Please note I am not an expert on these things but I’m not afraid to give it a try. I learned by practicing and following tips from others. www.siliconvalleymqg.com was very helpful.
Why Zoom? The basic program is free to all and if you need longer than the 40 free minutes the Guild (or host) can buy unlimited time for only $20/month. Zoom is available on Apple and Android devices (computer, iPads, phones). Zoom allows up to 100 participants and is safe if you follow the simple guidelines.
Participants will need to download (Free) Zoom app and sign in…remind them again, they need to sign it!
Zoom host has several options when holding meeting. They can control who is allowed into the meeting, they can mute participants, they can highlight a speaker, they can share documents, photos and use a whiteboard. I recommend the host practice these options prior to a meeting.
Our 19th annual retreat was canceled so we held a Virtual Retreat.
- Emails were sent to attendees asking if they wanted to do a virtual retreat. 100% said yes! They were required to download Zoom app and sign in. We recommended practicing if they were not familiar with Zoom.
- We used Instagram and Facebook to share and create interest. Our hashtag was #wvqgretreatathome2020.
- Leading up to retreat, organizers posted and emailed fun photos of preparing for Retreat…projects they would work on, pictures from previous retreats, wine, chocolate, getting sewing space ready, etc. Many retreat attendees went above and beyond and personally left retreat goodies at roommates homes! If I had planned sooner we could have left our goodie bags at attendees homes.
- Zoom invites were sent out notifying attendees that we would meet each day at 4 pm.
- Day 1 was welcome from one of our organizers, sharing memories of previous retreats, allowing everyone to say hi to each other (we had not seen each other for many weeks). We also have 2 very talented singers and they entertained us on Zoom with a quilt related musical performance. We also had our resident joke teller on standby but ran out of time.
- Day 2 and 3 opened with welcoming comments and then prearranged demos by members.
- Day 4 was show and tell and goodbyes.
We also arranged for door prizes (we called them portal prizes). Names were drawn from those attending and we emailed winners a gift certificate from a local quilt store.
During the evenings of Retreat several groups got together on Facebook Messenger and had an evening of sewing and visiting. This platform only allows 8 people but unlimited time.
Following the success of our Virtual Retreat our President organized our year end meeting. She was able to share business information (using documents saved on her computer) and present our annual Summer Challenge project (again using document option on Zoom). She also thanked the members who help make our guild successful and announced gift certificates would be emailed to those mentioned.
Note: earlier in the day a guild member had delivered (safely) a thank you gift to our President.