by Josh Orendi and Jessica Gendron
We know that Big Events are fun … but they're typically ineffective when it comes to building new relationships with potential members. Therefore, small activities should be the primary strategy for getting to know PNM's throughout the year.
How many people should be at your small activities? Answer: 3-7. Sociologists confirm what most of us already know as common sense. Friendships are best facilitated in small groups. Using the Plus One strategy (see Good Guys or I Heart Recruitment for details), we know it's ideal to have no less than 3 people in a conversation pocket. From experience, you know that when a group of 6-7 people are talking and an 8th person enters the circle … the group naturally splits into 2 separate groups. Thus becoming TWO small activities.
Do you ever find your chapter falling into a rut … doing the same small activities all the time? As we like to remind ‘frat dudes,’ If all you're offering are poker nights and BBQ's who are you attracting? Answer: Fat Gamblers. Diversify the small activities you offer so you're appealing to the widest cross section of students. Consider activities in the following categories: Interest Meetings, Social, Scholarship, Service, Leadership, Cultural, Athletic.
The best part about small activities is that most of them can be done at the last minute and take little or no money. That being said, it would be ideal to have a minimum of 2-3 small activities that take place on the same night, at the same time, at the same place. This way you always have something to invite a new friend to the first time you meet that person.
Phired Up Productions offers you this list of 99 Small Activities Ideas to help get the creative juices flowing. We don't recommend using them all, just the ones that feel right. But, challenge yourself to include a few from each category to make sure your calendar has the diversity you’ll need to let Quantity Drive Quality.
This list is also available in Phired Up's FREE RESOURCES section of its website.