Hostess how-tos: theCityMoms tips for successful events

//Hostess how-tos: theCityMoms tips for successful events

Raised in the South, learning to set a table for company was just as much a part of my education as reading and writing. I saw many a copy of Emily Post’s Etiquette gracing the coffee tables of my friend’s homes. Hostessing was expected.

Lucky for me, I don’t mind taking the reins, being the center of attention, and planning my heart out. As I have gotten older and broadened my social and geographic horizons, I have of course learned that hospitality is not unique to the South. In fact, there is a certain Midwestern-eque brand of entertaining that is down to earth, casual, and wonderfully welcoming.

At theCityMoms, our members and Events team host up to 15 different events every single week {dramatic pause while that sinks in}. That’s a lot of mom nights out, workout classes, playdates, family outings and other events to coordinate. One of the most important things to a successful theCityMoms event are successful and willing hostesses.

Here are some simple and effective how-tos for being the hostess with the mostest at your next theCityMoms event:

Hostess How tos - theCityMoms

If you build it, they will come… {I.e., promote your event to encourage attendance}

Just having a great idea for an event isn’t enough, but don’t worry, promoting your event is super easy. First, our hostesses create their events on Meetup. Second, in tandem with the Events team, hostesses do a dedicated shout out for their event on our private Facebook page. Third, they sit back and watch the RSVPs come streaming in. Not seeing a lot of sign ups? Don’t get offended. Think about how many emails, notifications, pings, and alerts you get in a day. Go ahead and indulge in a little shameless self-promotion.

Don’t leave us hanging: Be responsive.

You create a wonderfully planned event. People actually sign up {eek}. Don’t forget there’s still work to do. Our hostesses make sure to be responsive to future guests. If guests ask a question about the event, hostesses need to answer! If guests change their RSVP, hostesses follow up. As a final courtesy, hostesses make sure to do a little fact checking: Are the time, date, and location of the event is accurate? Not paying attention to detail might have some confused and disappointed guests. Lastly, it’s always a good idea to reach out for a final head count a few days prior to the event, especially if a third party is involved {i.e. reservation at a restaurant}. Luckily, Meetup and Facebook make this last step super convenient.

Preparation.

Guests should always have a smooth transition into the event – we like to make sure all the details are wrapped up before a guest arrives. Are you hostessing a moms night out for dinner at a restaurant? Call ahead to make reservations. Does the event have a prepay activity like a movie or a pottery night? Connect with the Finance team to ensure all payments have been received. We’ve found that whatever to-dos you can accomplish before the event to allow any easy time on you and your guests is best.

Hostess how tos - theCityMoms

“Early” is the new black: Arrive before your guests.

Having kids has taught me that being on time is a Herculean effort. Getting anywhere early is downright miraculous. However, it is pretty important when you are hosting to arrive about 15 minutes early. Yes, this may mean you are setting your alarm or prepping the night before to wrangle your brood and get them out of the door without too many battles, but it’s worth it. Being a little early is a courtesy to your guests, allows you to make sure everything is running smoothly at the venue, and frankly makes us theCityMoms look good in our community. To every rule there is an exception, but we always want to try our best!

Hi, I’m Megan, and I’m a CityMom!: Make introductions.

Ladies, it’s time to work the room. For extroverts like myself this is a no-brainer. For my introverted friends, don’t fear. You don’t need to prepare any material or completely dominate the event, but it is really important to:

  1. Introduce yourself as the host and,
  2. Make connections between attendees.

Personally, I like to post a comment on Meetup the day of an event with my outfit of choice that day {can you say leggings, a messy bun, and a flannel?! #MomLife}. I actively look for my guests and make sure to introduce myself and then find at least one other attendee to introduce to them. Sure, this means a little more work for the hostess, but creating real relationships and making moms feel at ease is WHY theCityMoms host these events in the first place! A simple hello and nice to meet you suffices, but don’t be afraid to let your creativity soar. No matter how you do it, just make sure your guests feel welcomed and included.


HOT TIP: Our “A peek inside theCityMoms :: Why we host recurring, monthly events” offers even more tips for YOUR #MommaTribe or organization


Follow up.

Did you have a great time? Chances are your other attendees did, too! Keep that warm and fuzzy feeling going with a little follow up note. Friend them on Facebook, for theCityMoms we have the option to click “Good to see you” on Meetup, or even send a text message. We love when our members keep coming back for more because an engaged member who feels welcomed will help pay it forward to the next one. And before we know it, our community has positively grown.

After you follow up with your guests, check in with theCityMoms Events team to let them know about your event. What worked, what didn’t, who came, who didn’t. These ladies are super helpful and work hard to make sure we all have fun, make connections, and feel supported.

Other quick tips:

  • Make sure to take a few photos at the event. Not only are these a great way to connect with attendees after {remember what fun we had?!}, but theCityMoms Organizer team uses many of these in our marketing efforts.
  •  Stand out from the crowd so everyone knows you’re the go-to for questions as the hostess. Make a sign, wear a name tag, or consider accessorizing with a brightly-colored handbag or scarf.
  • Don’t forget to have fun yourself. Hostesses who looks stressed over the details of an event pass along that stress to their attendees. Smile. Enjoy your hard work.

So, what are you waiting for? Put your party hats on and start planning!

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Megan Bohrer headshot _ theCityMomsA recent transplant to the Midwest, Megan Bohrer still gets excited by the first snow flurries of the season. Although her husband’s job as a private school administrator brought them to the area, Megan feels more at home in Indy every day.

While she isn’t chasing after her three children or working her day job as a social worker, Megan enjoys drinking craft beer, photography, playing soccer, and fantasizing about all of the Pinterest projects she will one day complete.

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