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Of two minds about social gathering
April 1, 2014 8:24 AM

I've been thinking off and on about starting up a sort of social club/support group for men in my area, but I'm not sure how to organize it. Mostly I want it to be place where we can feel comfortable around each other: spend time one-on-one, not have to dress up, not feel like we have to hurry through interactions, etc. How do you formulate rules for that sort of thing? Beautiful unique snowflake details inside.

One additional issue is I don't want it to get out of hand; I feel almost like, as much as I'd like to advertise the club, I should really encourage everybody not to talk about it too much. And should members even use their real names

Where can we host events? Should I contact local businesses about donating space? Should we plan group outings? Do I need to involve a business partner for this, maybe?

This is in Delaware, if that matters.
posted by Jack's Total Lack of Organizational Experience to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation around (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The first rule of starting clubs is that you need some ground rules.
posted by limeonaire at 9:39 PM on March 31, 2014 [12 favorites]

Definitely find a business partner who can handle the stuff you don't want to think about.
posted by lovecrafty at 10:30 PM on March 31, 2014 [16 favorites]

Don't underestimate the potential costs of something like this. Do you have a way to secure a source of revenue for the club? Maybe you can get a corporation to sponsor it, or something?
posted by cortex at 10:41 PM on March 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

You need to add this kind of thing to your action item list.
posted by skewed at 11:23 PM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

You've clearly got a lot of work to do here, so along the way, don't forget to take a day off now and then. After all, life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:54 AM on April 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Word of mouth might help, so you won't have to worry about advertising.

Find the sort of place your target demographic already likes to spend time, and see if you can make an arrangement with the managers of that space.

Do you want full group outings or individualized experiences? What is your ultimate goal? Just to cut loose a little bit, connect with your fellow man on a visceral level?

A business partner would definitely help. Make sure it's someone you trust. Someone who can think you, and you like him, in a pinch. You want to make sure you have the same goals for the group.

And don't let the group take over your life. Make time for yourself.

Good luck!
posted by RainyJay at 6:25 AM on April 1, 2014

Do I need to involve a business partner for this, maybe?

Highly recommend this course of action. A business partner will help to keep you from beating yourself up over the details.
posted by 40% Chance of Florence Henderson at 10:39 AM on April 1, 2014 [8 favorites]

You may want to invest in a good cleaning product as well. If you can't find one that meets your needs, perhaps considering mobilizing the efforts of the group to produce your own ?
posted by k5.user at 11:11 AM on April 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

You can definitely build a really close-knit group by taking everyone out for some team-building exercises, or just doing up the town. Trust me, you'll get to know some of these people better than you know yourself after a while.

If you're looking for a small but close-knit group, you may find that people in service professions have the flexible schedules and the desire for these sorts of bonding experiences. Alternatively, you can try trolling local support groups to see who's interested, though that raises some ethical considerations; no one likes a "tourist."

From the sound of it, you may need more time than you think to set everything up, so it might be worth exploring early retirement or out-of-office work solutions with your boss. But if it's supposed to be a fun weekend type of thing, then it's not worth losing sleep over the details.
posted by kewb at 1:29 PM on April 1, 2014

Good luck. Every time I try something like this I end up sabotaging myself.
posted by mono blanco at 5:44 PM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Be careful about dating during this time. You and she just might end up really confused.
posted by A dead Quaker at 6:10 PM on April 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

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