Many published authors and established performers must go on scheduled publicity tours in order to promote their latest books or projects. As part of a personal appearance, the writer or artist may be asked to attend a public or semi-private event known as a meet and greet. At this event, invited guests or even the general public can spend a few moments chatting with the guest of honor in a relatively informal atmosphere. Sometimes, the sponsor of an appearance will schedule the event after a performance or interview, or set up a pre-show ice breaker with invited guests, light appetizers, and beverages.
The day-to-day schedule of a major publicity tour or press junket does not always allow for personal appearances, so the author or artist may actually look forward to an opportunity to meet with his or her fans and supporters in person. Sometimes, a local bookstore or library will serve as a venue for a personal meet and greet or autograph session. The author may have people assigned to provide security during such events, as well as assistants who keep the meeting and greeting process running smoothly. Often, a guest may enjoy several minutes of conversation with the author, but during autograph sessions, the conversation is often restricted to a few pleasantries as the book is being signed.
Many times, a notable actor or musician performing on a tour will agree to a more impromptu meet and greet session following the performance. A room in the backstage area could become a venue for such an informal event, or the artist may want to receive general audience members in a public foyer or lobby area. A more formal event might also be held in a local home or private dining establishment. Sometimes, the local sponsors of a promotional or touring event may offer a private meet and greet as a premium for purchasing a more expensive ticket to the main event. The opportunity to spend quality time with a noted author or performer may be enough incentive for an audience member to consider such an upgrade.
While many meet and greet sessions are designed to create an informal or casual environment, they are still considered part of the overall tour and are subject to the approval of the author or performer. Some authors or artists may prefer not to participate in public appearances, either out of safety concerns or a desire to remain out of the public eye. Participants in a scheduled session should always show respect for the guest of honor's right to privacy and confidentiality.