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When I attended my first Blythe meet, I was nervous about the prospect of meeting other people in the Blythe community. Not only would it be my first time meeting the people that I had interacted with online and getting to put usernames to faces, but also getting to see dolls that I could only dream of owning, just getting to see them was a dream. Getting involved in local meets can be difficult if you don’t know if there are people around you. What’s the easiest way of finding those people? The internet.
Finding people who also like Blythe online
Find a Blythe forum – such as Blythe Kingdom, Plastic Paradise or We Play With Dolls. Make an account and you can post on one of those forums asking if people are in your general vicinity. For the sake of personal safety, I would recommend asking first if there are others in your state/province/territory, or the nearest large urban center that is close to where you live. That way, you can find people who are near you, without revealing where you live in terms of a small scope. Always be careful when revealing information about yourself on the internet, as you never know who may be reading it! I was able to get involved with people in my local area by finding local people in Portland. You don’t need to attend BlytheCon to find people in your area though, you can definitely look for people on forums in your area – just stay safe!
How many dolls to bring?
That’s a personal choice. At most, I bring 3 dolls. This is mostly because I need to be able to carry them, and the bags/cases that I use usually only hold 3 comfortably. Some people bring 1 doll only, some bring more than 5. Whatever you feel comfortable with is fine. If you’re worried about being overwhelmed with all the sights to see, or if there won’t be any places for you to put your dolls down, I’d recommend one or two dolls. If there’s nowhere to put the dolls down, you’d need to be holding them – and you only have two hands. Plus you need to hold a camera. There’s a lot of things to consider when thinking of how many dolls to bring. How you’re getting there, how big your bag is, if there will be place for you to put your doll(s) down, if you need to hold a camera (and if you’re going to a meet, the answer is: yes).
Be open talking to people
A large part of the Blythe community is online. How can it not when there are forums and Flickr? One of the greatest parts of the dolly hobby can be the people that you meet and interact with – getting to know those people can go a long way. It’s hard for a lot of people to start talking to people that they don’t know. You don’t have to divulge your deepest secrets, but saying hello and being friendly can go a long way! Especially when it comes to new members of the group.
Suggest an activity
Meets can involve a lot of things – from sharing stories, having a customizing party, to having a craft activity for everyone. It might be a good idea to suggest an activity as a sort of ice breaker, or to have a mini costume contest to encourage participation of the attendees. It doesn’t need to be fancy, it can be a great motivator for people to talk to each other and to make something cute for their dolls.
Organizing a meet
Sometimes, if nobody else is willing to organize a meet, you need to step up if you want to meet other people. The best way to do this is to pick a weekend date, a public location that is cheap (or free) to go to and some place with free (or cheap) parking. Some suggestions for public locations could include parks or picnic areas – which is especially good if the weather is nice.
- Find people in your general online, figure out if they’re interested in meeting up!
- Bring what you can comfortably carry, as there may not be room to put the dolls down.
- Plan an activity – ice breakers, craft projects or costume contests can be a good way to go.
- Organize a meet in a public location, on a weekend, that is easy to get to and has free/cheap parking.