I’m one of the admins/moderators for my area of the UK Lolita fashion community, so I get a lot of questions about Lolita fashion all the time. I know there’s lots of amazing, in depth resources out there,so over the next few weeks I’ll be writing a few requested posts, compiling a bunch of resources and food for thought in general about Lolita fashion that new members can learn from, and more experienced members can hopefully enjoy.

Today’s topic is: Hosting a Lolita Meet. (But it could be applied to any hobby meetup) This was a requested post, since many girls are new and want to host meets, but feel a bit shy about doing so.

Step 1: Gauging Interest

If you’ve never been to a meet up before, I’d suggest attending one before hosting your own. But, if you fancy hosting one and just don’t know where to start, this guide should help.

Make a post in your community suggesting the event. If it’s an existing event like a vintage fair, share any available information about it so that people can read more and get excited! Your post could be something as simple as “I saw this event and thought it would be really cool to go, is anyone else interested?” or “I really fancy trying out this place, does anyone else want to go?” You can also use a poll to find out which dates are convenient for those interested.

It also kind of works as a form of advertisement for the event, and allows you to overcome any initial problems. For instance, you might want to try a new café, but might not know which food intolerances they cater for, if they have disabled access or whether they accept bookings – now you’ll have to find out!

Some events may only be suitable for members of your community who are 18+ years old. That’s okay as long as you make it clear, and also try to host events that aren’t only 18+ too!

Step 2: Make your Event

Most Facebook groups have an “Events” tab at the top of the page where people can freely make events, in some cases you may have to contact an admin/mod about making an event. You may not be able to do this through mobile Facebook!

Here is the initial information that people will need:

  • The date of the meetup
  • Where to meetup – I recommend a train station with good connections as many may not be able to drive
  • What time to meetup
  • The amount of money they will need for the day (approximately)
  • A general plan for the day (not 100% needed, but stops people getting bored and annoyed on the day)
  • If there is a theme for outfits (I would strongly suggest an optional or suggested theme, so that nobody feels left out if they don’t have items in a particular style)
Where I can, I like to post a plan for the day with approximate times, like in the following example.
11: meet up at the train station
12 – 1: lunch at the café
1 – 2: time for photographs
2- 4/5: a walk in this nearby park / shopping in this area of town
5: meet officially ends, but this place is nearby if we want to stay out for coffee/dinner
Remember to pay attention to your event and answer any questions that people may have! That will give people confidence when they decide if they’re coming or not. Help people organise their transport links, find out if they will be able to eat at your chosen café; these are things that say “I really want you to come!”
The most important information you can include is how much money people will have to bring. Discussions around finances are always tricky, and can be very embarrassing if someone only expected to spend £10-£15, then ends up having to spend £30.
As I said before, I strongly recommend a suggested theme for a meetup rather than a strict theme. I don’t like the idea of people feeling like they can’t come to a meet because, for example, they only wear gothic style. Broad themes such as “flowers” or “monochrome” are also great because they allow people to add their own creativity and interpretation.

Do I need to take deposits?

After you’ve planned a few meets you might want to try planning something really fancy like high tea at a hotel. If there is a deposit required for booking, then I would suggest taking deposits from attendees to make sure you’re not left out of pocket on the day.

Step 3: Final Confirmations

Circumstances might change, and people often forget to update their attendance status on an event page. A few days before the actual event it’s a good idea to check how many people are expected to attend on the day. Usually it’s easy to message everyone in an event, or make a post that says “like this if you’re still attending!”
If you’ve taken a deposit for bookings, this is also a good time to check if everyone has paid their deposits and amend your booking for more or fewer people if you need to.
You may also want to give out your contact details, or take contact details from attendees.

Step 4: Meeting up

Keep your phone on you! It’s important that people are able to contact you if they’re going to be late or are no longer able to attend for various reasons. Make sure you do regular head counts, so that you’re sure you have everyone with you.

Step 5: Your Duties as a Host

It’s your duty to make everyone feel comfortable and welcome. Try to learn everyone’s names before the event, and make an explicit effort to introduce yourself to everyone on the day if you’ve not previously met before.
  • Make an effort to speak to everyone, especially if they are new to your community
  • Try to mingle as much as possible, pay attention if you see someone feeling shy/left out
  • Make sure nobody is left behind if walking around in big crowds
  • Stay organised! You’re in charge of the bill at a restaurant and making sure everyone has paid
  • Take opportunities to make things convenient, if you see a cash machine ask everyone if they need to stop for cash

Extra Special Stuff

If you’re hosting a meet that centres primarily around sitting down, eating and drinking it might be a good idea to introduce some activities that people can participate in to break the ice.
  • “Getting to know you” games like 2 lies 1 truth are great conversation starters
  • Card games like cheat are easy to get involved in and make people more comfortable
  • You could even write a fun quiz or do something cute like make a snap cup
  • Before now, I’ve organised events in collaboration with a café: we were signed up for afternoon tea, but also had our tea leaves and tarot cards read by a psychic
  • If it’s an extra special meet, like a birthday party, you might want to get things like party favours or instax photos but these are never compulsory!
  • You could introduce a competition element around an activity – people could bring baked goods to be voted on, people could draw words out of a hat and make the next big AP print design etc. I would never suggest a co-ordinate contest as lolita should be fun, not competitive.

Step 6: After the Meet

Remember to thank everyone for coming at the end, or on Facebook afterwards! If you’re going back to the train station together then wish everyone goodbye and help them with their transport if they need it. If you’ve taken photographs, post them in your community as soon as you can and remember to ask permission before posting them outside of the group.

Hopefully now you will have all the basic information you need to plan your meetup, but if you feel like you have a question please feel free to leave a comment or check out one of these resources below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *