JusticeMasters Coffee & Conversation Speak-a-thon - 5/25/2013
C.I.T.I.E.S. Toastmasters Open House - 5/25/2013
The Officers Club Open House Speak-a-thon - 5/28/2013
One of the best ways to boost membership in your Toastmasters club is by hosting an Open House. A Club Open House is a special meeting in which you invite the community to visit your club and increase their awareness of what Toastmasters has to offer. In the case of a company club, you invite the other company employees for the same purpose.
Hopefully, your club has a high quality, productive meeting each time you meet. But you want to be especially sure that the Open House meeting will be well planned and prepared to make a good impression on your guests and potential members.
Get as many of your member involved as you can to get all the details handled and generate some strong, positive energy for the event.
1. Set a date.
a. Set a specific date for the event to takeplace. Allow at least 3-4 weeks of planning before your event so you have time for the PR needed to get the word out.
2. Select an Open House Chair and Committee.
a. It could be co-lead by your VP of Membership and your VP of Public Relations.
Or perhaps someone wants to lead this team for CL Credit under “Team Building.” 3. Select a Keynote Speaker.
Preferable someone from the club who is a polished speaker who can speak to the benefits of Toastmasters. You want to feature your club so utilizing as many of your members in the program is best to show your club in a good light.
Another option is to bring in an outside speaker such as a District officer or some other prominent speaker who can speak to the benefits of Toastmasters to your guests.
4. Design a Special Open House Flyer for this event.
a. This will go out to various parts of the community to get the word out about your
Some sources include your local newspapers, flyers in local businesses &
libraries (Starbucks is a welcoming spot to place a flyer on their Public Notices board). Also use online sources such as Meetup, Event Bright, Facebook, District ONE Calendar, and your own club website.
Ask members to see if they can place a flyer at their work place and personally invite co-workers and friends to the event. For company clubs, ask HR permission to place flyers in various parts of the workplace.
5. Select a Refreshment Chair & Committee.
a. People feel especially welcomed when there are some snacks available. It allows
for a common place to talk and personalizes the event. The food doesn’t have to be fancy or costly. Your committee could organize a Pot Luck that would help lower costs and give a more personal touch.
6. Create a Special Meeting Agenda.
Depending on time allowed, you want to have time to show what your meeting is
like and still have time to allow for guests to have refreshments and ask questions. You may only have the one Keynote Speaker, Table Topics, and Evaluations. Be sure to still incorporate all the functionary roles as these are key aspects to the Toastmasters meeting.
Consider using Table Topics as a way to elicit testimonials from your members.
With time allowed, consider having a 2nd speaker be a newer member who could
speak to how the Toastmasters program has helped them up to this point.
7. Have Plenty of Guest Packets, Brochures, & APPLICATIONS.
a. Be ready to take on new members that very day. Make sure all your club officers
know how to fill out the application so no guest is left unattended.
8. Have Name Tags for Guest and Members.
Remind all members to wear their Toastmasters name badge (as they should at
A Registration Team may be set up to ensure guests are attended to properly
when they arrive, by signing in on your Guest or Visitor Book, getting a name
badge, and a guest packet.
Make sure guests are lead to a club officer or experienced Toastmaster who will
make them feel welcomed by explaining the guest packet contents and the program
9. Ask for Guest Comments.
At the end of the meeting, ask for guest comment of what they thought of the
meeting (as you do at every meeting when you have guests). As time permits, let
them know everyone will be available to answer any other questions they have.
Be sure to ask them to join or invite them back to visit your club at their next
10. Write Thank You Notes to Guest Who Attended.
A hand written thank you note still has a great impact on a guest.
Email has become an accepted means of communication. If you do email your
thank you note, send each one individually and personalize the note so it isn’t just
group thank you.
The above information will get your Club Open House well organized, involve your members in a variety of roles, and will show your club in a good light. You can get brochures, flyer templates, and other materials from Toastmasters International.
We are here to help you with the planning and organization of your Open House. Please feel free to contact us to help you with the planning of your event.
|Marlo Wilkerson, ACB/ALB
Lt. Governor of Marketing
|Rodger Cota, DTM, PDG
Open House Chair
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