Get Stitched // The Stitch Blog

How to organize and host inviting Stitch Events: Three super organizers share their tips

The Stitch Community would be nothing if not for the members who consistently post events and activities that connect our members. So who better to give advice about organizing and hosting successful events than our super organizers who consistently receive excellent feedback about their events?

In this blog post, Mary W and Laura from California (US) and Daryl from Victoria (Australia) share their tips and advice for organizing and hosting inviting, welcoming, and well-attended Stitch Events.

How to post an inviting Stitch Event

Mary W asks herself this one question before suggesting an event: “Before I post a Stitch Event, I always ask myself, ‘What information would I like to have if I was going to a place I had never been before in a different part of town that I am not familiar with?’

Mary learns what she can from the venue she wishes to attend and shares what she finds. “I include any web addresses where members can find more info and perhaps a menu. I also give parking suggestions. I would rather give too many details than too few.”

Here is an example description from a live music event she organized:

As we can see from the above image, Mary W makes sure to share all relevant information regarding her event. This includes:

  • The exact date and time of the event
  • The duration of the event
  • Website links to the event or venue
  • The seating and food arrangements
  • The parking situation

She even uploads an image of the venue as her event’s background picture “so people have a feeling of what it looks like.”

If you’re just getting started with posting events, consider watching these two videos: How to create an in-person Stitch Event and How to create a virtual Stitch Event.

Set up an automatic ‘welcome’ message

When posting an event on Stitch, you have the option to set up a ‘welcome’ message that will be sent automatically to members who RSVP to your event. These messages can be sent to all members who RSVP to your event, or members you haven’t connected with yet. (Alternatively, you can skip this altogether and send messages individually through the Members page., however, we recommend the former option!)

Sending a ‘welcome’ message is a great way of thanking members for signing up for your event, while also giving them an easy way to contact you if the need arises.

As Laura says, “When we are in the process of creating a new event, the Stitch system gives us the option of sending out an auto-generated ‘Welcome’ email to each member right after they’ve registered for my event. I LOVE that! Now I’m sending out a short ‘Thanks for signing up for my upcoming Sunday FUNday!’ note, where I also say something upbeat about the specific game we’ll be playing.”

Communication is key

Keeping in touch with everyone who RSVPs to your event reduces the chance of them forgetting about it and not attending.

Daryl sends event reminders and shares regular updates to keep everyone informed of what is happening. In his messages, he also prompts members to remove themselves from the event if they can no longer attend, to allow people on his waitlist the chance to attend. This is a great example of one of his event reminders:

As we can see from the above image, Daryl communicates several things:

  • That he is looking forward to connecting with everyone at his event
  • He encourages members to remove themselves from the event if they can no longer attend

Want to learn how to post an announcement for all your event attendees as Daryl has done? Read this article.

​​Get connected prior to the event

The night before his in-person events, Daryl hosts a ‘pre-meet’ (a virtual Zoom chat) allowing attendees of the in-person event to meet informally before the day of the event. This alleviates some of the anxiety attendees feel when attending an event.

About the new Stitch members who attended his pre-meet events, Daryl says this: “So far 9 new members joined the day before attending one of my own events and all showed up appearing with no anxiety and often feedback to me that it helped feel they knew a few of us before showing up. So, to borrow a reflective quote, helping 9 new members might not change Stitch, but it helped change Stitch for 9 people who might have been nervous otherwise to come to their first in-person event.”

Mary’s preferred method is to swap cell phone numbers with members so they can have a direct way of contacting her: “One or two days ahead of the get-together, I exchange cell phone numbers with the new Stitch members attending my event so they can contact me if they are having problems finding us or running late.”

Finding members at in-person events

Finding your fellow Stitchers at an event can sometimes be difficult, especially if you’re meeting them for the very first time.

Mary W’s ingenious solution is to use red hats. “If I’m attending a large outdoor concert, I wear a hat and tell all my attendees, ‘Look for Mary with the big red hat’. Then I change my Stitch photo to one with the actual hat. Sometimes I will wear my red Stitch cap to a smaller informal breakfast or lunch and change my photo to that one.”

These are some of the hat creations Mary W has created over the years. Very creative!

Other members have created Stitch signs that they place on the table at the venue they are visiting. Some members have even made their own Stitch badges with their names on them.

At Stitch, we’re constantly amazed by the ingenuity and creativity shown by Stitch members to help make the community work, and love celebrating the ideas members come up with. But we also recognize that it would be nice if Stitch could help provide you with a few options to make this easier. That’s why we created the Stitch Store, so you can purchase Stitch merchandise to help you stand out at your events.

Welcoming members at events

It’s important to make everyone feel welcome and included at events, so we encourage all organizers to take a moment at every event to make introductions (if possible). If you have new Stitch members in attendance, you could even have everyone applaud or cheer them. Won’t that make them feel special!

This is a strategy most loved organizers use.

For her in-person events, Mary does this: “I try to greet everyone personally when they arrive and introduce them around.”

Mary W's Stitch kayaking event in California

For her virtual events, Laura does this: “I try to greet each person who logs onto my virtual event as soon as they’ve logged on, and ask them an easy question like ‘How’s the weather where you are?’ or ‘How’s your day been so far?’ … While I host a number of different games, I stress that we’re more about having FUN together than about competition! We have thus cultivated an ethos of laughter and light banter, making it fun for even those who mostly listen rather than talk!”

Get in touch after your event

After her online gaming events, Laura likes to touch base with the members who attended her get-together.

“I often follow up with some of my players with a friendly message after the event. It all depends on what may have happened during my event – but if a simple, friendly note feels warranted, I quickly send one. I want my attendees to know that I value them as persons and not just as ‘numbers!’”

Alternatively, you can make an announcement to everyone who attended your event, right from the event page. As we can see from the below example, Daryl uses this feature to thank the Stitch members who attended his event and shares pictures from the get-together.

A final note

You may be an event organizer, but you’re also a member of Stitch. That means we want you to take advantage of every opportunity that will allow you to make wonderful new companions and friends for yourself. So while organizing and hosting your event, make sure you enjoy yourself!

2 thoughts on “How to organize and host inviting Stitch Events: Three super organizers share their tips”

  1. I really enjoy posting events for people to come along too. We do this as volunteers who enjoy company & think others may enjoy.
    Over the past 2 years I’ve had a couple of hectic awful people in my events who I’ve now blocked as I do not want to deal with their awful behaviour and or have other stitch members impacted by them.
    My concern is another organiser has been trying to block a member so he doesn’t see her events, however she’s being told by stitch that she can just remove him, this would leave her exposed to him & others, she has strong reasons & concerns to not have him at her events. What advice can I give her as someone at head office keeps saying remove him, but I’ve been able to block the people I was strongly concerned about.
    Another thing I think needs to be put in place is if vulnerable, quiet reserved people feel uncomfortable with certain stitch members to inform host or be shown how to report, as some people don’t come back due to nuisance stitch members who prey on the weaker people. Just something to think about as I’m constantly surveying people in my group who may look unhappy or uncomfortable with people.
    Regards Teresa

    1. Hi Tess,

      You’ve had an amazing impact on other members through the events and activities you host! As you say, everything that happens in the community is the result of members who are just doing their bit to make life more enriching and rewarding for others, and those events are a real testament to the incredible community champions on Stitch.

      Unfortunately, all it takes is one person to ruin the experience for other people. It’s understandable to block someone if they’ve shown themselves to be problematic, but the problem with just blocking them from one group is that doesn’t stop them from joining another group and continuing to have a negative impact.

      Our preference is that anyone who interacts with someone who is showing behaviour that is not welcome in the community clicks the “Tell us what you think” button on their profile, to give Stitch anonymous feedback about the person in question. If we receive enough reports about a particular individual, they will be warned, suspended, or permanently removed from the community, depending on how severe the issue is. That way we can remove bad behavior from the community altogether.

      We know that’s easier said than done, and we do always want to give people a chance to improve their behavior once we give them a warning, but a very small number of people seem determined to cause problems no matter what we do, so we want members to alert us about their behaviour as much as they can, as that’s the only way we can keep the behaviour of members in the community consistent with our community value’s and behaviours, as outlined in the Stitch Community Guidelines!

      https://support.stitch.net/en/articles/4152223-stitch-community-rules-guidelines

      Thanks,
      Andrew.

Leave a comment

Pin It on Pinterest