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The New Normal

Transitioning from Virtual to In-Person Meetings

Each group is autonomous. What works for one group may or may not work for another group. Several business meetings may be required to discuss how to transition from virtual to in-person meetings. This article presents things to consider.

Meeting Facility

Talk to your meeting facility. Follow their guidelines.

Considering Hybrid? Talk to your meeting facility and find out about existing infrastructure. Churches may have purchased sound and TV equipment.

Safety & Sanitation

Follow state and local capacity and cleaning guidelines. Consider new group service positions:

  • Sanitation. Purchase cleaning supplies and safety supplies.
  • Safety officer. This position could read and enforce a safety statement, or post signage.
    reading Materials
    Consider people bringing their own reading materials or transitioning to E-materials only. Many of the AA core materials are available online at aa.org. A comprehensive list is found on this site in our resources section. Consider gifting your old reading materials to newcomers.
    New Social Norms

    Initiate new social norms: Social distance, no hugging, and no holding hands. Decide as a group if you want to require masks at all times. Groups may want to consider requiring masks for anyone unvaccinated, or anyone who is feeling ill.

    In-Person or Hyrbid

    Many groups like the convenience of online meetings, but miss the face-to-face contact. Consider separate social gatherings, or once a month in person meetings.

    Sound fidelity, equipment quality, and in-group technical expertise should be carefully considered before attempting hybrid meetings.

    7th tradition donations

    Transition to locating the contribution basket to the center of the table or circle. Move away from passing the basket.

    Chips

    Transition to standing ovations, clapping and hollering, or any other celebratory tradition. Send your prayers to the chip rather than passing.

    REFRESHMENTS

    Check with your facility for their policy. Consider eliminating refreshments or limiting to single serve.

    TRial Period

    Consider implementing changes for 6 months. As it becomes safer, decisions made now can always be reconsidered by the group.

    “I am responsible, when anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there, and for that. I am responsible.”

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