Plan Early and Carefully to Hold a Successful Club Open House

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What are some things to consider when thinking about holding a club open house?

A great open house doesn’t “just happen.” It is best if the WHOLE club participates with the planning of the club open house.

  • Plan the club open house with the care to detail as if you were planning an open house at your home for special friends.  After all, your club is your Toastmasters family.
  • Start planning early!
  • Identify a member willing to be the coordinator of your club’s open house event.
  • Identify other members who will assist with various duties such as publicity, refreshments, set-up, clean-up.
  • Choose a date, time and location.
  • Secure the location weeks in advance of the event so that you can begin publicizing.
  • Use all available sources to publicize such as social media, newspapers, church bulletins, flyers, personal invitations, etc.
  • Decide on the structure of your meeting and secure a qualified toastmaster, speaker(s), evaluator(s), Table Topicsmaster, and general evaluator.
  • Incorporate the value of the Toastmasters program into parts of the meeting.
  • Allow time for questions.
  • Thank your visitors for attending and ask them to Join!

Ideas that were suggested during group activities at the Jan.19 workshop included:

  • Hold open house at regular meeting time and location to avoid confusion.
  • Publicize well in advance in social media, newspapers, flyers, coffee shops, work stations, or any other creative places your club can think of.
  • Have nametags, visitor cards, and membership applications with generic information already filled out.
  • Provide guest packets. 
  • Have a theme for the event.
  • Provide refreshments.
  • Make it fun!
  • Make guests feel welcome.  Encourage building of friendships and relationships.
  • Have an abbreviated meeting to allow time for questions.
  • Ask for personal statements from Toastmasters as to how Toastmasters membership has improved their business and/or personal life.
  • Point out the cost/value relationship.  $ .20 per day is an extremely low price for learning to be an effective communicator and leader.
  • Follow up with any guests who do not join that day.

The Toastmasters program is an effective learning program. It provides a venue to practice, practice, practice! It is a path to being a better speaker, evaluator, listener and leader. Why wouldn’t someone want to join?

Let that message show when having your club open house and you will gain new members!

Marylee Mims
Lt. Governor Marketing