Cosmos Mixers: Virtual Happy Hour
How has this idea enhanced your club's operation, etc.?
One of the most sorely missed aspects of gathering in person was the ability for members to have casual conversations and learn about their fellow members while enjoying the club house. In order to continue this much needed social interaction, we began hosting Virtual Happy Hours the second Wednesday of every month at 5pm. Members are encouraged to pour themselves their favorite libation and join the group for lively conversation. This has been particularly beneficial for non-resident members who do not normally have the ability to spend time getting to know other members, and has made them feel much more connected and involved in their own club.
How was this idea implemented, and what have been the club members' reactions?
Our virtual happy hours begin with a warm welcome from the host and then move into a quick situational update and Q&A session from our Club President and General Manager. The group is then split into 3 smaller break out rooms randomly. Each break out room is assigned an 'anchor' who will serve as the conversation leader for that particular group. Each session has an open-ended prompt to encourage conversation and lead topics, such as "describe a conversation you will never forget'" or "a risk I took that paid off". These questions have led to members to find many things in common that otherwise would not have been discovered, and new friendships have formed for those who may never have crossed paths at the club. These happy hours are loved by many members and serve as a crucial way to keep the camaraderie alive while being separated physically. Club Member Chris Kolakowski said “The monthly Cosmos Club mixers are a great time, and one I look forward to each month. As a non-resident member, the mixers help me stay connected to the Club and the community. I’ve built some connections I may not otherwise have done, and next time I am in DC I plan to meet in person. The Zoom setup is easy to use and it is a relaxed atmosphere, too. I encourage any non-resident members to join the mixers for some excellent fellowship – you won’t regret it.”