Host a Coffee/Tea "Meet and Greet" Event

The event name says it all. Print off some information on the importance of play, don’t forget to bring your sign-in sheets, and use this opportunity to find out why each person decided to attend the meeting and why play is important and personal to them.

And one more thing—you never know until you know. Until you know all of your neighbors, you won’t know if the mayor’s mother, your local council member, or the city manager is just under your nose. So make sure to invite everyone. Remember, an advocacy initiative for play is just as much about community building as it is about playground building. With a unified community, anything is possible, so make sure your team creates an abundance of casual and formal opportunities to bring people together around the importance of play. And the key is—make it playful!

Consider inviting your legislators to a "Meet and Greet"

Okay, so you’ve established your committee on play, you’ve assessed the status of play in your community, you’ve maybe held a Play Day, you’re the media guru your friends and colleagues now turn to—it’s time to step it up and begin to involve your local legislators. Host a play-themed “meet and greet” and share with your local representatives your Play Committee’s report on the “status of play.”

Recommendations and questions to consider as you plan for your official’s visit:

  • What role will this official play at your meeting, event, etc.? Will he or she help with some of your talking points, open or close the event with some poignant words, give a brief speech? Provide options for the official to select from.
  • Why should this official attend? Make sure your invitation includes details about the importance of play and how it reflects on issues that are important to this official (for example, childhood obesity, violence/crime prevention, Hurricane Katrina recovery).
  • Invitation procedures
    • Call and get the name, email address, and fax number of the scheduler, or the personnel who handle the official’s schedule.
    • Send a personalized letter, by fax and email, that includes all relevant details.
    • Call the scheduler two to three days after sending the letter, ask about status including a date of decision, and ask if the scheduler needs any additional information.
  • Follow-up
    • Post photos to your organization’s website and provide electronic copies to
      the official.
    • Be sure to write a thank-you note to the official for participating.