency- This isn’t necessary, but it is helpful. If you can make sure your group meets at the same time or in the same place every meeting it can help people fit your group into their schedule. That said, this isn’t always something that can be managed, so don’t be hard on yourself if it isn't possible. Consistency is an ideal, not a requirement.

 

5. Stay out of Drama- Drama can break up even the most stable communities, so while it’s sometimes unavoidable you should try to stay away from it (especially if you’re leadership). Play well with other queer organizations, and if possible, try to have community members that can act as mediators within the group. I’ve seen more communities then I can count break up because a few people couldn’t get along, don’t let the same thing happen to yours.

Good advice.
I'd also stress that it's important that regular meetings happen regularly. Especially if they are less frequent than every week or two.
Having several organisers or hosts can really help here.
In terms of guidelines even written guidelines can be ambiguous. Be prepared for questions along the lines of "What does that actually mean, in practice?" Remember that everyone includes organisers and hosts. Consider if the likes of "Only the chair may interrupt." is a better wording  than "Nobody may interrupt."

There are also some nasty issues which can arise if only one person can decide if the guidelines have been followed or not.
 

On 3/29/2019 at 1:52 AM, Magni said:

Community Guidelines: These are really great to have for facilitating discussions!  Here are a few community guidelines I've often seen used in queer spaces:

  • "Take space, make space": People are encouraged to talk but remember to leave space for other people, who may be more shy, to be able to talk too
  • "One diva one mic": Don't talk over someone who's speaking
  • "ouch-oops": If someone says something hurtful to you, say "ouch" and then they'll respond "oops" to acknowledge they did something that upset you. This is a useful way to address these things without completely derailing the conversation; I've most commonly seen it used when someone accidentally misgenders someone.
  • Gender inclusive language: Remember not to gender people based on presentation and to use gender inclusive language in general.  For example, instead of addressing a group with terms such as "guys", use terms such as "Y'all".
  • "Stories stay here, lessons leave": there's a certain amount of confidentiality around things people share, and it's important to remember not to share other people's stories which they shared in confidence.  Take and share the lessons you learn, but don't repeat the stories.
  • "I" statements: talk about your own experiences, not other people's.
  • Diversity: the queer community has a lot of diverse intersections to other minority groups, and it's important to respect all aspects of other people's identities.

Some good examples. Though I think "One diva one mic" needs caveats for the chair and "ouch-oops".

 

On 3/29/2019 at 1:52 AM, Magni said:
  • if your event has food, that's great! people love food! But remember, a lot of people have dietary restrictions including food allergies, so it's important to make sure food is properly labelled.  Also, have information available on what kind of food it will be beforehand, perhaps providing a link to restaurant/caterer as relevant.

It can also be the case that food can cut into meeting time or require a longer event. Nor does everyone "love food". 

 

On 3/29/2019 at 1:52 AM, Magni said:

(There's more detailed info for accessibility here, especially under "Holding inclusive events")

I don't totally agree with this. Accepting and acommodating diversity is a vital part of inclusivity IMHO.

Whilst it mentions "conflicting access needs" on page 4. It doesn't appear to consider this issue fully.
I would struggle with breaks which were too frequent or too long. With the document as a whole assuming that lots of frequent breaks, even spreading things out over several sessions, will suit everyone. (Even if travel and/or accommodation was at no financial cost to me. Time is still a factor to me.)

The same paragraph says "there may be one disabled person who doesn’t work well in small groups, while another doesn’t work well in large groups.". Whilst on page 9 we have "Another option is to have participants to break up into partners or small groups to perform an exercise". I'm someone who struggles with small sub groups, even where "find a partner" is an agenda item.

 

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Some miscellaneous advice:

I'd like to second the recommendation for coalition building. Also, while LGBTQIA/Queer and Ace groups are some of the most likely to be interested in sharing resources, your coalitions don't actually have to be with a topically related organization - it can just be wherever you have connections. For example, when I was first attempting to put together a campus ace group, I did receive support from the local community ace group and LGBT Center...but I also received a lot of direct support from the campus anime club (in terms of sharing storage and event space and materials) just because I was also an officer there and had connections to it in general. 

In general, connections to university groups (or sometimes even high school groups, like GSAs) are valuable because educational campuses often have lots of 1. classroom space and 2. curious and interested students who like to attend events to learn new things (bonuses if there is free food). Therefore, partnering with campus groups (even if it may be for one event, like maybe a joint ASAW presentation or mixer) is one great way to get outreach started if you have any potential connections there. Also, many general student groups like GSAs/QSAs/General LGBT + Ally education groups are interested in speakers who can come do good panels or presentations for free. And even if it's not listed as a social meetup, events like that tend to bring hidden aces or aros out of the woodwork.

--

Also for meetup.com specifically, one important thing to know is that each paid organizer can generaly sponsor up to 3 groups (at least as of the last time I checked) - but many organizers don't need their full 3 slots. So sometimes if you ask around with the organizer of other meetup.com events you attend, or random friends or other connections who use meetup, you may be able to find someone who can sponsor your group as a co-organizer so that you don't have to pay any additional meetup.com fees. And if you can get it, I do recommend meetup.com, as my ace group always get a lot of new members from there who wouldn't have found our group otherwise.

--

In terms of online presence, I'd also add that it can be helpful (though not necessary) to have something like a facebook group, email group, discord chat, etc. where people can chat and ask questions in between meetups - this can help the group solidify as an actual community and give people chances to interact even if they can't make regular meetups, especially if you only have formal events once a month or so. 

--

My last advice, is make sure you have a some completely free, absolutely no obligation to spend money events (as opposed to events like cafe meetups where there is still a social expectation that attendees should buy some food or drink, even if it's not enforced). Hikes or city walks or library/classroom/community space workshops are examples of events that don't include any need to spend money; cafe meetups or conferences or movie outings or fundraisers are not. 

--

Also, as a minor addition: nametags! I have trouble remembering one new name, let alone 10+ when I go to new events. So I love when social events have nametags available so that I don't have to keep re-asking people what their name is, especially if I've met them before at other events and still forgot (woops). And you can also add pronouns or ace identity or whatever other info you might want on there too so you can just get it out there without having to wait for someone to ask.

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On 4/9/2019 at 10:48 AM, sennkestra said:

My last advice, is make sure you have a some completely free, absolutely no obligation to spend money events (as opposed to events like cafe meetups where there is still a social expectation that attendees should buy some food or drink, even if it's not enforced). Hikes or city walks or library/classroom/community space workshops are examples of events that don't include any need to spend money; cafe meetups or conferences or movie outings or fundraisers are not. 

This is a really great idea. Something many organisations should consider.

 

On 4/9/2019 at 10:48 AM, sennkestra said:

Also, as a minor addition: nametags! I have trouble remembering one new name, let alone 10+ when I go to new events. So I love when social events have nametags available so that I don't have to keep re-asking people what their name is, especially if I've met them before at other events and still forgot (woops). And you can also add pronouns or ace identity or whatever other info you might want on there too so you can just get it out there without having to wait for someone to ask.

I'd suggest name and pronouns. Even if everyone currently attending is cis. It dosn't hurt anyone and gives trans people a reason to recommend your events.

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