This is the year we bring our virtual “fraternity” into reality. This is the year we share our Wet Shaving endeavors, show off our collections, trade soaps, and sample aftershaves. This is the year we teach each other how to hone and trade different blades. This is the year of the wet shaving meet up.
By now, chances are you’ve been to a Wet Shaving Meet up. If you haven’t you’ve probably seen the pictures, heard the stories and/or have a general knowledge of what goes on. So why the need for a guide? Well, simply to motivate all wet-shavers to create and/or attend their very own meet up.
There are now more meet ups than ever before in shavedom. Wet-shavers from all over the world are leaving their computers at home and traveling to meet their online shave family in real time. What’s sure to be a very memorable experience, can also be very intimidating for some. What do I bring? What do I say? Who do I ask for? What if I am not an experienced wet shaver?
There is also the possibility that there are no meet ups happening near you and extensive travel is out of the question…what to do? Need you miss out on all the action? Is it too far fetched to throw your own meet up? These are just some of the questions that may be going through your mind. Fear not, we’ll be answering these questions in a few easy steps that will set your mind at ease and help you establish and organize your very own wet-shaving meet-up if this be your fate! Read on…
Step 1: Set a Date:
- It’s very important to establish a date for your meet-up and stay tentative to it. Let your audience know far enough in advance so they can make plans to attend. It’s recommended to give at least 60-90 day notice (20 people plus) for larger meet ups. This allows ample time for travel arrangements, request time off from work and make arrangements for baby sitters, etc.
- Stay clear of dates that are close to holidays, holiday weekends or other meet-ups. The last thing you want to do is have your audience forced to choose between several meet-ups.
- Create an online poll with several possible dates. Social media sites such as Facebook makes creating a poll very easy. Let your target audience choose the date that’s convenient for them. [Here is a quick How-To on Creating a Facebook Poll]
Step 2: Choose a Venue:
- After you’ve established a date with your guests its important choose a meeting place. You probably should stay firm on the place you decide to host the venue. Too many choices gets confusing and usually takes longer for guests to RSVP. In short, the easier it is for them the better the chance they will attend.
- Know your group and interests. If your group discusses coffee in addition to wet shaving then maybe a coffee shop is good place to meet. Most will agree that a sports bar or micro brewery atmosphere, is a great place for hosting a meet up. You can reserve a table for free, it’s friendly and fun with plenty of good drinks and food to go around. [Note: if you do go for a sports bar, be sure the meet is not scheduled the same day as a big game!]
- Reserve the venue as soon as you establish the date and time. Let them know an estimated amount of people who will be attending, what to expect and update accordingly.
- Set up a RSVP date & be firm.
- For guests coming from out of town see if you can find group rates at a nearby hotel. You’d be surprised how many hotels will be willing to take off a bill if more than a few attendees will be staying there. It also may be convenient to hold the meet up there too!
Step 3: Create an event Page or Website:
- This is the most important step. If you communicate with your target audience mostly on Facebook it’s very easy to create an event page. Also, consider creating a Facebook Group page for the meet up and future meet ups! You can even create a free website using platforms from website building sites such as Word press or Wix and send the link to all of your potential guests. [Here is a quick How-To Create an Event Page on Facebook Tutorial]
- Invite your entire audience. Make sure you invite every single person you would like to attend and let them know if they can or can’t bring guests, but it’s probably a good idea to let them bring a plus one if they want.
- Encourage your audience to bring their collections, and stuff they would like to BST (Buy Sell or Trade).
- Allow your audience to post and comment on the page/site. Post updates periodically and increase participation the closer you get to the event.
- Post a link to your group or event in other shave groups on Facebook and in forums (where allowed). That said, be sure to post on the Wet Shaving Meet Ups Page on Facebook!
- There is also an actual website dedicated to solely wet-shaving meet ups, ShaveMeetUp.Com – It’s a free site and extremely easy to use. Be sure to submit your meet up and photos! Not only is it a calendar of meets across the world, but also a resource, much like this article, on how to throw and prep for a meet!
Step 4: Let the Artisans/Vendors Know!!!
- Now that you’ve set the date and have chosen the venue it’s time to call on the artisans and vendors. Many artisans are more than willing to participate in your meet-up. It’s a great way to get their products out there in the hands of the audience they vie for, shavers! It’s also just cool to meet and talk shop with then if they can attend.
- Contact an artisan on making a custom soap/aftershave set or a custom, commemorative brush or something along those lines. What better way to motivate artisans/vendors and guests alike to participate in your event then custom items that debut at your meet up!!!
- Ask for samples, business cards, bumper stickers or other novelty items from vendors/artisans to give out to your guests. Dedicate a table to the products being given away. See if you can get some full sized kits you can raffle off. Raffles are always a lot of fun and get a lot of attention.
- Remember to acknowledge your vendors via the event page/site as sponsors who are providing give-a-ways or custom items. These folks work hard and really do deserve the recognition, plus your guests will truly appreciate the gesture.
Step 5: Set-Up and Have a Blast!
- The day has come. All your hard work has paid off. It’s time to have some fun. Arrive 30 minutes early to set-up. Let the host of the venue know your group’s name and where to send them.
- Set-up a separate table for give-a-ways, raffles and display items. Let your guests know what table is for what. Have a roll of carnival tickets or you can use the old numbers in the hat method for the raffles. [Classic numbered Carnival tickets can be bought at office supply stores or online.]
- It’s a good idea to have name tags ready, especially if this is your first time meeting your group in person. Nothing fancy just the blank ones you can get at any office supply store will do.
- Remember that a lot of members maybe shy at first. It’s very important to greet everyone and introduce them to the group as they walk in. Don’t worry, in a few minutes it will be like everyone was old friends.
There you have it. Your meet up was a success. You’ve met all of your wet shaving buddies and had some great conversation that you may never have had in online or otherwise. On your way home you’re already thinking about the next one! Time to upload the pictures and post your experience. Remember to thank everyone for coming and the artisans via the group/event page and mention some notable attendees (those who brought their unique collections, samples, give-a-ways, etc.)
When you arrive home grab a sheet of paper and write down three pros and three cons of the meet up. It’s important to do this while it’s fresh in your mind so you don’t forget any details. Put this list in a safe place and bring it out when you start planning the next one (which will probably be soon).
After a few days you can ask your guests what they would like to see in future meet-ups. Record this on the same sheet as your pros and cons. Remember to keep it simple so it’s easy to understand I’m sure the group had fun and are already looking forward to the next one.
Remember there are a lot of resources out there to help. Feel free to reach out to those who have hosted several meet ups in the past. Keep it as simple as possible and get ready for a good time!
Edited By/Design & Layout By: Douglas Smythe
Joe Borrelli is a long-time wet shaving enthusiast, collector and freelance writer. He recently joined the “Wet shaving News” podcast as a co-host/contributor and started his own self-funded website http://shavestraightandsafe.com/ to help inform the community of new information involving the wet shaving world. Joe holds a BBA from Florida Atlantic University, and currently works for the nation’s largest wine/spirits/beer retailer. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Linda, outdoor activities and collecting wet shaving apparel.