Let's start off this post by saying I do not think I am a meet up expert. I have attended two in my meet up career. However I have had several people contact me through various social media to see how I did it and then I was urged to write this post. Here it goes!
Connect with a group of sellers in your area to coordinate dates. For CO, Pam at Desktop Learning Adventures created a Facebook group. This was a great way to bounce ideas and for others to chime in with theirs. If your group doesn't have a page start one and post it in the TpT forums to get interest.
Once you have set a date and location. Start promoting! Use your social media like crazy! I posted on the forums, instagram and Facebook. Here is the graphic I made:
Next I read about everyone else's meet ups. I grabbed a few ideas and got the swag bag and donation ideas. (Everyone wants free stuff!)
Then the invites. This was the most time consuming part. I created a google form and then we cut and pasted the invite to every active CO seller through the ask a question spot on TpT. This is a good place to get help. Nichole at the Craft Of Teaching was a huge help. We worked on inviting everyone over the course of a week. Something I didn't remember to do was to set an RSVP date. Do that!!!
Here is a link to the google form so you can see what was on it.
Next was contacting the very generous donors. I contacted everyone I could possibly think of. You can check out all of our awesome donations on an upcoming blog post and have a chance to win some of your own. Here is some donor advice, do not get discouraged! I think I contacted about 100 vendors to donate. There was several that I did not hear back from, even more that said no, but a huge amount that said yes! This was the coolest part of the whole thing! So many generous companies support teachers. I asked for donations in the forms of raffle prizes and smaller swag bag donations. I also promised we would, blog and share on social media about their awesome prizes and that I would include any advertisements and coupons they wanted to share. How did I contact them? Through the contact page on each website. I also placed a donor list in every bag so everyone would know who to thank.
I turned to the Facebook page for more ideas. Mary at Teaching With A Mountain View said we needed name tags. She was right and it was so helpful. Make sure you have extras incase more people show up! Mary made them for the meet up too!
The purpose of our meet up was to connect with each other so I made an info sheet for everyone to fill out this was also their raffle ticket.
We also did one optional activity which was a favorite school supply exchange. I set a $20 budget and did it like a white elephant exchange. We had everything from a cool stapler to whisky! I got skinny Mr. Sketch markers from Cecilia at I Love First Grade. I brought giant post its and a sharpie paint pen.
I hope this helps you plan your meet up! Please comment with how you did yours below!