Host a meet and greet

A meet and greet is an event that a pharmacy hosts with other pharmacists to exchange views with legislators on issues of concern. A meet and greet provides the pharmacy community with an opportunity to develop relationships and discuss issues with individuals who are in positions to make decisions affecting your pharmacy.

Developing relationships early in an individual’s term of office through a meet and greet can be helpful in influencing future public policy decisions affecting your pharmacy. Since a strong personal relationship with policymakers is essential to successful grassroots advocacy, a meet and greet is an effective tool in building long-term relationships.

In addition, a meet and greet can help your participants evaluate candidates for elective office. The event is an opportunity for candidates to deliver their messages and allows participants to learn where he or she stands on issues. Hosting or attending the meet and greet does not obligate you or your pharmacy to financially support the candidate in any way.

Best practices

  • A meet and greet usually works best when kept to an hour or less in length. The guest can greet the participants and talk informally among them before sitting down to discuss the issues.
  • Since a meet and greet is an opportunity to showcase your pharmacy and discuss issues of concern, participants who are knowledgeable and articulate on the issues should participate in the event. Assign participants specific issues or points to make during the event.
  • Begin the meeting by having the participants introduce themselves, mentioning their affiliations and issues of interest. After the self-introductions are complete, introduce the guest. Have the guest speak for 10-15 minutes about his or her views on the issues, the upcoming election, and prior work with, or knowledge of, your pharmacy.
  • Be sure to allow time for questions and answers, in addition to a dialogue on the issues. You may want to designate specific participants to deliver certain issues to ensure that all priority topics are discussed during the meeting.

Checklist for conducting a meet and greet

  • Determine what participants should be invited such as local pharmacists or state pharmacy association executives.
  • Invite the guest by telephone, email or letter. Be sure to explain the nature of the event and the audience. Offer a range of dates to accommodate the guest’s schedule.
  • Determine the issues for discussion. Designate individuals to discuss each issue to ensure that all the priority topics are discussed during the meeting.
  • Select an individual to introduce the guest and lead the discussion.
  • Send a thank-you note to the guest after the event. Reiterate the points discussed during the meeting.
  • Stay in touch with the guest after the meet and greet. Offer to serve as a resource on industry issues.
  • Update your customers with information about the meet and greet: Depending on what you have agreed upon with the guest, post a short message and photo on Facebook or tweet about the meet and greet while it's happening (or immediately afterwards).
  • Post an article about the event in your pharmacy or association's publications.