I'm a major player on the Anime and Cosplay Kelowna forum and the community there has been booming. But since there's a lot of young people and people who are a bit socially shy, I made them a quick and easy guide to meeting people. It's helped quite a few people so far, so I might as well post it here as well.
Remember, meeting new people is great, the anime forum has had a ton of great meet ups, new friendships being made and more. But there's always a danger of something going wrong. So here's some tips for meeting people in person.
1) Meet in a Public Place
This one is pretty basic. If you're going to meet someone for the first time, maybe it's best not to show up at their place. A coffee shop, the mall, a store, movie theatre all work well.
2) Tell People Where You Are and What You're Doing
This is important for the younger people. Your folks worry about you. Tell them where you're going. Who you're going with and what time you're expected back. Also tell them who are you meeting, their real name and forum name.
3) Bring A Cell Phone
Once again your parents worry about you kiddies. Bring a cell phone, that you if you're stood up you can call for a ride home. Or if you're feeling uncomfortable you can get away easily.
4) Bring A Friend!
Strength in numbers! If you're nervous about meeting someone in real person, bring a friend or a parent or older sibling. At the anime forum meet ups we always welcome friends of members to our meet ups! The more the merrier (but do give a little bit of notice, especially for events with limited amount of room).
5) Trust Your Feelings
Sometimes you know things are not right. If you're not having good feelings from someone, then don't meet them. Cancel your plans with them and tell them you'll meet them at the next meet up with multiple people instead of alone. Do have the common courtesy to tell them you can't make it to a meet up several hours before you're planned to meet them.
6) Protect Your Information
If you haven't figured it out yet. All anyone really needs is your e-mail address and I could potentially have your full name, location, school, work address and even phone number. That's it. Really easy to become an Internet stalker.
7) Dress Appropriate
I got a bit of heat from writing this on the forum, but do dress right for occasions. While some Cosplay costumes do features some revealing clothing choices, it's always best to not to run around in super short skirts and low cut shirts, especially for the younger ladies. Also make note of the weather as well.