This past weekend I hosted my first ever Planner Addicts Meet-up. I wanted to share with you folks the steps on how to plan your very own Planner Addicts Meet-up in your area. Being that I have never attended a meet-up before, I had no idea what I should do or how I should go about planning and preparing so I made things up as I went. Here are the 10 steps I used to plan my meet up:
1. Reach out to those in your area:
In order to do this I created a group on Facebook called “Hawaii Planner Addicts”. From there I invited people I knew from other Facebook groups to come and join (double check with group admins to make sure it is okay). From there I commented to people on Instagram to come and join the group. I also suggested that they also invite people they knew in our state to come and join too.
2. Set a time, date and location:
Before I chose my time and date I posted in my group asking whether a weekday or weekend would work best. After collecting information from the group I set the time and date. The first date I chose ended up getting changed to a different date because the place we wanted it at was not available. So we pushed the date back a couple week which I didn’t mind because it gave me more time to plan. I also decided to have the meet-up around lunch that way it wasn’t too early or too late and I also decided four hours was enough time to get to know eachother, eat and play a few games.
First decide whether you would like to have a meal or if you prefer snacks throughout the occasion. Since I wanted to have the meet-up around lunch and for a few hours I thought it would be best that we have lunch at the meetup. I also felt that trying to cook or pick up all the food myself would have been too stressful for me so I let everyone know that it would be a potluck and based off of the number of girls I had attending I made a set number of items (snacks, starch, main dish, side dish, and dessert).
4. Games/Take away projects
If you want to have games at your meet-up plan these and put them together in a folder or box ahead of time. I had an ice breaker (two truths and one lie), two take away projects (washi binder clips and design on time dashboards), and two games (what’s in your bag and bingo).
5. Prizes/Giveaways/Goodie Bags
First decide which of these things you want to have at your meet-up. Second, reach out to etsy shops and other planner related shops to see if they would like to donate anything to your meet-up for giveaways and prizes. Ask as many people as you can. Some will say no or won’t respond and it’s okay, you can’t expect everyone to be okay with giving away things for free every time someone asks, keep in mind that it may be the way most of them make a living.
I wanted each girl to take something home so I decided I wanted goodie bags. In my goodie bags I included a set of Oli Block Magnetic Paperclips (donated by Dan of OliBlock) and a Kate Spade inspired Sticky note holder with sticky notes and page flags that I made. Since it was my first meet-up I wanted to keep it kind of simple.
6. Designate helpers
Planning a meet up can be stressful. There are a lot of things to take into consideration. I myself knew I could not plan everything for the meet up all on my own so I reached out to one of my group members. Being that she was the one who got us the place I thought it appropriate to ask her since she knew how everything looked. I asked her to handle the decorations and center pieces. I also messaged her frequently for ideas and suggestions which she was happy to provide. She also helped me plan the ice breaker, and the design on time take away project. Had I not asked her for help I don’t think the meet up would have been as successful as it was.
7. Make a schedule:
With the original games we came up with, I made a schedule of how long I thought each activity would take. After going over my schedule multiple times I felt like the activities were going to go by too quickly and that there would be a lot of empty space so I added two more games. If you want to be sure of the timing try going through your own activities and time yourself. Keep in mind that things may not go exactly as scheduled but having a schedule will keep you organized and you won’t have to stress on what to do next. Here is an example of the schedule I had planned:
11-1140 arrival and sign in
1140-1200 2 truths 1 lie
12-1230 eat and talk story
1230-1245 what’s in your bag
1245-115 binder clips
115-145 design on time
215-245 gift exchange
245-3 picture taking
8. Supplies you need
Keep a list of supplies you will need and pack everything the night before. I kept feeling like I was forgetting something but it turned out that I had everything I needed. I went through my schedule and I thought of every little thing that could be used and I stuck it in a box. The night before the meet up i went through everything again and I added anything else I thought we would need. Here are the things that we brought to the meet up: Plates, cups, napkins, magazines, scrapbook paper, washi samples, paint, tape, scissors, glue sticks, pens, sharpies, bakers twine, PL cards, stickers, scraps of paper, blank dashboards, games, binder clips, scratch paper, paper cutters, goodie bags, raffle prizes, game prizes, streamers, a sign in book, table covers, center pieces, wall decor, utensils, and paint brushes.
9. Gift Exchange
Decide whether you’d like to have a gift exchange. If you decide to have one, set a minumum amount for the gift and make sure you tell everyone ahead of time so they have time to shop and put something together (out minimum was $10). Being that it is a planner meet up I stated that gifts had to be planner related items. Also, figure out before hand what type of gift exchange you will do. At my company, during Christmas we have a secret santa where instead of choosing a name, you just buy a gift and everyone chooses a number which represents the order gifts are chosen. You go in order begining at one and the next person can either choose a gift or steal one from those who chose gifts before them. Or would you rather just choose numbers and chose gifts based off of the number each person chooses? Make sure you explain your gift exchange rules before starting so there is no confusion.
10. Collecting Money
I decided early on that I was going to collect $5 from each person who attended the meet up. The money was to cover and decorations or supplies that we had to buy out of pocket. Just because you are hosting and planning the meet up does not mean your are liable to dish out all the money to cover everything needed for the meet up. I felt $5 was a reasonable price to ask being that we did have to purchase many things for the meet up. Although I was so caught up with games and such I was not able to collect money from everyone, I suggest that you either designate someone to collect the money as people show up or require that they turn in the money to be eligible for giveaways and prizes.
Well I hope this helps you get started on planning your very own meet up in your area. If you have any questions feel free to ask them down in the comments. Also if you do plan a meet up I’d love to hear how it goes!