WELCOMING BACK MEMBERS TO EPIC EXPERIENCES WORLDWIDE
Around the beginning of each school semester, tens of thousands of Jewish teens from hundreds of communities around the world are going big in their communities for BBYO kickoff events. From boat cruises to end-of-summer pool parties to mega-dances, everyone is celebrating that BBYO is back in action. Kickoffs are AZA and BBG's way of warmly welcoming new classes and members into our Movement. Find kickoff events near you or take the initiative to help plan one for your community.
There's a lot of thought and strategy that goes into any Kickoff event. Our Kickoff experiences should be exciting, accessible, affordable, and ultimately be something that will get any Jewish teen pumped about being active in AZA and BBG. In planning, it's important to think beyond just a cool event idea — what is your hosting strategy? What does follow up look like? What are opportunities where teens can learn more about BBYO?
Feel free to contact your International S'ganim for programming support or International Morim for recruitment support. Don't worry, we've got your back.
Explore our best kickoff program models for any kind of community.All Kickoff Ideas
Campfires in multiple locations, Zoom together for a song session
Collaborative art project
Fall festival, field day or block party
“Best of” chapter program showcase
Lost Tribe E-gaming tournament
Wacky science projects
Costume party or murder mystery party
Make your own amusement park
Midnight BBQ and hotdog eating contest
Arts and crafts projects in small groups
Socially distant Sukkot festival
Visit the Parking Lot Social in your city
Escape room: visit or build your own
AZAA/BBGG: kickball, field day, obstacle courses
Set up in a park or by a food truck, and invite folks to drop by to say hello and ask questions about BBYO—where you can distribute invitations to Kickoff and other goodies.
Have a special swag item for every teen—especially for those prospects or new members who never got their first piece of swag this spring. Encourage them to wear it to Kickoff. Have staff or advisors drop off swag packs at doors, or coordinate pick-ups from a central location.
Send snail mail or care packages with Kickoff supplies and treats in advance to prospects.
Pre-registration for in-person events will be a challenge: make sure to leave space for prospects! We should never turn a prospect away.
Have a celebrity invite prospects and members to Kickoff via Cameo (or surprise drop a message during the event itself).
Build excitement during registration with an Instagram Live—promise live incentives to meet goals.
When breaking down into groups, assign teens to smaller groups with individuals outside their best friend group.
Every prospect has a host to take them through the experience.
Offer a simultaneous “Taste of BBYO” micro-program for parents.
Because you’ll have an Instagram-worthy moment, make sure you have a common hashtag, so that people can post about it, especially if programs are running simultaneously or virtually.
Big virtual WOW programs can feel like IC plenaries—except without the fun of sitting with your friends. Find creative ways to foster 1:1 connections during programs AND create that Instagram-worthy moment.
If you’re running something virtually:
Always have a waiting room enabled, and let people in in batches so early arrivals don’t feel awkward.
Give everyone assigned roles (greeting people out loud, greeting people on the public chat, sending DMs).
One person should be in charge of tech to help with flow and minimize pauses.
Use breakout rooms and split people up strategically into smaller groups.
Have designated “break” times where people can turn their cameras off and step away. Know what you’ll do for the kid who’ll stick around.
Create playlists to have music during transition times and pauses. Have a theme, where everyone comes wearing something.
Prospects should never leave an event empty-handed: send them home with a gift bag, or creative gift that they can continue to add to at successive chapter programs (e.g. a necklace with a charm for each program).
Let the prospect know you’re thinking about them. Immediately add them to chapter group chats. Follow them on social media.
Mail or drop off handwritten letters, thank you notes, gift cards, or other goodies.
Do staff or advisor “doorgrams” where staff or advisors drop by to say hello, introduce themselves, share about BBYO, and drop off a region or chapter-specific gift.
As chapters get new members post-Kickoffs, drop off “A New BBYO Member Lives Here” lawn signs.
One of the most important parts of your Kickoff experience is sharing your chapter and community calendars with new members. This is one of the best ways you can ensure a strong semester with high engagement. Give all members and prospects the chance to plan ahead and prioritize BBYO throughout the semester.
Explore share squares, digital flyers, and Instagram story templates to let everyone in your community know about your Kickoff event. Add your event information and go crazy posting and sharing. Every BBYO community has access to a Canva account. Contact your Regional Mazkirm or Staff to get access.Design on GoogleDesign on Canva
Print these lawn signs (12"w x 18"h) for your new AITs and MITs (new members)!Access
Give Bid Cards to a prospective member to help you make the ‘ask’ to join AZA or BBG.
Membership cards can be ordered through Chroma. Ask your Regional Staff if you're interested in placing an order.
Put your event sign-in information on this graphic to easily track attendance. Available in four color variations.Access
Share all of your Kickoff posts with the hashtag #BBYOKickoff to showcase all of the incredible events happening around the world. Maybe if you're lucky you'll get a shout out from @BBYOInsider.
Want to keep learning? Explore more in the Toolbox!
Order these branded corn hole sets to have a fun interactive activity at any event.Explore
Give this Bid Card to a prospective member to help you make the ‘ask’ to join BBG or attend Inductions.Explore
Apply for a Gamechanger Grant to give your chapter the opportunity to receive $50-$1,000 directed for programs and initiatives that will make a bigger difference in your community, expand programming, pilot new recruitment/rush techniques and elevate your local chapter experience.Explore
Hang these posters around your next event to educate members on Movement moments, platforms, and opportunities.Explore
Print these signs (12"w x 18"h) for your new AITs and MITs (new members).Explore
Give this Bid Card to a prospective member to help you make the ‘ask’ to join AZA or attend Inductions.Explore
Understand why we run Movement Initiatives and how it ties to our year-round MRIHA strategy.Explore
Once you've met some new Jewish teens from school or events, it's time to invite them to your program. Here are some tips on what happens next.Explore
Let us know the details of a program you ran funded by a Gamechanger Grant.Explore