tips for inviting people to your first conversation

who?

It may not be the same group who enthusiastically attends your Super Bowl party, barbecue, and other events. Instead of inviting in the same way you do when you’re entertaining, it can help to think of it more as “convening.”

Sometimes the conversation concept is not as appealing to all the same people, only one person in a couple wants to participate, or people who you’d really like there – since they’re usually at your other events – may not choose to come to your first conversation or may opt out after your first one. This is all okay and normal.

What you’re asking people to do is different than what you may typically request of them when you invite them over. That’s part of the value!

For many of us, there isn’t anything in our lives that is similar to this, even if we’re familiar with the idea of connecting and conversing or remember things like it from the past.

Some people do have this in their lives – through another organization, church, or another activity that gives them similar space to connect – so they may not currently have a need in their life. This is also okay!

What could be cool is this fun opportunity to involve people that you don’t ordinarily include in your social events.

  • someone single, divorced, or widowed
  • someone older than your normal crowd, or younger
  • someone you haven’t seen in awhile, like a friend from college or a colleague from an old job who you really liked

A diverse group can help the conversation flow and improve the experience for everyone. And sometimes conversation is easier when people don’t feel like they know each other as well.

how?

Regardless of the method you choose, a message that briefly explains what we’re all up to is key. Our customizable Paperless Post designs can make it easy to send Save the Date and Reminder messages, as well as invitations all to the same list guests that you set up once.

And, from experience, personal invitations seem to be more effective for the initial conversation. Whether that’s a phone call, a text message, Facebook message – or even inviting someone at the carpool line, etc. – we’re finding that what works best is an initial personal invite followed up with something that reinforces the details.

Ongoing, the hosts are finding that since there is a membership involved, just one reminder each month seems to suffice, mainly to remind people of the time, address (especially if you’re rotating homes), and some of the neighborhood project guidelines. Groups are also finding that setting a recurring day of the month, like the second Sunday evening, or the third Tuesday, is helping with group stability and ease of scheduling. When your group members can plan ahead, they’re more likely to be able to join you for more conversations.