Here I stand behind the registration table for the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Monterey. For the last year, I’ve been delighted to have the opportunity to serve in this role (and similar ones). Why? I consider it vitally important to greet attendees, members and newcomers, alike.
There’s nothing like a warm hello, and even a handshake, when you enter the setting of a group meeting. It signals you’re among friends. Your presence matters. People appreciate your attendance.
A newcomer to the group benefits as well. Perhaps the person knows no one at the meeting. It’s difficult to walk into a room of complete strangers. Despite my outgoing nature, I often find it difficult. An enthusiastic and warm greeting when I arrive provides an instantaneous personal connection. It converts my anxiety and fear about being brand new into a warm feeling. I know I am welcome. I know the group is happy to have me. The likelihood I’m going to enjoy the gathering increases. The likelihood I’ll attend again in the future does as well.
Regardless of the occasion or context, we can always spare at least one person to greet arriving individuals. The benefits--a more engaged and enthusiastic group of attendees--make it worthwhile.