Organize a Flash Mob
WHAT is a flash mob?
A large public gathering, typically organized by the means of the Internet or social media, at which people perform a seemingly random act and then disperse.
FIBER Flash Mob
With the help of The National NeedleArts Association and national guilds, the Craft Yarn Council is proposing a slightly different twist on this social media phenomenon. Let’s call it a Fiber Flash Mob. We’re proposing that yarn enthusiasts across the country gather together on I Love Yarn Day, October 10th, with other fiber fans to crochet, knit, weave, wear, bomb or simply to share.
Whether you are a yarn retailer, guild member or part of an informal group, we want you to be involved in I Love Yarn Day. Our goal is to see fiber mobsters in every town and city getting to know one another and raising awareness of our favorite crafts.
To help us develop some helpful guidelines, we asked Stephanie Blake with Creativebug for her insights. She was part of a team at Future US that organized a fun I Love Yarn flash mob last year in San Francisco’s Union Square Park. Check out the I Love YARN Day video of that event on YouTube.
WHEN to Meet Up
I Love Yarn Day is on the second Friday of October (10/10 this year) and it’s the perfect day to plan a flash mob, although that weekend could work as well. It’s the time of day that takes some thought.
Stephanie and her group decided to gather at Friday lunchtime last year on I Love Yarn Day. In the spirit of flash mobs, meet ups are relatively brief, fun gatherings and the lunchtime format was the perfect option to get people out of the office.
WHERE to Meet Up
Finding the ideal location is the challenge. Key points to consider…
- Consider locations that are accessible to public transportation and/or public parking. These are usually high-trafficked areas.
- If you are considering a high-trafficked area in a major city, a nonprofit group might manage the site. These groups help promote local activities so you may need to check with them for special permits or a “blessing” to gather there.
- If you are a retailer, consider holding the flash mob just outside your store — either on the street or in a parking lot — to encourage greater participation.
Inside vs. Outside
- Since raising awareness of crochet, knitting, weaving and fiber is a primary goal of I Love Yarn Day, an outdoor location is preferable and early October is generally a great time to be outside.
- If you plan an outdoor meeting place, be sure to set a rain date. An alternative is to designate an indoor backup location if possible.
Places to Sit
- Choose locations with ample seating options for mobsters. At San Francisco’s Union Square, there were many steps and benches.
Getting the word out
You’ve decided on meeting details, now it’s time to plan your outreach to other enthusiasts.
Social media is key. Stephanie started with a post on her personal Facebook page and asked friends to do the same. Consider every possible social media outlet, including Twitter, posting on I Love Yarn Day’s popular Facebook page and on Ravelry. E-mail your favorite bloggers too.
Craft Yarn Council has a special I Love Yarn Day web site and we will post details about your flash mob on the Special Events page. To be listed on the page, E-mail CYC with specifics, such as: date, time, place and a brief sentence or two about your plans. At the web site, you can also download an eye-catching “Show Your YARN Pride” button, along with ILYD logos and artwork to incorporate into your posts.
Lastly, post flyers about the meet up at local libraries, recreation and community centers and alert local media. A sample press release is also available at the Council’s web site to send to local newspapers and television stations.
Special note to retailers
ILYD is a perfect day to kick off fall store promotions. There’s a special page at the web site with tie-in ideas. If you organize a flash mob:
- Consider making up goodie bags for the first 25 mobsters to arrive
- Hold drawings for a free class
- Award a prize to the mobster with the most beautiful creation…or the funniest.
I Love Yarn Day
Stephanie’s group in San Francisco planned to spend approximately two hours at Union Square. They arrived a short time before noon and stayed until 2 p.m. Approximately 100 enthusiasts brought their knitting and crochet and met lots of terrific people from the Bay Area. If you are in the San Francisco area, watch for details about this year’s flash mob, which will be posted shortly at on Facebook.