Find an outdoor location with lots of foot traffic–festivals, parks,
outside of sports stadiums, major events, peaceful protests, and other busy pedestrian areas.
In a busy area, just 2 – 3 hours is normally sufficient to yield over one hundred hugs, especially if you ASK.
In addition to holding a “NEED HUGS” or “FREE HUGS” sign, it is highly recommended that you ask people for hugs. If you ask for hugs, you will impact significantly more people, especially guys, who tend to be more resistant, as a whole. It is not at all an exaggeration to say that you may receive over 10 times as many hugs if you ask, rather than just holding the sign. An effective request line is “Hey Brother, can I get a hug”? It’s simple, nonthreatening, and it works.
Be fully present with each person that you are hugging. They will feel it. Embrace each moment as well as each hug.
The bigger the hug, the more impact it will have on both of you. Go into each embrace with the intention of giving ONE BIG HUG — the same kind of hug that you would give a close loved one that you haven’t seen in a long time.
Be sensitive to the person you are hugging. Not everyone will give you a big hug in return. That’s okay. Any hug is a good hug, and any hug will help to break down barriers and open up hearts. Hug until the other person begins to release, or it feels like the right time to let go.
Many people will be carrying stuff in one of their hands. One handed hugs can still be great hugs.
At times, there may be more than one person waiting to give you a hug. Take your time with each person and treat them as if they are the only one that exists in that moment. Don’t be in a hurry. If others see that you are fully present with each person, they will be much more likely to wait.
When you gift an Awesome Card, express a sincere heartfelt thank you and try to connect with that person. The Awesome Card that you gift is only as meaningful as you make it. If a person feels that you are just handing the card out as a repetitive empty gesture, it won’t have much meaning to them. Awesome Cards are not promotional materials or marketing gimmicks. Each one is meant to be a small physical representation of your heartfelt appreciation for an act of kindness. Take your time gifting the card even if others are waiting to give you a hug.
Turn your photographer or videographer into a Seed. Offer to let them hold the sign for a while. If they are really into it, take turns hugging and photo’ing.