How would you improve turn-out at a gathering?

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Bloodheart
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10 Jul 2013, 9:06 pm

Here's the deal, I'm a committee member for a local group and amongst various things we do we run social groups once per month (currently attempting to do something fortnightly)...the problem is getting people to come!

We're a good-sized city and I know for a fact that we have hundreds of autistic people, it's just for whatever reason very few autistic people from our city make themselves known to each other online or in real life - this is something that I simply cannot understand - and what few autistic people do reach-out don't always attend either because they have better things to do or because they're autistic and we're hardly known for our love of social gatherings. We need a stronger turn-out to keep the gatherings going, but also we'd like to do more - regular events, fund-raising, discussions, and getting people interested in the activism side of the organisations work.

So, I'm putting it to fellow autistic people - any thoughts?


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auntblabby
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10 Jul 2013, 9:26 pm

it has been my experience, that food and drink are good attractants.



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10 Jul 2013, 9:46 pm

There is a meetup group for adults on the spectrum in my city.... We've never had a meeting....



cathylynn
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10 Jul 2013, 10:11 pm

auntblabby wrote:
it has been my experience, that food and drink are good attractants.


this, and advertise. our local meet up puts fliers in counseling centers and doctors' offices.



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11 Jul 2013, 3:06 am

maybe incorporate more autistic friendly activities into the event like having chess boards, television with Xbox and projector with dvd player.

Serve drinks and food while people are playing :)



izzeme
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11 Jul 2013, 5:14 am

my local group starts off with an autism-friendly, optional, activity. be that a movie (usually about aspergers), a pubquiz about non-trivial knowledge (like rowan atkinsons series, blackadder and mr. bean) or assorted games. afterwards, there is a normal meetup.
during this meetup, they have a deal with the place we meet at to serve drinks at a reduced rate; also, it is in a seperate meetinghall, where lighting and music are tuned to aspie-friendly levels (low and off, respectively)

aside from this, the best way to get more people is word-of-mouth, perhaps put some flyers at the local psycologist office and the geekstores, you never know.



Tequila
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11 Jul 2013, 6:10 am

How about doing something radical by advertising it?

Advertise it everywhere that is relevant. Online, offline, wherever. People need to know that this is happening. It needs to seem like fun.



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11 Jul 2013, 11:34 am

In my experience a keg gets people to show up.


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RudeGoldbergMachine
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11 Jul 2013, 9:00 pm

Careful with overemphasizing alcohol. Some people (for good reason) hate being around drunk people.



AgentPalpatine
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11 Jul 2013, 11:56 pm

Bloodheart wrote:
Here's the deal, I'm a committee member for a local group and amongst various things we do we run social groups once per month (currently attempting to do something fortnightly)...the problem is getting people to come!

We're a good-sized city and I know for a fact that we have hundreds of autistic people, it's just for whatever reason very few autistic people from our city make themselves known to each other online or in real life - this is something that I simply cannot understand - and what few autistic people do reach-out don't always attend either because they have better things to do or because they're autistic and we're hardly known for our love of social gatherings. We need a stronger turn-out to keep the gatherings going, but also we'd like to do more - regular events, fund-raising, discussions, and getting people interested in the activism side of the organisations work.

So, I'm putting it to fellow autistic people - any thoughts?


Catch-22. You need to have an incentive to come out to the group, but it's easier to add that incentive when you have the membership.

I'm not sure any advice I'd give you would work, since these things are so culturally and situationally dependent.

As for the issue of Aspies not coming out to meetings, well, we might very well have some of the highest levels of social anxiety of any statistically significant population.


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Fnord
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12 Jul 2013, 9:57 am

If all you care about is "Turn-Out", then appeal the the lowest common denominators of human interest - sex, drugs, rock & roll.

If instead you care most about getting the right people to attend, then identify who they are and personally invite them.