Monday, January 12, 2015

5 easy tips on conducting a successful Venue Based Outreach. Mpowerment best practices

Harry Potter Outreach | SOMOS Mpowerment FL

Why conduct Venue Based Outreach?

  • We can't think of a better way to quickly meet hundreds of young adult gay and bisexual men who need to hear about your Mpowerment Project.  Use Venue Based Outreach to create buzz about Project events and bring your Project positive community exposure
  • In addition, your Project can raise awareness about, eroticizing safer sex, condom use, PrEP as an HIV Prevention option and knowing one's HIV status.

What is Venue Based Outreach?

It's a "Bar Zap". Think of a Flash Mob vs Improv Everywhere vs your local gay bar = Mpowerment Venue Based Outreach. Form a team, dress up, role play, have fun and meet new people while inviting them to your Project's events and handing out condoms.

We've found that dressing in costume while promoting an event generally attracts more attention and is more effective than just wearing Project t-shirts. In addition, it is usually more fun for the Outreach Team to wear costumes. Give an engaging event-promoting performance while distributing invitations during visits to bars, community events, coffeehouses, and other appropriate locations where young adult gay/bi men congregate. 

When scheduling outreach activities, it is important to hold them far enough in advance of your event so that people will be able to attend. Then you can return briefly to the various venues a day or two before the event as a reminder. Sound like fun? Read on. . .

Mario Kart Outreach | The Q Austin Mpowerment TX

RELATED: Developing a publicity plan: Mpowerment Best Practices.

Pro-Tip 1: Foster a positive attitude. 

Fostering a positive, can-do attitude is paramount. One phrase we’ve encouraged Coordinators to use is “fake it until you make it.” In other words, although this may not be your ideal way of doing outreach at the beginning, pretend that it is. You’ll be amazed at how much a negative attitude can stop the fun and creativity of this type of outreach. This form of outreach is a great way to meet other guys and invite them to the Project. Before going out, have Team members practice approaching each other. Have them invent fun opening lines that fit with your themed outreach.

Venue Based Outreach Best Practices | SOMOS Mpowerment Wilton Manors FL

Pro-Tip 2: Make it short and engaging. 

We don’t expect young men to be in themed costumes all night. 

We call these “Bar Zaps” for a reason. In Austin, the Project was able to cover two or three different bars in one night. They would spend 20-30 minutes in each location. Create a buzz and then leave. End the outreach by having guys change out of their costumes, so they can resume whatever they would normally be doing for the rest of the evening.

Soccer Team Outreach "Q Flames" | The Q Austin Mpowerment TX

Pro-Tip 3: Create a confident team. 

Be sure to follow SOMOS Mpowerment Wilton Manors:  FB link: facebook  twitter.

RELATED: 4 easy steps for involving volunteers: Mpowerment Project best practices.

Pro-Tip 4: Bring extra costumes with you. 

In Albuquerque, Coordinators found that many young men who would normally do themed outreach may not be able to make it to Outreach Team meetings. It wasn’t unusual for the Outreach Team to arrive at a bar and have former outreach volunteers run up and want to help out, especially when the outreach theme was sexy and fun. So, for instance, if the outreach theme is about sexy pirates, have some extra pirate hats, mustaches, stripped shirts and other props handy to give to volunteers who want to be sexy pirates at the last minute. This is an easy way to double the size of your Outreach Team on the spot.

SOMOS OC | Mpowerment Orange County CA

RELATED: 8 clever ways to support and supervise volunteers (and avoid burnout).

Pro-Tip 5: Don’t give up. 

Have fun with this form of outreach. Remind yourself that the best form of recruitment is done in person in a friendly and authentic manner. It will take time for an Outreach Team to learn how to support each other. Every themed outreach has lessons to be learned and improved upon. 

The Outreach team planning form (Figure 7.5) and the Outreach Team Evaluation Form (to be completed after each venue based outreach) (Figure 7.6) Are free word.doc downloads that are downloadable when you register at 

Module 7 Formal Outreach - Social Outreach Events and Outreach Team is a free .pdf download when you register at 

Helpful Core Group and Community evaluation to consider via SOMOS Mpowerment Wilton Manors Florida:

Venue Based Outreach Best Practices |  SOMOS Wilton Manors Mpowerment FL

Borrow and improve on these Mpowerment Project inspired Venue Based Outreach performances: 

Olympiad Outreach | Genesis Project, Mpowerment Pocatello ID

Nerds Outreach | SOMOS Mpowerment Wilton Manors FL
Where's Waldo? Outreach | SOMOS Mpowerment FL
Harry Potter Outreach | SOMOS Mpowerment FL

The Q Camp | Camp Counselor Outreach via The Q Austin Mpowerment TX
SOMOS | Mpowerment Orange County CA
Castaways Outreach via the Evolution Project | Mpowerment Atlanta GA
Yes sir! Pride with SOMOS | Mpowerment Wilton Manors FL
The M'Power Rangers 
The Genesis Project Pride Olympiad Outreach | Mpowerment Pocatello ID

We are here for you. Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) services available.

More information can be found in Module 7 Formal Outreach - Social Outreach Events and Outreach Team. This module is a free .pdf download when you register at 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing details regarding Venue Based Outreach! I am very glad to know about such stunning events. I would love to organize similar events at one of the best SF event venues for my office staff.