Gunpla meetups are a great way to bring builders together and to share the hobby with newcomers. They can also be a great way to make new friends and relax over some kits.
Starting one can be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. In this blog series, I will be sharing some tips on how to start, run and grow your very own build meetup!
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
1. What kind of meet up do you want to hold?
First you must decide what kind of meet up it’s going to be. Think about the atmosphere that you want to create and the activities involved.
Will it be a casual time for people to gather and put their kits together? Will there be food/movies/games involved? Will it be a paint meet up?
2. Gather your materials.
Will you need extra cutters, tools, paints? If your group is directed towards newcomers, it is a good idea to have extra hobby cutters on hand. You can find some inexpensive wire cutters from your local electronics store for around $4-$7.
3. Pick a Location and Time
Find a place to meet! It’s best to choose a place with plenty of table space.
Local comic book stores, game shops, schools/universities, and hobby shops are great public places to hold meetups as they not only hold build tables but also attract a lot of fellow people who are into mecha culture or modeling culture (or are about to get into it!)
When will you meet? How frequently will you meet? Weeknights and weekends generally work best. Will you meet weekly? Monthly? Bi monthly? Decide on this before you get started.
4. Talk to your store owner/venue director
It’s important to have a good relationship with the director of the venue. Communicate to them what you plan on doing and agree on a time slot.
Always be grateful for the space and time allotted and be sure to honor the rules of the establishment. If you are speaking to a store owner who does not carry Gunpla, but would like to, feel free to share with them the names of your local distributors.
So you have set a date for your first meetup. With at least a week out, it’s time to get the word out there! Be sure that your ads contain the following elements: Name of Meetup, Date, Time, Location. VERY IMPORTANT: Briefly describe what you’ll be doing in a couple of sentences. Make it fun! Make it exciting!
Social media is an inexpensive way to announce your first meeting. Facebook and Reddit are good places to start as there are many large public communities where you can spread the word! meetup.com is another great channel you can use to spread the word. If you’re operating through a local hobby shop or game store, ask if you can share to their channels as well as their bulletin boards.
Now that you've prepared, it's showtime. Stay tuned for Part 2 where we talk about how to launch!