What it means to start a new Mappy Hour chapter

Written by Sarah Knapp

We get a lot of emails at Mappy Hour from people looking to bring Mappy Hour to their cities. In short: the answer is yes, of course, let’s do it! But in reality, creating and growing a Mappy Hour community is something that, like anything else you want to grow, takes nurturing, time and care. Mappy Hour is not just a monthly event but a community of people, and the Mappy Hour volunteers in each city are tasked with creating a unique space every month for people to connect and share their passions.

Before we dive in, here’s a bit more about us!

Mappy Hour started in February 2014 in NYC and has been spreading ever since. The purpose of Mappy Hour is to bring together outdoor enthusiasts who live in urban environments and create a stronger community. Our “formula” to do this is to encourage adventure planning, education, and good old socializing through monthly Mappy Hours.

We will provide you with a guide for how to execute Mappy Hour along with support from our HQ to help you learn how to run community events. Since we want each Mappy Hour location to reflect the local community, there’s a ton of flexibility. And of course we want you to have fun!

What’s the Mappy Hour Secret Sauce?

That’s OT 5 info! But we can say that each Mappy Hour follows a basic formula in every city:

7:00PM People start arriving, tired after a day of work but excited to be surrounded by people who share their passions. First order of business: putting on a nametag (required!)

7:30PM People have mostly arrived and are sipping their first drinks, chatting and looking at maps. The leader quiets everyone down and officially welcomes everyone to Mappy Hour and introduces speaker.

7:35 – 8:00PM An awesome local expert presents – you get to pick the topics they just have to be related to outdoors education (former topics include: rock climbing near Washington D.C., How to start a fire without a match, training for the mountains in the city, navigation by canoe)

8:00-8:30PM Option to do group activity (wall maps, icebreakers, trivia etc.)

8:30 —> onwards. Hangout! Then clean-up and head out.

Still feeling inspired to bring this to your city? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

1. Why does my city need Mappy Hour?

2. Who are the partners that will help make this happen (breweries to host, other volunteers to help organize)

3. Do I have time in my crazy, busy, over-scheduled life to put thought and time into creating this rotating community space?

What does it take to be a Mappy Hour chapter leader?

As a chapter leader, you’ll be at the helm of your cities community. You and your local team will find awesome locations for Mappy Hour every month along with an inspiring local speaker. We provide training and guides to do all of this (plus a few year’s of best practices). The team at Mappy HQ will be there for you every step of the way but you’re the local representative, informing how Mappy Hour should look in your specific location.

What’s the commitment?

We look for leaders ready to take on a full year of Mappy Hour-ing. We suggest doing a Mappy Hour every month and require at least 8 over the 12 month period. Setting up an event includes:

  • Sourcing a venue, speaker
  • Spreading the word – letting people in your community know about the event
  • Capturing the event by: twitter, photos, and a post-event blog post
  • Communicating with MH HQ in NYC on a bi-weekly basis
  • Approving members on the Mappy Hour platform

The more consistent your community, the more connections and relationships you’ll see blossom. Plan on spending about 15 hours/ month planning Mappy Hours and growing the community.

What can I expect to get out of this for myself?

Like everything in life… you get what you put in. Here are a few perks some of our chapter leaders have gotten over the past few months:

  • Occasional gear and pro deals
  • Invite to the Mappy Hour Leadership Summit
  • Leadership and organizational skills
  • An amazing set of new friends
  • Free access to other local outdoors events

What are the steps to launching a chapter?

Apply

1. Fill out the interest form here.

2. Participate in a phone interview

3. Fill out some paperwork

Build your team

1. Find 2-3 other ambassadors in your city who you will work with each month to create Mappy Hours.

2. Find 3 or so extra volunteers to join the team who can help run the event (check in, clean up etc.)

Launch your chapter

1. Set up an initial event and marketing it as the “launch” of a new city

2. Plan venues + speakers for 3 months out from the first Mappy Hour*  This means if you want to launch in January, you must have January —> March planned (venue/speaker minimum) before launch.

NOTE: Even if you’re not ready to take on Chapter Leadership – we still love you! Join the Digital Mappy Hour chapter and we’ll announce there when we launch new chapters in cities around the world.