Start a Politics in Pubs Group in your Area

12 October 2022 , categories: Meetings

Do you wish there was a Politics in Pubs group in your area? Be a HERO and get one started.

  1. Find a venue
    • Visit a few of your local pubs
    • Do they have private room available for community groups?Mid-week and away from city centres this may FREE – you’ll hopefully bring custom to the pub.  If you don’t have a free room locally you can have a whip round during the session to pay for the room, but FREE is obviously ideal.  Emphasise that your group is independent of any political party – you just want to talk about what’s happening in the world over a drink.
  2. How you plan and organise your group is up to you, but we have found that this is a good format:
    • Pick a date, a 2-hour slot, a topic of interest* and advertise your pub meet-up
      • * Often the discussion meanders but it’s good to have a focus at the start. This can be very current and specific or general such as “Political events of the past week – and what do you think of them?”
      • Allow yourself at least 2 weeks to get the word out
      • Ideally, have at least one other person helping you, but this can evolve over time.
      • Advertise on social media, word of mouth, email contacts, local press – any way you can
      • Get there early
  3. Be the “party” host(s)
    • You want people to enjoy themselves and come back, so try to welcome everyone as they arrive and check everyone has someone to talk to. Introduce people to each other, even if they are strangers to you. If this doesn’t come naturally, just play the role.
    • It can be helpful to have written copies of the topic and a few key points or questions on tables in the room.
    • Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get too many people attending your first meeting. The numbers will build over time. And lower numbers mean everyone gets a chance to have their say more than once.
    • Once it feels as though everyone has arrived but close to the advertised start time, begin the session by welcoming everyone and BRIEFLY introducing yourself
    • Ideally you or someone else has prepared a few points and questions to get the discussion started.
    • Emphasise that an echo chamber is boring so different views are very welcome.
    • It’s helpful too if someone chairs the discussion – but in a relaxed way that encourages people to join in and gently reins in the more dominant personalities (or tries to!)
    • Towards the end of the allotted time:
      • The chair could make a brave attempt at summarising key points
      • Suggest a date for the next meet-up and check availability
      • Ask if anyone has a topic that they’d like to start the discussion next time
  4. Encourage people to stay if they want and carry on the discussion informally. The pub will like that!  For some people that can be the most enjoyable bit of the evening (or afternoon/morning). And you want people to enjoy themselves.

Let us know how you get on.  If you get a regular group going, we can help by advertising your local Politics in Pubs sessions on our website and social media.  Good luck – and have fun.