Hot Topic: Getting People Out When It’s Cold Out

Whether you define cold as 60 or 30, you have to admit it’s pretty chilly this time of year. One of the challenges of the cold (other than driving in ice and snow for our northerly Region B members) is getting people to attend meetings and events. The cold confines us to our comfy bed and heated apartments, tempting us to remain indoors at all times. We still attend our courses but any events requiring going outdoors otherwise, we skip.

What can your section do?

  • Take advantage of the cold: Hold a fundraiser selling hot coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Try a good, warming dish like stew (it can be as simple as heating up some Campbell’s) instead of the typical pizza at meetings. Give away mittens and hats as door prizes.  Conduct a service project in which you collect blankets and slightly used coats for the homeless. If you have any crafty types in your section, knit or crochet hats for local foster children.
  • Offer additional incentives for winter participation: If your section uses a member points system, assign more points if it drops below a certain temperature and they still attend.  No points system? Give away door prizes. Determine meeting chairs for Spring events based upon Winter event attendance. Be creative.
  • Set up rides for those who typically walk to attend: Many people take public transit and have to walk a good distance from campus to their bus or train stop. Offer to pick them up or drop them off. Same goes for members who live just off-campus or don’t have parking permits. A ride in a warm car can be a great incentive.
  • Ignore the cold: Hold a summer in February event. While you may have to wear your warmest gear outside, who says you can’t change into your bathing suit and flip flops for a special summer-themed event? Eat watermelon (if you can get it) and drink tropical spritzers made with pinapple or mango juice and Sprite/7-up. Pretend it’s July, even if you can see the snow falling down outside.

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