Meet Ups! Everyone has heard of them right? The little meet ups to go to the cinema and eat food with your friends, large scale meetups where you all hang out for the week and gave fun and games.And of course everyone has heard of the biggest meetup the RT community has RTX and its little newborn sibling RTX AU.
Meet ups are where we in the community get to all hang out together, brought together by a common interest to hang out and have fun. Meet old friends, meet new friends you made over the internet but haven't yet seen in person. Or to make new friends entirely.
But there are some who are terrified at the mere prospect of going to meet ups. Maybe you have anxiety or get scared/concerned/worried in situations with lots of people. Maybe you're shy, have low self esteem, are worried that when you get there the people won't like you or that you will have isues with someone and not know what to do about it.
If you are feeling any of this then don't worry, you are not alone. Lots of people in the community have gone through the same things you have and its not as uncommon as you think. So here is some advice gathered from the community that I am going to share with you guys.
1. Don't start off big!! - Seriously if you are nervous about meet ups don't start off with the big one! RTX & RTX AU may be the golden Valhalla of meet ups where all your favourite people go. But making this your first ever venture into the community world is not what a lot of people would advise you do. For one the scale of the thing and the amount of people roaming around could seem incredibly daunting especially if you are nervous in crowds. Also for some of you RTX requires you to travel to a foreign country which only adds to the daunting aspect. So..
2. Start out small! - Find out your local group. Most states in America have community group. the UK have RT UK, which are split into smaller regional areas. Australia, Ireland, France, most countries have a community group that you can look to for advice or information with meet ups. Most of the groups organise smaller local get togethers which be a perfect place to start off into the world of community meet ups.
3. Spend time getting to know people! - The most daunting thing about meet ups is the whole "What if I don't know anyone there??". So spend time in your local community group through game nights, hanging out in the group chat, getting to know people that way. Sure the first meeting of this people in the flesh could still be nerve-racking, but having that initial contact with them and knowing that you share similar interests in things like games, will put you more at ease and make conversation a lot easier.
4. Take a friend! - Even if your friend is not one with the Rooster Teeth way you can still take your friend, partner, sister, brother with you to meet ups. Most meet ups, although brought together by a shared interest in Rooster Teeth, the meet ups don't solely revolve around Rooster Teeth. Community groups arrange picnics, beach days, lazer tag, paintball and trips to cinema and a whole host of inter sting things. So if you do bring someone with you, not only with they have something to do and have fun with you but you will feel more at ease knowing you have someone with you.
5. What if I have a problem with someone/something? Like someone was harassing me? - Everyone hopes and aims to make these meets ups a safe friendly fun place to be. But unfortunately no matter how well something is planned, problems can still arise. And while in the minority, some people can make ruin meet ups for someone, or even cause someone to never come to a meet up again due to how they were treated.
Every meet up and every group has an organiser, admin, moderator or ambassador attached to them (see the last post for info on them). The biggest example of this are guardians at RTX. Guardians are normal easily distinguishable. At mini meet ups they may not be quite as noticeable. So find out who the ambassadors or moderators of your group are beforehand, that way you know who to go speak to or report a problem to. And don't be afraid to speak to these guys! They are always happy to listen to any issues you have and will do the absolutely best to solve the problem for you. And if you want to remain anonymous, they will also be happy to speak to you in confidence. They can also give you advice on first time meetups, maybe assign you as a newbie to a veteran if you want to, so you have someone to show you the ropes. But please, if you have any issue at a meet up, tell someone! If leave it, the problem could get worse or cause problems for someone else.
6. HAVE FUN!! - And the most important thing is to relax and have fun! And don't be scared off by bad experiences in the past. No one should stop you having fun as you are allowed to have fun and relax and do the things everyone else can do.
Hopefully this has been helpful and has given you guys some food for thought.... okay that was a really cliche line, but I'm going to leave it in anyway.
If you guys have any questions then leave them below in the comments if you wish to.
But I suggest you go out, find your local groups and start you first forays into the world of fun times.
I should stop with the really bad lines now shouldn't I?