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Growing Your Astronomy Club
Part 1: Welcoming Visitors

Main Welcoming Visitors Tips < previous page | next page >

4. Apply the Greeting Formula: Greet, Show, Introduce

Now that you have your Welcome System in place, your club is ready to greet visitors to your club meetings.

1. Greet

Staff your Welcome Table with at least two greeters. Greet everyone including regular members and any children accompanying the adults (sometimes it’s the child that has brought the parent to the meeting!).

Be sure to welcome visitors who are outside of the “normal” amateur astronomer demographic. Some visitors might be operating a mobile device while talking to you, or have non-traditional haircuts, clothes, or body decoration.

What do Greeters say when they see someone they don’t recognize?

handshake“Welcome! I don’t think I’ve met you yet? I’m Dave Garrett.” OR
“We’re glad to have you here. I don’t recall meeting you before. I’m Dave Garrett.”

 exclamation point(DON’T say “Are you new?” or “Is this your first time here?” You might embarrass yourself or offend a regular member.)

If it turns out this is the first time they have visited, start a short conversation with one of these:

2. Show

Show the visitor what they need to know:

3. Introduce

Help visitors connect with other members so you can be free to return to the Welcome Table:

4. Acknowledge Visitors during the Meeting (but don’t ask them to speak!)

raising hand As part of the club meeting, the person running the meeting may ask visitors to stand or raise their hand. Ask your members to notice which people raised their hands and say “Be sure to introduce yourself to our visitors at the break.”

exclamation pointIt is not advisable to ask visitors to stand up and say something. If you do, you’re putting them on the spot – asking them to do “public speaking.” Be careful, even asking a person say their name and city to the whole group is too intimidating for some people. 

Avoid frightening the visitors.

woman“Once a newcomer was sitting next to me and when he saw the President was making all the visitors stand up and introduce themselves, he split out the back and hid in the restroom. He didn’t come out until the main speaker started.”

5. Final Check

After the meeting, say goodbye to visitors, and invite them to return next time. Ask them if they have any questions.

If so, you may soon have a new member!

Main Welcoming Visitors Tips < previous page | next page >

ASP logoSharing the Universe videos are produced by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) from research conducted by the Institute for Learning Innovation, the ASP, and from astronomy clubs like yours. www.astrosociety.org/SharingTheUniverse


NSF logoThe Sharing the Universe project is funded by the National Science Foundation and is supported by the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL) of the National Science Foundation under Grant Number DRL 0638873. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Flying Moose PicturesVideo production by Flying Moose Pictures