Virginia and I have had the pleasure of organizing a couple of Meet & Greets for SCBWI members in the Bucks County area, and it couldn’t be easier.
First, we scouted several local coffee shops and restaurants in our neck of the woods. We looked for a reasonably quiet spot with sufficient parking. It’s a good idea to stop by at the time you’re thinking of meeting to see how bustling it is at that time of day, and to make sure there’s enough space.
Once we had our plan, we sent an email to the EPA’s board to let them know the details and ask them to help spread the word through email blasts, the blog and Facebook posts. We also publicized the Meet & Greet to our kidlit friends. We arrived at the appointed time for coffee and stimulating book-related conversation. It was that simple.
In our experience, 10 to 15 people typically show up, and everyone liked being at one big table, although sometimes it was difficult to hear. People come late or leave early, but we found that most stayed about two hours. You might want to bring nametags and pens, remind people to bring a stack of business cards to swap and invite local published authors or illustrators.
At our most recent Meet & Greet, local authors and writing partners Ame Dyckman and Adam Lehrhaupt (whose newest releases are HORRIBLE BEAR and CHICKEN IN SPACE, respectively) attended. They offered lots of encouragement and expert advice, plus they’re so much fun! Virginia and I are very grateful they carved time out of their schedules to attend.
Not a morning person? You might set something up for cocktail hour, or lunch or dinner at a local restaurant. We’ve also had several requests to plan events on the weekends, as well as weekdays.
Organizing a Meet & Greet is a really easy way to get to know other SCBWI members in your area, get involved, and have fun.
Thanks for this, guys. Organizing something feels a bit daunting sometimes — so this a great nudge!
Thanks for posting — I”m thinking of doing a meet & greet in Chester Co. and my friend owns a small coffee shop. These were great tips. I’ll check out the parking situation and double check the space inside the shop to see if they can accommodate a group about the size you got for Bucks Co.