There are many of you that want to have a meet in your city and I just thought, I'd make it easier for you to organise one and enjoy it.
I've been for many team-BHP meets in many cities and here's a few things i think will help.
1. Don't expect too much
Sometimes you look at successful meet pictures from other cities and want to have a meet like that. It may not happen. Internet communities have a way of appearing extremely enthusiastic while on the thread. The hype builds up and when the meet happens, it is often below expectation. Go with an open mind. You may enjoy yourself. If you do, that's great. Don't expect too much. That way you won't be disappointed.
2. Organize - It's OK to be led
Let one or two active members who have the time and the inclination make the plan. Too many cooks will spoil the broth. Remember, by facilitating and co-operating with them, you will do more for this meet than by leading. Let 1 or 2 members who have good internal co-ordination work on the meet. You will find that it always works better to let someone lead in the case of a meet.
3. Don't be shy
No matter how many times you have done it, it is always difficult to meet a friend you have never seen before. We all go through this over and over again. Remember, no one is judging you. Most people already know you a bit.
Introduce yourself by your handle on the forum sit back and relax. Be yourself. Discuss a few threads on the forum, this will be a topic everyone can relate to and will break the ice immediately. After this you can talk about anything under the sun, it won't have to be only about cars. Mostly i find topics that cannot
be posted on team-BHP are great fun.
Offer to show your car, something special in your car (your ICE or your exhaust etc) to the rest. Appreciate what others do for their car. Walk up to people's cars and understand what it is they do and why.
And don't be shy to show people your car, Remember - the enthusiasm of a M800 owner may be much higher than a BMW owner. We are here to share that enthusiasm. Expensive cars can be seen in showrooms too.
4. Quality, not quantity
The number of people don't matter. Even 2 people can have a great and successful meet. Sometimes, just meeting a few people, sharing a few jokes and anecdotes will make it more successful and memorable than a gaggle of 50 team-BHPians.
5. Keep the account clear
I would have actually liked to highlight this whole post, because i cannot stress enough on how important this is.
Please don't take money for granted. It leaves a bitter after-taste. Find out approximately how much it will cost and carry the money with you. Don't make the organisers regret doing what they did. It will affect all future meets.
You could be worth crores, but your negligence to pay a few hundred rupees will leave you branded as a cheapo.
If you must leave early, go up to the organiser and pay in advance. There is no problem with that. Nothing to feel odd about. You came, it's unfortunate you have to leave. Pay up and leave. Keep the account clear. None of your friends should have to pay for you, remember, they WILL discuss it when the bill arrives.
6. Take it slow & do it again
A common problem for most, is that you develop a mental picture of a person and the way he speaks from his posts on the forum. Often, the person you meet is not the one you had in mind. Give it time. If you like the way he posts, chances are you will like the way he thinks.
If you're at the meet and not really having the blast you thought it would be (this stems from point 1.) give it time. Stick around. Come back for the next meet. I promise you, you will find a couple of new friends you will consider very close. (I say this from personal experience)
Let's face it. We're a predominantly male community. Not everyone has a woman friend/wife, many are young and still shy.
If a meet is planned and you'd like to bring a lady, announce it, so that the meet can be planned accordingly (especially venue wise) and others can bring a lady as well. Don't just land up with your girlfriend unannounced, you may just ruin the night for yourself and everyone else if she's the only girl there.
8. For the organisers -Choose a place/activity everyone can afford
Don't aim high, not everyone may have your monetary capabilities or tastes. Choose simple, commonly appreciated venues and watch the people come in.
9. Be clear in your post- confirm/decline/cancel
It makes it easy to organise if they know how many people. Even if it is 4 people, make a list and post it. If you cannot edit your final list, approach a moderator for help via PM, they will do so, gladly.
If you are expected to come (because you're popular) and you cannot - decline clearly. This is part of the list making process.
If you have confirmed and for some unforeseen reason cannot make it, post it clearly and offer to pay your share
to the organisers, in case advances were paid. You may find that it will 99% not be required, but will make your intention clear and make everyone else respect you more as a person.
Don't confirm and simply not show up, it is very annoying. Don't do it.
10. If you are drinking
Primarily, please do not drink and drive later. Team-BHP is strongly against this. Please refer to this (Do NOT drink and drive!) (Do NOT drink and drive!)
Remember, there will always be people who you will be meeting for the first time. Enjoy your drink with them socially, use the relaxed feeling to smile and converse with them.
Keep a close check on how much alcohol you consume. Drink within your limits. Do not leave other members at the meet with a poor impression of you. It is truly bad behaviour to lose control of yourself, both verbally and sometimes physically.
We all come to meets to enjoy ourselves. Even the members that do not drink any alcohol. One single person drunk and out of control can spoil the festivity.
Please do not let that person be you.
Don't forget we're an online community. We would like to know how it went. It feels good to know. Take a few pictures and post a fun to read report. If for some reason you couldn't take pics, post a text report, telling everyone what you did and how it went.
And be a sport. Laugh at others and let them laugh at you. That's what life is about.
I hope this helps you plan a meet next.
P.S. A small tip. Try not to publicly post your mobile phone number. It can be misused, remember the whole world can see what you are posting. That's what PMs are for.