With a winter tour of Il Volo coming up in 2016, it seems appropriate to suggest some tips to the fortunate folks who will be attending Meet and Greet events. This is a serious subject, and should not be approached casually. Gearing up for a Meet and Greet is similar to training for the Olympics. You must plan ahead and get prepared. Don’t wait until you get there, or you will be blindsided and forget all of your good intentions.

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#1–practice FOCUSING

If you take your eyes off of the prize for even a second, you will lose precious time that should be used in looking at THEM. This is hard to do. There will be distractions, and it is difficult to look at three people at the same time. Of course you love all of them, but if there is one that especially speaks to you, concentrate on him or you may be rushed on and only then realize that your opportunity has slipped away.

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You must do this ahead of time. Practice (if only in your imagination) walking purposely and directly up to the subject, keeping eye contact, and go for the hug or cheek kiss without hesitation. Don’t worry that you might be too aggressive. These guys are hugging and kissing females of all ages all of the time, and you only get the chance once to be the recipient. They will respond just like they always do, with sensitivity and a smile.

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Security at the Detroit Wine & Dine


Believe me, if you wait until you are face to face, your mind will become a blank, and you will stutter and blubber, or maybe just give him a blank stare with your mouth hanging open. And you will regret this loss of mental faculties forever.

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Get someone to act this out with you. You will be concentrating on one of the guys, and the distracter will be telling you to move along. You must practice ignoring him completely and keep your focus on the one that you have been waiting so long to see in person. Learn to totally tune out the distracter, and revel in the moment of contact with the one you love. The distracter will be adamant, but I have never seen anyone actually be physically pulled away. Don’t be intimidated by his gruff look and vocal threats. You have paid big bucks for this opportunity, and you deserve this special time.

The Meet and Greet is a strange phenomenon. It may be a wonderful experience, or it may be a major disappointment. You never know just how it will be handled. People have had very different experiences in different places. You should be prepared to do your best to get the most out of it. Bottom line: ANY Meet and Greet is better than NO Meet and Greet. Just being able to see them face to face and get a quick hug is worth the price. But if you do your training ahead of time, you MAY have the treat of a lifetime. I say MAY because, as many former Meet and Greet attendees have attested, all of your good intentions, all of your training time, all of your deepest desires, may just fall by the wayside when the time actually comes when you are standing there before the objects of your dreams, passions, and overwhelming adoration. But don’t let that possibility deter you from preparing yourself for this grand event. Better be ready. There might be a chance that you will maintain your dignity, not stutter and blubber, not be rushed on through wondering,”what happened? and is it all over?” So good luck and BE PREPARED.

Now I’ve got to get busy–only 3 1/2 months until Vegas!!


Remember Meet and Greet?

Jeannette -Greek Concert-June 7,2014

Prese and the Boys

Anne Quinto?
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Annie Hatfield?
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This beautiful child is Mary’s Granddaughter, Annika.  She’s smiling because she knows that when she’s old enough for a Meet & Greet Il Volo will still be there. ~ Marie (I love being editor)

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35 thoughts on “BE FOREWARNED–BE PREPARED! by Mary Bohling”

  1. My husband and I will e in Vegas for the M& G and Fan Faire!! Thanks for the info! I’m going to start practicing !😀

  2. See you there Anna! Also, practice getting out of my way in case you find yourself between me and the Boys!

    Sorry Mary! That’s your GREAT grandchild. It’s just that you look so young I figured…

  3. This is all good advise Marie !! So I will NOT have a brain fog at he M&G’s !! I refuse to do that again !!! I WILL remember every single hug and kiss !!! I WILL remember gazing lovingly at their gorgeous faces !!! I WILL remember our conversation !!! I WILL brain wash myself to be calm and enjoy every second of my all to brief visit with our adorable guys !!! Then when all this brain washing fails I’ll take a tranquilizer !!! LOL !!

  4. Thanks. I need to practice. They practically pulled me away from Gianluca in Chicago just as I turned to tell Ignacio I loved him to – and he smiled that beautiful smile.

  5. Hey guys, I don’t have a MandG ticket. After the hotel–airfare–and banquet, I was broke. Maybe I can sneek in under one of your skirts. Anyway, I will see you in L.V. Give them a hug for me. Ho Ho Joanie G

  6. Thanks so much for this guide. Please repeat it closer to the US Concert Tour. At my age I need constant reminders,
    I plan to zero in on Ignaztio and let my daughter ‘entertain’ Piero and Gianluca.
    She listens to them because I ask her and is supporting my ‘adventure’. I feel sorry for my two friends that are coming along. They are not avid fans just good friend to me. I will have to give them some training.

  7. Mary! Great post! Where did you find the overalls on little Miss Annika? I was looking for a little black something to wear to the Albany concert! And those overalls might just do it! In a larger (!!) size of course!! Heh! Heh!

    1. Forgot to mention ! I’m participating in a Charity Pizza Making Contest this afternoon. I’m one of the cheese flingers! Look out Ignazio!

  8. Mary, I will rehearse and rehearse and rehearse, But I know from experience that as soon as I am in front of them, I’ll go completely blank. It has happened three times before, so I’m hoping that the fourth time will be the charm, and I’ll be able to act like a regular person and not a stuttering idiot. Why this happens at my age is beyond me.

  9. When they smile at you, all thoughts leave your brain. I’ve been with them so many times and still have the same fangirl reaction. I get tongue-tied and can’t think of an intelligent thing to say.

    Enjoy your meet and greet experience! One piece of advice, if you keep your back to the photographer, they can’t take a photo and send you on your way until you turn around.

  10. Just think, by the time Annika grows up to have real appreciation of Il Volo she might be viewing them as OLD MEN in their THIRTIES! Remember what that looked like to you as a kid
    As for my M&G I have planned to wear my ” I don’t need Therapy I need to go to Italy” shirt . I plan to hug and kiss Piero and I know what I have planned to say to him ….no I am not going to tell you, not yet at least! I have a few words for Ignazio and then if Gianluca turns that megawatt smile on me I might just turn into piratebutter and that will be the end of me!

    1. Connie, remember how young we were when we fell in love with The Beatles, & they were older men in their 20″s? I don’t think it will make any difference to Annika, if she truly loves IL VOLO.

      Mary, thanks so much for the M & G advice. This will be my 1st concert & 1st Meet & Greet. I will need to practice AND take a tranquilizer, or my brain will turn to mush. Maybe I should get a T-shirt made that says ” I don’t need therapy, I just need kisses from handsome Italian men!”.
      I’m so afraid that I will melt into a puddle of goo when they look at me. And my 80-something year-old mother will not be able to hold me up!

      1. Lynn, you are right, the Bealtes were older men to us but soooo cute! Besides, George Harrison was only TEN years older than me! Be strong when you met IL VOLO, if you dissolve into a puddle of goo they won’t be able to hug you!. You can do this! I have every confidence in you!

      2. Don’t believe Pirate. No matter what…you will turn into a puddle of goo. Don’t you sort of do that just thinking about it? Well..just you wait!!!

  11. I’m covered because my son & son-in-law are going to keep Gialuca & Piero busy while I have my fun with Ignazio WOOPY (hopefully he rememberes me)

  12. Hey Joan I know the feeling I couldn’t afford the meet and greet either but maybe one day I’ll get to meet Piero. I’ll be in Vegas too and I’m going to the Fan Fair and concert so I think I’m going to have a great time after all. meet and greet or not

  13. Luckylady51 you will meet Piero at the FanFare buffet I’m sure they are going to mingle with us as I am sure they are pleased that we wanted a one on one with them. I am sure we are the first fans that have ever done that for a performer & of every other singer these sweethearts are the best.

  14. Practice !–! Practice…..Practice……I will need to practice as I’m
    pretty quiet usually. This will be the time to speak up, hope I
    can and will be able to do that.

  15. Mary! Problem solved! A wearable expanding TENT!! Who knows how many people we can stuff under it!! Heh! Heh!

  16. You guys are the greatest. You always have a solution. Can,t wait to meet you in L.V. skirt or not. Joanie G

  17. Mary, great advice here. Can you provide some details on how the “Meet & Greet” works? Can you give a basic timeline of what happens during the session – is it before or after the concert, how the line forms, how long you have to “chat” with the boys, what goes on while the line moves along, what happens afterwards, is there a Q&A session, the total elapsed time from start to finish? I’ll be doing the Meet & Greet in Connecticut on Feb 12 and want to be prepared as much as possible. My friends and I will be in Row G Center about 20 feet from the stage and we are all looking forward to a great experience! Thanks in advance for any info.

    1. Hi CT, I so wish that I could answer all of your questions, but unfortunately for some of them there just aren’t any definite answers. All of my M&G experiences have been different. It all depends on how the ones organizing them have arranged things. This is what I can tell you: My M&Gs have always been after t he concerts. The boys need some time to change and freshen up, so we have had to wait somewhere for about 20minutes. This is usually in a line in an aisle of the theater or a hallway with no place to sit. It’s a time t o chat with others in line, meet new people, et c. When the boys were ready, t he line moved into that room, and we were allowed, singly or in our own group, to go up to t he front , where they were lined up, looking fresh and seemed to be eager to meet us. We were given a FEW minutes to talk to them, get a hug and then told to get in place for our photo, which was taken either by someone from the sponsoring group or from the Il Volo entourage. These pictures were available later on line. At most places, people were allowed to bring gifts for the boys, but at one securit y wouldn’t allow it and took the gifts, saying that they would see that the boys got them. Not everyone brings something–totally up to you. No question and answer time. Best to have your questions in mind so that you can ask them during your short time with them.
      What happens afterward?? You will probably be told that your time is up and pointed toward the door. Some of my experiences with this have been worse than others. In Minneapolis I was quickly escorted to a side door leading outside to the back parking lot of the theater. That one was unique, in that instead of standing in line for our turns, we were seated in a circle of chairs in the viewing area. Total time for your turn???That can vary a lot. Somet imes the whole thing is very rushed…if there is an unusually long line waiting, or if the boys have to get somewhere else (as in Detroit, when they had to catch a private plane right after t he M&G) I’m guessig that you will have about 10 minutes to actually be with them–that’s just a guess, because I have never timed it, and time does fly when you are in that situation. Follow my suggestions about focusing, having what you want to say prepared ahead of time, and holding your own in spite of being rushed. When I said to ignore the ones rushing you along, it was meant to be “tongue in cheek,” but seriously, you need to be your own advocate in claiming your time, so don’t be rude, or cause a scene (ha), but stay calm and don’t be intimidated. As I said, you have paid big bucks for this and you deserve to have the best experience possible. I hope that yours will be great, and being prepared will help, and remember ANY M&G is better than NO M&G

      1. Mary, thanks for your thorough explanation of the M&G process. I will be happy just to chat with them for half a minute to thank them for their wonderful talents and to have a photo taken with the guys. One member of my group of six will also be doing the M&G so if we are allowed to take pictures I’ll have someone else to snap away while I’m meeting Il Volo. Your advice as well as the other members’ feedback will be very helpful to me in maximizing the experience.

      2. Mary, just to clarify one thing: – you mention that “you will have about 10 minutes to actually be with them” – – – does that mean EACH M&G ticket holder gets 10 minutes? OR that there is a total of 10 minutes for them to meet ALL of the M&G ticket holders – – – just want to get an idea of how much time EACH ticket holder gets. Thanks,


  18. Here is a question I have been wondering about for some time. Last year when Jeanine and I went to Saratoga, I was dismayed to see there was no professional photographer. Thank goodness I had Jeanine take photos for me! This year as you have probably all heard me moan about, I will be by myself. So: do most M&G’s not have photographers or do they? Do they vary from venue to venue? Many photos I have seen look pretty sharp! However, the place they had the M & G in Saratoga had dismal lighting and backdrop, almost as if the M&G was a afterthought,sort of as if the venue folks said:” Where do we put these guys and all these crazy people? Oh hey, here is a dismal wall and bad lighting, lets do it here!” Check out my facebook page for a good look at what I am yammering about! Thanks for any answers!

    1. Pirate, I hope I have answered your questions in the above reply to CT. I feel sure that someone will be taking the official picture, and sometimes they won’t allow other pictures being taken. This is like everything else, subject to that particular venue. I do hope that you have a good experience this time–it’s an adventure regardless. Let us know how it goes.

      1. Thanks Mary! Yes, I thought your reply to CT answered me quite well, and as you said A M&G is better than no M&G! True words. Also this time I am going to see just how much time I have… I hurried myself last year and so probably cheated my own self too….welll, the management was pretty obnoxious so I will blame the Mr Grumpus who was gripping at all of us. Beware of Mr.Grumpus! Pay him little mind!

  19. CT: again, this is a very unclear thing…’s hard to gauge time when in that situation. Whatever the time allowed, 10 minutes is just a guess–don’t count on that amount, but from the time you and your group meet the boys that is what I’m estimating. The times when I’ve been with friends, usually two, we have gone up together and shared the allotted time. You might ask to go singly, I haven’t tried–I was only alone once. Since there are three guys, going as a group isn’t too bad, since you can only talk t o one at a time. If you have a larger group–did you say 6? you should ask to go in groups of three. It would be nice if we got advance information about the nature of a particular M&G, but we don’t, so on most things, it’s anybody’s guess. Sorry that I can’t be more specific. Good luck, try to relax and enjoy your time.

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