If you want your Members to feel warm, cozy, and welcomed, make sure you have a designated host at your event.  I have been to events where I was not greeted by a host and it always left me asking myself questions such as “Who is part of the group?”, “Are we gathering here for the night or moving to another spot?”, “Can I eat the food over there?”, etc.  Unanswered questions leave Members with a sense of feeling unsure.  Yet, you want your Members to feel comfortable so they will be likely to come to more events, talk to strangers, tell their friends about the group, etc.


What Types of Face to Face Events Need a Host?

-          All events types, from house parties to meditation on top of a mountain.

-          All sized events, from 5 people to 500 people.

-          Events where strangers are coming together to events where everyone will know each other.


Who Can Host?

-          The person running the event can host as long as the group is small and they are able to welcome everyone AND run the event (assuming they have tasks such as leading meditation).

-          You can hire a dedicated host.

-          You can find a volunteer host.

-          Ideally your hosts should be  very friendly, outgoing, happy, welcoming, and non-judgmental


What are the Host's Tasks?

-          The most IMPORTANT TASK for the host is to greet and welcome every single guest as s/he arrives. 

-          If the event is ticketed, the host should have a guest list and be able to collect payment if needed.

-          Pass out nametags (optional)

-          Answer questions, and if the host cannot answer the questions, then s/he should find out the answer from someone who has the information.


What Else?

-          Have your host arrive at least 15 minutes early so s/he can get settled and find out the answers to common questions (where is the bathroom, is there an ATM, etc).

-          Make sure your host reads over the event description so they know what is going on and what to expect.

-          If you are having an event where people do not know each other, consider having your hosts make introductions.



Bottom Line:
Do not underestimate the idea of designating a host for your event.  A host will set the tone and make people feel good about their choice to attend your event.  Do you have "event block" (EB is when you are unable to come up with new events for your community)? You can download 5 of my event ideas/write-ups to use with your group.

@GrowYourGroup - Are These 6 Things Missing from Your Website?

I , Laura Occhipinti, founded New Jersey Young Professionals in 2004. I have 5,000+ dues paying Members on my Ning website and 11,000 Young Professionals on my mailing list. You can download a copy of My Favorite Tools (Hint: The BEST ones are FREE). 

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Comment by JenSocial on July 30, 2014 at 11:47am

This is so true! I have been invited to several Corporate Councils, get there, and wonder if they even knew you were invited. It's uncomfortable to say the least. I can't say that about the Ning Team back in the day. They were awesome.


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