Want to Host Meetings? Hints and tips
This leaflet is intended for anyone considering starting or operating a local meeting. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to tell anyone ‘the right way’ to do things!
It is a collection of good advice and helpful tips when trying to get started.
Why Start a Meeting?
Meetings are the lifeblood of the transgender community. They are sometimes the only opportunity to socialise crossdressed for some and they are a good place for emotional support. There are many meetings around the country, but many areas are not covered, or trans people have to travel significant distances to attend.
However, all the meetings have one thing in common, they are all there because someone, like yourself perhaps, took the plunge in starting them!
Many of the most successful meetings started out just as a gathering of a few friends, gradually growing from there.
Location, location, location ……… So you have decided to start your own meeting…what now???
Meetings at Home
Perhaps the best way to get a ‘feel for it’, is to start small, with just a few invited friends at home, on an irregular basis. It is important to take care that those attending will respect your neighbourhood (perhaps changing on arrival), as after all you do have to live there.
Meetings at a Pub
Some Public Houses are very amenable to hiring out their function room on quiet evenings to our community. An advantage to this is that the meeting can be more open, with good parking, a bar & possibly food available. Some Pubs may be able to offer a room for changing.
However, you do want to be fairly sure of the numbers who are going to attend before committing yourself to the hiring of rooms if the public areas are unsuitable.
The disadvantage is that the organiser has to have a cover charge for the hire of the rooms).
Some meetings are held informally at Gay Pubs. However those who go generally tend to be more experienced, those just starting out may find the thought of ‘mixing’ in public too off putting.
Some telltale no-no’s for Venues:
A long walk to the car park. Poor street lighting. Restricted Public Transport. Gangs of youths ‘hanging around’. Rowdy nightspots nearby.
All things to consider when choosing a venue.
Make sure those who ask to come to your meeting know where they stand. If your meeting has a standard of dress or dress code, e.g. no fetish wear, then make sure any enquirers know before they attend.
Alcohol: it is probably best to restrict consumption of alcohol at meetings, (the obvious exception is Pubs!). Some community facilities may even forbid It on the premises.
Drugs: it goes without saying that no drug use can be tolerated at a meeting, and you will be within your rights to bar anyone found to be using or pushing drugs.
Aggressive or Antisocial behaviour: this can be the most difficult, some as they can be under a lot of stress.
Sources of advice:
The Transgender Zone Forums and chat may already have some knowledge of the area in which you wish to start up your meeting, and may be able to help generate interest locally, word of mouth can be one of the most positive advertisements.
It is sometimes surprising how many lights are ‘hidden under bushels’ out there that are mines of Information, useful contacts and may even have venue’s of their own that can be used. Also they may be only too pleased to ‘muck in’ and help in practical ways.
Is any financial support available for new meetings?
Not usually, though you could be self-supporting – making a small charge to cover your costs or for supplying refreshments at your own home is not unreasonable.
Meetings can be listed in the Transgender Zone Venue Guide according to area, when you ready just send us a mail here!