This is a guide to help you plan AFS-USA Returnee Meet-ups. Returnee Meet-ups allow you to connect with AFSers nearby and have some fun! Meet-ups are meant to be a social and informal event. Keep it simple and local!
First consider why you want to organize a Returnee Meet-up. Find out if returnees in your area are already meeting. Is there something missing? How could your Returnee Meet-up fill that need? Read below for some helpful tips on how to plan your local meet-up!
Returnee Meet-up Ideas
Here are some suggestions for Returnee Meet-ups. Keep it simple and be creative!
- Potluck meal at a house or community center
- Group events, like cheap tickets to a baseball game
- Meet for coffee or a cheap lunch
- Free admission days at museums
- AFS activities with hosted students
- Volunteer registration parties
- Professional mentoring sessions
Returnee Meet-up Locations
The easiest place to plan a Returnee Meet-up is in a public space. You could even have a group over to your house or dorm. Are returnees too far away to meet in one place? Plan a virtual meet-up. Skype, Google Hangout, freeconferencecall.com or join.me are great, free online tools.
- Coffee shops
- Community centers
- Public parks
- Community events, fairs and festivals
- Someone’s home or dorm
- Library meeting room
Day of the Meet-up
- Send a reminder to everyone you're expecting to attend (emails, texts, phone calls)
- Have a few engaging questions in your back pocket to start conversation
- Arrive early
- Be reachable - returnees might need directions or be running late
- If you're meeting in a public place, make yourself recognizable – AFS sign, name tag, t-shirt
- Bring a notepad and pen for everyone to sign in and so you can take notes if returnees have questions or come up with a cool, new idea
- Email, text or call returnees to thank them for attending
- Post pictures with captions to your local Area Team Facebook pages AND tag any returnees
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know about your event. Tell us who attended, when it was and what you did.
- Plan another meet-up!