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Welcoming Newcomers in the Age of Zoom

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Groups and members can and should reach out to newcomers during virtual meetings. Here are some tried-and-true tips to welcome newcomers and encourage them to keep coming back.

show faces and names

Encourage group members to keep their cameras on (or use a picture of themselves) whenever possible. This helps newcomers associate names and faces. It also looks friendlier.

Instructions for changing your name as it appears on screen
can be found in our tech-tips.

Assign a Greeter

Designate at least one person to arrive early at virtual meetings to chat with newcomers. Greet them and make them feel comfortable. Exchange phone numbers.

Share Contacts

Share contacts and messages of hope with the newcomer. If your group maintains a phone list offer to send it and add the newcomer. Some groups place asterisks next to those who are willing to sponsor.

Introduce Them

Emphasize the meeting after the meeting and place the emphasis on the newcomer. Welcome the newcomer to the meeting after the meeting at halftime and at the end of the meeting.

Offer Encouragement

During the meeting ask if there is anyone in the first 30, 60, 90 days of sobriety. Encourage newcomers to stay after the meeting for fellowship. Call them by name. Make sure they know how to use the reaction buttons in zoom.

Where to start

Encourage newcomers to come early and stay late. Encourage home groups and sponsors.

Refer them to our online resources which includes links to our core AA documents.

BE FINDABLE!

Keep your meeting information current on the VAC and Intergroup websites so newcomers can easily find you.

See websites to update info.

Remember Your Beginnings

Once sober, your AA connections can feel like a tight knit family — with no room for a strange outsider. Fear about coming into AA can be confirmed by this feeling of exclusion. Remember what it felt like to come in. If possible, cater your shares to relate to that experience. Your experience, your hope, and your strength may make all the difference. Remember that it opened the door of recovery to you.

“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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