Planning a meetup doesn’t have to be stressful when you know what to do and what to expect and how to plan for it. Knowing these 7 steps for planning a meet up will help you minimise procrastination and avoid any unwanted surprises (Like when I had already given out the flyers and invitations and people had already rsvp’d, when I found out from the park that I COULD hold my POP Pilates meetup there but that NO music was allowed!)
This post goes out to my fellow POP Pilates instructors and anyone else who is curious to know what goes on behind the planning of a meetup.
You may read about the meetup itself here.
Let’s get straight into it.
Step 1: Decide on the location, date and time
If you have the freedom to choose, try and find a place that is easy to get to and that is a pretty central location. Find a place where there is a toilet nearby and bonus if there is a water cooler or a shower room. If you plan to have it outdoors, make sure the place allows medium to large groups to gather and that music is allowed. If possible, try to have a plan b for location too. Make sure your location can fit the nunber of people you plan to invite or hope to show up.
Definitely find out if you need to get permission, rent, hand in any documents in order to secure the location for yourself.
Ask yourself: What would be the best day and date where most people would likely be available. For example, weekdays people would be busy with work and on holidays people would be away. Also, ask yourself if you want to have it the morning or afternoon? It’s really hot and humid here in Singapore so if I were having it in the park the earlier the better (but not too early that people couldn’t wake up for it).
Decide on how long you want this meetup to be. I decided on 1 and a half hours because the workout itself is 55 minutes and I wanted to give time for everyone to get to know each other a little better by maybe mingling afterwards.
Step 2: Ask for help
If you were like me and you were totally blank about where to start and what to do and google doesn’t really help because planning for a POP meetup is pretty specific, go to our official POP Pilates instructor facebook forum. I love that place. We can share and ask and you can be sure you’ll get a response. I got a few tips from there and off I started planning.
Step 3: Decide on the program and sequence
There would definitely be a POP Pilates workout and some time to mingle as that was the whole point of my meetup was to do POP Pilates together and to meet fellow popster. Consider if there anything else you would want to do to make it a little more special? You could change up your music to fit a certain theme or as I’ve seen some people do during Halloween was to dress up in a costume. Is it going to be like a party where you workout then eat and be merry?
For me, I wanted it to be simple focusing on the POP Pilates workout but I also made it special by preparing a POP Pilates banner and a little homemade gift (more like a party favor). So the sequence planned was: Arrival, POP Pilates, give the gift, take a group picture, mingle and chit chat and depart.
This would also be a good time to plan out a budget. I didn’t have to pay for renting the location but I did pay for rental of speakers and the materials for the banner and gift. Also keep in mind your expenses for traveling and whatever else you plan to do.
Step 4: WHO are you going to invite & HOW will you invite them (including how do you want them to rsvp with you)?
You may go about this differently but I will share what I did. Most of who I knew would be interested in coming for this meetup were on my Instagram so I scrolled through some old posts and through my friends and followers and jotted down those who were living in Singapore (alot of them I met when Cassey came to town!) and I made a list. With this list I would tag them once I posted the invitation on Instagram.
How I planned to invite them was through a digital flyer on instagram. Put the important information on the flyer and any other additonal information can be in the description box of Instagram. I also added the reminder that they needed to bring water and a mat and to invite a friend. You could add if the event is free of there is a fee.
Also, be prepared to post the flyer and announce about the event a few times. I posted mine 3 times. The first and second was the call of invitation. The second was a few weeks after the first, and the third and last time was more of a reminder to those who rsvp’d and a final call to those who were still deciding.
I decided to let them rsvp with me through instagram. You could give them your email or number. Closer to the date I exchanged phone numbers with most of them.Step 5: Wait for response and keep track of those who rsvp’d
Not everyone will rsvp right away and some might only know they are available a few days before. But have an estimate count of how many people might be there. Keep track of those who rsvp’d as you will need to remind them and, like me, might need to give more information closer to the day such as the map, my phone number and any changes (the elevator wasn’t turned on and I had to tell them to take the stairs). Also, I knew who to contact right away when I found out I had to change the location.
Step 6: List out and plan the details of the program
List down all the things that need to be done before the day of the meetup arrives. Then, try and put a date to when you want to complete those things so you’re not doing everything at the last minute. For example, my list consisted of making the banner, finding a recipe for my gift, renting speakers, practicing the choreography, handing in the form of permission to workout in that location, etc. So I got out my planner and put dates on when I wanted to do each of those things making sure they were spaced out.
Step 7: Make a list of what you need to prepare the night before and the day of
Yes, I’m a list person. Because I find that in the moment of getting things done I miss something important I need to do or bring and I don’t need that additional last minute stress. But if I have a list I can always refer to it. For example, the night before you should recharge your phone, make sure your music can be played offline, you know what you’re going to wear (don’t forget your bracelet!), you’ve packed the stuff you need to bring such as your speakers, mat, and gifts. Then on that day you have a list of what you need do before everyone arrives: put up the banner, set up and test the speaker, etc. If I had forgotten to list down that I needed tape and scissors I wouldn’t have been able to hang the banners and that would stress me out especially after all the hard work of making it.Also, by making a list you can have a mental run through of what you expect to happen and also to think about any unexpected things that can happen and how you could prepare for that. I was told the elevator might not be turned on, so I made a sign to put up so they could find their way to the class.
So guys, that is the 7 steps to how I planned a POP Pilates meetup. I hope you were able to take away a few things that you could do (or not do) for the next time you plan a meetup or a class. Is there anything you would do differently? Are you a list person like me?
All the best!
Read how my meetup turned out here!