Seoul Vegetarian Club

Is there such a thing as ‘too successful’? by seoulveggieclub
October 22, 2007, 7:07 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Saturday night’s dinner at Petra was such a success it was nearly a miserable failure. I received a handful of RSVPs from people, most of whom didn’t show up. I guesstimated that our headcount would be at the usual number– about a dozen– but in fact we had almost twice that! We poached nearly every chair in the place, and the kitchen ran out of the usual serving plates! People were crowded around the corners of the table, even sharing chairs.

Fortunately, the food was terrific (at least, I thought so.) The company was cheerful. We somehow managed to fit everyone around the table and no fights broke out over the piles of pita bread.

I promised myself, however, that I would get much more stringent about RSVPs so we don’t end up spilling out onto the streets for our next meeting.

What do you think was the secret of last week’s popularity? The increased visibility of the club? The fact that it was dinner? A Saturday? A restaurant in Itaewon? All of the above?

The next meeting is Sunday, November 4th. Where would you like to meet? Lunch or dinner?


6 Comments so far
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All of the above, I’d go for – but maybe especially the easy-to-find location. Next time, I think it’d be nice if we could find a larger venue and do something dinner party or picnic-esque so people could do more mingling and chatting.

Comment by John

not that i’m an expert, since this was only my second time attending, but from what others have said, i think that the fact that it was a dinner meeting increased attendance.

i think encouraging RSVPs would be a great idea, and a lot less stressful for you. you totally rock, by the way. thanks for getting all of this together so beautifully.

Comment by PamJane

Maybe Amy should take an informal survey of how people found out about the meeting. Were there more folks who came from seeing posts on Dave’s ESL Cafe or from Facebook?

It figures that with more publicity – and a popular President – the club will continue to increase in size, which could be problematic as far as going to smaller venues.

If you want it to function more like a club, I suggest charging monthly dues (4,000 won ?) that
that need to be paid whether people show up or not. And members can vote on how to use the dues (eg: to sponsor a big veggie party, cooking classes, or to help some animal shelters, etc.)

Also, if we occasionally go to more expensive vegetarian (or vegetarian-friendly)restaurants, the number of people who show up will naturally be less.

At the very least, like Amy said, people have to be more reliable about RSVPs (but that probably won’t keep big crowds from showing up…)

One advantage of steady big turn-outs is that we can negotiate discounts – or even reserve an entire restaurant.

Picnics are great – but obviously seasonal. Dinner-parties (not my cup of tea but popular) may also run into problems because of crowd size and limited venues (maybe there are community centers that can be rented cheap …)

Comment by Ron

wow. i could have sworn i responded to this. my mind…

amy, i tried to pm you on dave’s, but i can’t because i haven’t posted enough. so… will you please add me to the email group? i’m assuming that you can see my email address?

Comment by pam

I wonder if the members might be interested in branching out of the normal lunch-or-dinner routine for our meetings. Yes, I know, we are a vegetarian group and specialize on where to find vegetarian food in Korea, but I imagine that members have many similar interests outside of just food, and we could probably come up with fun ways to explore those.

The reason I’m thinking of this is because I’m looking outside of my window at Namsan park, seeing all the leaves turning all sorts of colors, and fancying a hiking trip. There are several great mountains right in Seoul (Bukhansan and Gwanaksan to name two), and I’m sure they’re all lovely right now.

Anyway, just a thought :)

Comment by Jade

Lunch and Dinner! With Jade’s hike up a mountain in-between!

I’ve just recovered from an awful cold, and I’m enthusiastic about it :)

But, other activities: We could have, or survey interest for, activities _in addition to_ the usual meetings. For example, an off weekend, or the day before/after the meeting, or whatever. A sort of, “I’m planning on hiking up a mountain on Tuesday, who wants to come?” sort of thing. With plenty of advance notice, smaller groups may be willing to do all sorts of things. Perhaps you could get plans and survey interest and collect phone numbers at the next get-together?

Petra’s was fantastic, by the way. I’ll happily sacrifice elbow room for such great food and great company!

I’d also second John’s sentiments: mingling and chatting would be nice. Perhaps those who are willing should go out for coffee/tea/drinks afterwards? Lunch and then tea, or dinner and then drinks, perhaps?

Comment by Rev Brian

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