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Hosting a Meetup

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Greetings fellow Con goers. I hope you’re all enjoying summer now that it’s in full swing. Sadly, I know some of you guys might not be able to go to some cons because of work or other reasons, but who said you need a convention to be around friends. Why not host a meet up and gather all of your friends.

Hosting a meetup is a great way to hang out with the new people you have met at cons and even get to know some other people that you might not have known. They can be as simple as holding a photo shoot, going to a local mall, going out to eat, etc. The limit is your imagination (and what’s around you.)

Here are a few meetups you can have:

  • Cosplay themed Picnic
  • Going to a mall
  • Holding a photo shoot
  • Going out to lunch
  • Karaoke
  • Going to an arcade
  • Going Bowling
  • Going to the city museum

There are so many possible things that you could do that I could be going on for a while. So here’s what I want you guys to do: give me some of your ideas of meet ups. I’m sure that there are plenty that I would never think of, so keep the ideas coming. Also, they don’t have to be in costume. Keep that in mind.

That being said, there are a few things that you’ll have to remember when you do these:

  • This isn’t a convention. Things that you might be able to get away with at a convention you probably won’t be able to get away with in public.
  • You are representing the community in a sense, so don’t do anything that would give it a bad name.
  • Plan this event well in advance, and make sure that wherever you want to go is actually open for your group. Don’t just wait until the last minute, be organized. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a few people to help out. Sometimes a few extra people helping out will make things go much smoother.
  • If you’re the one planning it, be ready to take on responsibilities and be the mature one there. Try to make sure that any drama is left at the door before the event begins. If any drama happens to take place, be sure to deal with it privately and not in front of others. If said person still wants to cause drama even after you’ve asked them to stop, then kindly tell them they have to leave.
  • Check with the place before time to see if you can wear costumes there. Some places do not allow costumes for various reasons.
  • Some places require a permit for you to use their facility (usually if it’s a public place). Try to get this ahead of time since those places tend to book up rather quickly.
  • In the event that during a meetup you are asked to leave, just leave. You don’t want any more trouble.
  • Don’t disturb other people unless they approach you.
  • Use common sense when it comes to props. If you have a giant gun…try not to bring it. Smaller props (Sonic Screwdriver comes to mind) are ok, but nothing that’s a weapon/explosive.
  • If you are cosplaying…make sure it’s something PG. It might be fine at a convention, but in public, probably not. (To put it bluntly, if you’re showing off too much skin (even in crossplay) then it’s a bad idea)
  • Masks and face paint: If it’s covering your whole face, it’s probably a bad idea. It might give people the impression that you’re a terrorist, and we don’t need to cause a scare.
  • When inviting people, make sure that your event can hold that many people. It sucks when you can’t invite a lot of people you want to go, but you don’t want it to get out of hand.
  • Also, try not to make the event public unless you its open to everyone. Facebook members can see a lot of things and they might get upset if they see an event that their friends were invited to and not them. Try to be sensitive. Also, in the event that it IS open to everyone, let them know. Don’t just assume that people think it’s open to everyone.
  • Fire Codes: know them, and don’t become a fire hazard.
  • If you don’t get invited to a meet up, don’t feel bad. They happen a lot, and chances are there will be another that comes up

I know I just made this super long list of things to do, but don’t let it dishearten you. In the end, ask yourself what you’d like to accomplish with this meet up. Do you want it just to be a laid back event, or do you want to maybe make this something that’ll be a monthly thing? Whatever the case is, have fun and enjoy yourself, but be responsible and stay out of trouble ;-)
Next week: What’s the best way to run a photo shoot? Some tips and tricks for cosplay photo shoots at cons and at meetups.

I would like to thank the following people for contributing to this article: Carmen, Anya, and Soy

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