1. Take a deep breath!! It’s going to be awesome! It’s so wonderful that you’ve chosen to gather people together for some connection and soul work! We thank you and we are so excited for you and those who will be gathering with you!
2. Prepare yourself by writing down why you’re doing this. Write down what you are hoping will happen, and how you want things to go. Write yourself a note that you are open to things going a different way than the picture you’ve got in your head, and that no matter how it turns out... you’re going to have a great time and feel good about what you’ve put together. Write out what you want your boundaries to be. See #5 for more information about that.
3. Make sure you’re super clear about time, place, what to bring, the rules and boundaries of the space you are using, etc. We can’t ever assume that others will know what we are thinking or what the rules of our space are. Make sure everyone knows whether to bring tools, supplies and food with them or whether you will be providing that. (you do not need to provide anything but the space...just make sure you make that clear to everyone) I always like to have some things on hand in case people forget. For this project...I would have extra scissors and glue sticks available.
4. Make sure to communicate clearly what time it starts and what time you need everyone to wrap up, clean up and get finished. Post it on the walls, or hand out a schedule for the day so that it’s very clear. Or do both of those things. It’s so much easier to point to a sign or a handout if things seem like they’re starting to go over time. If your gathering is “open house” style, and people can come and go as they please, make sure to communicate this. If you’d like everyone to arrive at the same time so that you can start together and end together, make sure to communicate this.
6. Have some music playing. It sets the mood and fills the space... especially at the beginning.
7. When people get there, remember that they are probably very nervous and it was hard for them to make themselves show up. Make sure you look them in the eye when they get there and tell them you’re happy that they are there.
8. If people are arriving at different times and you’re waiting for others to arrive... you could have some kind of activity going that people could sit down and do while they are waiting. I will be posting several ideas for connection activities to get your gathering going... but while you’re waiting for everyone to get there, you could tear several pages out of old books or magazines from the thrift store and tell people that they can cut out words and images that mean something to them while we are waiting to get started. Having an activity like this will take the nervousness and awkwardness away for everyone.
9. Tell everyone where the bathroom is. Make sure the bathroom is stocked up with toilet paper and towels for drying hands. If you’ve asked them to bring their own food, let them know if they can use to fridge or not. Tell them where they can put their coats and their supplies. Decide ahead of time where you want things to go so that there is no confusion and no piles of messes that are hard to manage later.
12. Let everyone know how much space they have to create. You could even make boundary lines on the working space with masking tape... showing the exact space where they can work on their project as well as put their stuff.
13. If you are using glue and paint, make sure to lay down something protective on top of your working space if you don’t want it to be covered in glue or paint. We use paint drop cloths from the hardware store as tablecloths and we also put them on the floor.
14. Make sure there are trashcans within easy reach and that you are ready to empty them out partway through the day. You could even have a sign up sheet to spread out some of tasks like this. You could tape a plastic shopping bag to the table next to every working space too... so that everyone has their own trash bag.
15. Have a broom within reach. When there’s a break, you can sweep up or have a sign up sheet for everyone to take turns. You’ll be surprised at how much artsy trash ends up on the floor when you’re doing so much cutting!
16. Make sure everyone has water to drink and some snacks if the day goes long. You don’t have to provide these. You can just tell everyone to please bring a water bottle and some snacks.
18. Do a connection activity if you have time. We will be adding ideas for those in the coming days. Connection activities help us to get to know ourselves and each other on a deeper level. They are life changing!
20. READ THE RED CARPET RULES TOGETHER! Then...go through the instructions and get started!!! It’s going to be an experience you’ll never forget!
Here is a link to the Rules of the Red Carpet