Today’s Idea Machine topic is to come up with 10 meet-ups I could organize for my local area and include ideas about how to make sure everyone participates.
Ben Franklin was the master of organizing meet-ups in Philadelphia, back in the day.
The meet-up ideas are pretty simple and some of them may already exist in my area.
1. Form a Ben Franklin-style Junto book club for book discussions and idea-sharing. The focus would be on books that are related to creativity and self-improvement, rather than general fiction or topical-based nonfiction. But some fiction would be encouraged, because it’s a great way to spark imagination.
2. Classic Movie Discussion meetup. We would select a movie of the month, let everyone watch it on their own time and then meet at the end of the month for appetizers and talk about the movie.
3. Host a Shinecast meetup to talk about the principles for living a happy life.
4. Create a meet-up where participants learn to cook real food.
5. For older adults who subscribe to print magazines, I could organize a magazine-sharing meetup where attendees could trade their magazines. Periodically, we could donate these to local retirement homes where the residents can’t get out easily.
6. A get-fit-but-not-cross-fit program, where the focus is on walking and increasing physical activity without actually “working out.”
7. A hiking meet up on the weekends. These exist in my community, but there’s always room for more.
8. Meet-ups to share ideas about leaving the rat-race. These would be to help each other develop visions and strategies to escape the hamster treadmill.
9. Mastermind coffees/teas to connect creatives.
10. Walking meetups to talk about topics of interest. Could be current events or just motivational topics.
As for how to encourage everyone to participate, here are a few ideas that would work, depending on the event:
- Encourage guests to use novelty-name tags with an interesting fact or maybe a question the other person should ask them.
- Create a Twitter list, FB group and/or LI groups of participants to encourage social networking outside of the meet-up and that will help to keep people in touch outside of the meetup.
- Give each attendee a piece of colored construction paper and use the color wheel to require small groups to splinter off to connect with different colors using color schemes.