25 Best Practices for Meetup Organizers

Meetup.com LogoI’ve been organzing meetups in the Atlanta area since January 2007.  Over that time I’ve organized over 50 meetup events, they’ve typically achieved average ratings of 4.5 of 5 or better, they’ve typically had 50 or more people attend, I’ve helped at least five (5) other people launch their meetup groups, and the member list for my original meetup group has grown to having more members than all but one other business-focused meetup group in the Atlanta area. During that time I’ve learned a bit about what it takes to be a good meetup organizer.

Recently someone asked me yet again for advice on how to grow their meetup so I decided this time to blog about it. Let me give the caveat that this is what has worked for me and for my type of meetup but it might not be perfect for yours. My groups have been focused on web/startup/marketing/tech and so I don’t know what works best for a mom’s meetup, for a hiking group or a singles club. Still, people are people and I’m sure anyone organizing a meetup can find something of value here. Here they are, in no particular order (some I fail to do consistently though I know I should; sometimes life just gets in the way):

  1. New organizers always try "to get input from everyone." From experience I’ve found that to be a waste of time. Find two (2) other people and form a planning team. Map out 5-6 topics, possibly starting with a "101" meetup and build from there.
  2. Meet quarterly with your planning team to plan so you always have 3 events on the calendar, more if possible.
  3. Do listen to feedback, but don’t wait for feedback before moving forward. Most people just want to attend meetings, few actually are willing to contribute a significant effort on a consistent basis even if they say or think they will. If people promise to contribute expect they will not follow through until they have proven otherwise.
  4. As much as possible be the catalyst and facilitator, not the featured speaker at every meeting (people will get tired of you if you do.)
  5. Schedule 3 to 6 presenters for a monthly meetup (more than 6 works if it’s a workshop and they are there to provide expertise.) It gives multiple perspectives and it keeps you from having failed meetings from building anticipation for a meeting, having lots of people show up and then only to learn that your featured presenter’s "kid got sick" so they decided to cancel.
  6. Do your best to get people from outside the people who usually attend your meetings to present. There’s the old saw "Familiarity breeds Contempt" (i.e. "I don’t need to attend to hear them talk; I know them already and can talk to them whenever I want.") Bringing in outsiders also makes people aware of your group that might not normally seek it out or attend. If they have an influence base such as on Twitter they will promote your group because it promotes them.
  7. Only ever schedule a person to present to the group once per year. If you frequently schedule the same people to present your members will think "I’ve already seen them, I don’t need to see them again." That means be sure to get them to talk on the topic where they are the best sui have the most bang for the buck since a lot of people will jump at any chance to present and you really want to get them where they will shine.
  8. Post a meetup page for each meetup event that includes links about the people who will be presenting including their Twitter account and a short bio. I like to link to their LinkedIn page for consistency, and also link to their company. Be sure to include an evening agenda so people can see when it starts and when it ends. Here’s an example meetup page that has all these things.
  9. Set up a Twitter account and a Facebook fan page. Always tweet and post about your events in advance and to thank your presenters/participants afterwards. 
  10. Set up a Twitter hashtag for your meetup group (i.e. @StartupAtlanta and #OnStage.)  Give people a handout at each meetup with the account, the hashtag and all the presenter’s/participants Twitter accounts and ask your members to tweet about the event.
  11. Send out emails in advance of your meetups that are hand formatted to look different from the one’s send out automatically by meetup as people tend not to read those. Here’s an example notification email.
  12. Send an email out about the most recently meeting and reminding them about the next meeting and thank the people who participated/presented.
  13. For my groups I have focus mostly on featuring local people for our regular meetings but when nationally known people are presented I make them special events. Some organizers always try to get one national calibre "rock star" for their events, and that works for them. Pick what works for your group.
  14. Keep vendor influence to a minimum; keep it about the people attending.
  15. Run a meetup only if you really want to help people and/or build a solid community and not if you’ve just got the idea "Hey I can sell my services to this group." The latter can be a serendipitous result but it’s painfully clear to practically everyone who might attend that if your motivations are to sell them (almost) nobody will want to attend.
  16. Pay it forward, focus on what’s good for the group and the community you envision building, not what’s you are hoping to get out of organizing
  17. Shake up the format. Have presentations, panel discussions, roundtables, workshops, etc. The topic should make the format obvious. For workshops, recruit lots of helpers. Don’t over worry about format, try a bunch of them, communication will happen ad-hoc (suggest Twitter or make a Google group), and let the topics you pick determine the level of competency. The more detailed your topic announcement the more likely you’ll get the right people.
  18. Don’t be afraid to ask anybody to present. I’ve never once been turned down except for people simply not being available at the given time.
  19. Look for ways to hold joint meetups with other groups that have cross-over. (Beg meetup on their forums to more easily enable shared meetups.) If possible take the lead in these joint meetups and get people to RSVP at your meetup group’s page (if possible, and at least until meetup enables shared events.) If you do these frequently you’ll all get lots of benefit and you’ll grow your group.
  20. Charge for meetings, $5 to $10, starting with your 3rd meeting (assuming you are gaining momentum.) If you don’t charge more than half of your RSVPs will be no-shows. If you charge, only between 10-30% will be no-shows.
  21. Be aware that many of the people who attend your meeting early on will start attending only sporatically as their lives evolve. That’s normal and don’t take it personally.
  22. Don’t try to do too many different groups. Unless you are able to make a living from organizing meetups, which is a potential but a really hard way to make a living, it’s really hard to do more than one well, two at the max. I’ve made that mistake and I’ve recently pared back to two with a potential to phase out of one of them in the near future assuming I can find the right people to take over.
  23. Find a good place to have meetings, not a restaurant unless its set up for meetings in a special room. This is the hardest part. Look for a local coworking space like Ignition Alley. A college or university may also be very open to hosting community meetings as Georgia Tech has been for some of my meetups. 
  24. As for location, you’ll need to decide what works here. In Atlanta you’ll find a bulk of in-town people and a bulk of "up 400" people, and then everyone else is scattered. Pick one and let someone else do the other (you can’t please everyone, so don’t try.)
  25. Finally, set a consistent date, time, and location. Always have it there so people can get used to it, and if at all possible, never cancel a planned meetup or many people will loose faith in your ability and stop RSVPing for your events.

Well that’s about it for today. I’m sure I missed a few of my own "best practices" and I’m sure there are a ton of other’s I have yet to uncovered but these should get you started.

If anybody has other suggestions please give your best practices in the comments. Be sure to mention your group(s) and how long you’ve been organizing,  and include links to their pages on Meetup.com.


#1 Lana on 03.20.10 at 8:25pm

Mike, that was awesome! I haven’t thought of many of these and some I knew but forgot about, like having joint meetups - that’s a brilliant idea. Thanks so much for putting this list together!

#2 MikeSchinkel on 03.20.10 at 8:31pm

Hi Lana, you are very much welcome.

(And now when others ask I can just point them to this post. :)

#3 Sherra on 03.29.10 at 11:49am

Mike, I agree with Lana about this being awesome!

Relatively new to the particular nuances of Meetup as compared to more established groups like AIGA and an attendee to a number of your very successful events, I certainly value your perspective about organizing Meetups. I tried to eavesdrop on your conversation with Lana the other night but kept getting pulled away so I was thrilled to see the Tweet pointing to this post. I have printed it out and will be taking it with me to my first Atlanta Graphic Design Meetup relaunch planning meeting tonight.

I agree with 1 in the context of 3, but have to say that I’ve been thrilled with the response to my general call for input as it has surfaced 10+ strong potential leaders I would not have known otherwise. Certainly, their actual strength and commitment is TBD so I’ll leave room for you to be right even while hoping you are not. I’ll loop back around on that once I have put some time in wearing my own Meetup Organizer Cap. ;)

Thanks again for taking time to put these thoughts down in writing as a resource for the rest of us!

#4 MikeSchinkel on 03.29.10 at 3:27pm

@Sherra Thanks!

With your 10+ strong potential leaders I guess what I meant was that you should ask via the member list but don’t do what I did early on and schedule lots of meetings with all the people who “raised their hands.” I got well more than 10+ volunteers early on, but they quickly dwindled down to just a few I could count on. Just be aware that people will be motivated early on and then their life takes over and they run out of time or loose interest.

Of course with your long involvement with AiGA I know you know this; I was more clarifying for other potential readers of this post.

#5 Ray Giesbrecht on 06.01.10 at 6:07pm

Just started a meetup group today and found your comments very useful. Thx.

#6 MikeSchinkel on 06.01.10 at 7:01pm

@Ray, awesome, and thanks for leaving a note. What’s your meetup about? Leave a link?

#7 John Biddle on 06.02.10 at 12:23am

Thanks, Mike, for a well thought out list of tips to newbie Meetup Organizers. I’m having my 1st meeting on Friday 6/4 of the TampaBay WordPress Group and your suggestions will be helpful. Thanks for taking the time to make them available. May your good karma be returned 10 fold.

#8 David Felfoldi on 06.09.10 at 1:34pm

Mike, having utilized your advice in starting my first meet-up — Atlanta User Experience Group — I have to say this best practices post is spot on. Everyone — read closely and follow even more so.

Thanks for sharing this!

#9 ainjali on 06.14.10 at 8:33am

Mike thank you for sharing. Many great pointers I shall try as I move along.

#10 Claude Borders on 06.26.10 at 11:15pm

Thank you for your wise words Mike. We’ve had several successful meetups in Las Vegas and intend to do more with your advice being heeded! Claude

#11 MikeSchinkel on 06.26.10 at 11:35pm

Thanks for the comments @John, @David, @ainjali and @Claude. Glad you found it helpful.

#12 Joe Monastiero on 07.20.10 at 9:55am


What about food and beverages? How do you generally handle that? I’m in the same category as you (tech, web, mobile). Do you offer coffee? Snacks? Sodas?


#13 MikeSchinkel on 07.20.10 at 11:33am

Hi @Joe,

I’m going to take a pass on that one. For the most part we never did because it increased the logistics significantly. But I was never happy with how we handled that and couldn’t figure out how to make it work without lots of extra work. Good luck.


#14 LUCIA QUACHEY on 07.27.10 at 12:43pm

I learnt a lot from your experience and tips for best practices, I will apply some of them in my group in Accra.

#15 Murtuza on 08.13.10 at 7:53am

Thanks Mike for sharing your experience. I will surely avoid those bumps and apply your good tips. Good luck to you.

#16 Chanah Liora on 08.27.10 at 8:31am

Thank you! I am on track with most of this, but liked the twitter idea, even though I don’t understand hashtags(can you direct me where I can learn?),the email idea, although don’t know how to do that either…and thanking people for attending-great idea, and I have negligent in that, which is going to change.

#17 MikeSchinkel on 08.27.10 at 2:12pm


Thanks for the comment.

Hashtags are really, really simple, people just let their crypticness scare them. Just make one up! Keep it short, related to your group and easy to remember. Search Twitter first to see if anyone else is using it frequently. For example, if your group is (hypothetically) “The New York Tarot Enthusiasts Group” maybe your hashtag would be #nytarot or #nyteg (note the fact the links show no Twitter search results is a good thing, it means nobody is currently using those hashtags.)

If you need more on hashtags:

I am assuming you are hosting your group using Meetup.com? If not drop everything and create your group now. It costs $72 per 6 months but is hugely worth it if for no other reason than most people who are not serious about organizing a group won’t pay the fee so that means you’ll have a lot less “faux” competition on Meetup for mindshare regarding your for your topic and for attendance at your meetings. But there are many other benefits such as how effectively Meetup.com advertises your group, and a savvy organizer will end up making a small profit instead of it costing them.

As for email, Meetup.com has an email system for sending out notifications. If you are not familiar with how to use it read this:

Hope this helps.

#18 Chanah Liora on 08.28.10 at 7:03am

This helps and answers my question! Thank you! By any chance do you know how or if I can change my meetup group name from Metrowest Tarot to Wisewomantarot?

#19 MikeSchinkel on 08.28.10 at 11:59am

Hi @Chanah:

Sure, it’s easy, just go here:

You’ll need to be logged in at Meetup, of course.

THAT SAID, changing the name is easy but I’ll ask you to consider if you really want to? Wisewomantarot is your brand, Metrowest Tarot is your location. I don’t have statistics to prove what I’m going to recommend all my past business experience tells me that a Meetup group needs to be branded by location. People look for Meetup groups by location, not by your brand. They will recognize your location and think “Yep, that’s for me” but won’t as likely think the same if they only see your brand.

I think you’d be MUCH BETTER OFF if you keep the name (I’m assuming “Metrowest” is well known in your area?) and then set up Wisewomantarot as your Group’s Sponsor, which you can do here:

BTW, if you want your group to be more successful than it already is you really should spent some time exploring this page as if gives you links to much of what you can do with your Meetup group:


#20 Chanah Liora on 08.28.10 at 10:02pm

Ah great advice thanks! Will keep it Metrowest Tarot.

#21 MikeSchinkel on 08.28.10 at 10:47pm

@Chanah: Awesome! Good luck.

#22 Michael Wells on 08.30.10 at 9:58am

Awesome information Mike. I am an organizer for a “singles over 35″ meetup group in Atlanta and I found all your points to be very pertinent and insightful. Thank you so much. I will certainly be sharing this with the rest of my fellow organizers. Best of luck with your group.

#23 MikeSchinkel on 08.30.10 at 12:31pm

Hi @Michael,

Glad you found it helpful. Good luck with you group (maybe I’ll show up one day, I’m in your demographic. :)


#24 @DianaWei on 10.05.10 at 12:29pm

Very awesome list of great advices!! =)
By the way, do you know of any tool or widget that automatically tweets out each Meetup event when posted or even blog post? Think it would be very useful for Meetup organizers.

#25 MikeSchinkel on 10.11.10 at 3:28pm

Hi @DianaWei:

Thanks. Don’t know of such a tool for auto tweeting Meetup events. Wouldn’t be hard to write for a developer (like me) but it would take some time. I’d write one if I didn’t already have 100 other thing backed up in my “to do” queue. :)


#26 Antoinette on 11.10.10 at 8:26am

Thanks Mike! My meetups are different than what you mentioned, but it does pertain to my line of work. :) Great job!!!!!

#27 MikeSchinkel on 11.10.10 at 8:37am

Hi @Antoinette,

Thanks for the comments. Glad my experience could help, even if not exactly the same as your needs.


#28 Lyn Edwin Cathey on 01.14.11 at 12:11pm


I write for a travel trade publication that reaches some 75k travel agents and am interested in doing an article on how travel agencies could utilize MeetUps.com to generate more local business. Where would you suggest I start?
- Lyn Edwin Cathey

#29 MikeSchinkel on 01.14.11 at 12:42pm

Hi Lyn:

Thanks for commenting. I’d go directly to meetup and ask them; I think they’d have better insight into the specific use case. One of these links should help you find the right way to engage them:

- http://www.meetup.com/about/
- http://www.meetup.com/boards/
- http://twitter.com/meetup/

Hope this helps.


#30 Quora on 01.28.11 at 11:50pm

What exactly is involved in running a Meetup group?…

I’ve run a meetup.com meetup group (a photography group) for the past three years. We started with 4 members and have grown to over 400 on our mailing list in that time.

Meetup.com makes member management fairly easy as well as RSVPing and maintai…

#31 Mike D on 02.27.11 at 9:39am

Hi Mike,

All good advice. I run a casual after-work biz meetup group and don’t charge attendees. We meet a various restaurants and pubs. But a lot of this advice still applies to me.

Hey I’ve noticed a real fall-off in sponsorships offers from Meetup this year, since they introduced “perks”. I’m wondering if other organizers are experiencing the same thing, or if my group was designated “low-yield” for marketing. Any advice?

#32 Mike D on 02.27.11 at 9:47am

Mike I found a meetup discussion thread about this topic. It does seem to be a common concern from organizers. Sponsorships are down. The thread also gave me some ideas about how to get my revenue back up to a break-even

(I just want enough sponsorships to pay for meetup.com organizer tab and buy us a few appetizers each month.)

Here’s the thread, if you’re interested. Or you can delete both my posts if it’s too off-topic. Thanks!


#33 MikeSchinkel on 02.27.11 at 11:15am

@Mike D - Thanks for the comments.

As for sponsorships, that’s something I never really worked on, but I wouldn’t look for Meetup to provide it; I would solicit local sponsor yourself. You’ll get a lot more coin by doing it that way than waiting for the crumbs that Meetup might let fall to you. It’s a PITA to sell sponsorships, but it can be part of what it takes to make a Meetup work.

FWIW, I think Meetup is headed down a dangerous slippery slope with “New Meetup.” Meetup really should have launched a new site for community organized meetups rather than risk their business by fundamentally changing how meetup works for organizer. I think it’s either the demands for returns from their VCs (one of whom I have high respect for: Fred Wilson) or simple hubris in striving for some of the spotlight that Facebook, Twitter and others have. I fear it won’t end well for them or for organizers. But I digress…

#34 Chad Lamothe on 06.08.11 at 9:38pm

I know this article was written before twitter and the social media craze, but I read these and a lot of these would also apply to Tweet Ups as well.

#35 Angie on 09.14.11 at 12:05pm

Apparently, this article was so good that other people took it and pawned it off as their own. http://www.nathanlumpkin.com/25-best-practices-for-meetup-organizers/#comment-320

#36 MikeSchinkel on 09.14.11 at 1:02pm

Hi @Angie:

Thanks for the comment. I just had Nathan contact me and say he had someone blogging for him who evidently copied mine (and other’s) work and he asked if I’d like a link or to have it removed and I asked him to remove it. I’ll take him at his word and give him props for being honest about it and assume that he’ll take it down.

And I’ll thank you for letting me know (which is probably what triggered him to know, if he was watching his inbound links.)


#37 Real Point Blog » Online event promotion and booking tools for offline events on 09.14.11 at 4:16pm

[…] Built around the concept of informal get-togethers, this is a great site to help build awareness and create a community, with over nine million members looking for a meetup to match their interests. Especially recommended for regular events targeting a niche audience, knitting in Birmingham anyone? There is a charge for meetup organisers and meetup can facilitate taking payment from attendees. This blog post has some good tips on running successful meet up. […]

#38 Dr.Alya Shabunin on 02.02.12 at 12:27pm

Dear Mike, I founded your info, very valuable. I just started my new
Meet up Group, “Holyoke Holistic Health Club”.
It’s all about Health and Prevention.
I am going to read all your articles, please continue to publish them.

I am wishing you, Mike, Peace, Good Health and Prosperity.
Sincerely, Dr.Alya

#39 Scott on 11.08.12 at 10:00am


This is a fantastic list of tips. Thanks so much for pulling together. I have not personally organized a meetup, but I’ve attended several and know a lot of work goes into making them happen.

Would love to hear your thoughts on perks or offers. I have a client who is interested in possibly providing these to some meetup groups. Do they work? What types of things would people look for in a perk or offer?

Any insights would be greatly appreciated.


#40 MikeSchinkel on 11.17.12 at 4:54pm

Hi @Scott,

Thanks for the comment, and sorry for the late response.

We didn’t do anything with perks or offers. For our group at least it was a far more effort than it was worth for the small amount that it motivated people. People’s attention these days is worth far more than the trivial amount of value that most sponsors can afford to give so they really aren’t that useful IMO.

Of course if the perk is directly inline with the purpose of the meetup and the perk is significant that might be different. For example if it’s a yoga meetup and the sponsor is a local yoga studio that is offering 50% off a 20 visit package or similar, that might work really well.

Hope this helps.


#41 Jamaica on 12.22.12 at 7:14am

Hey Mike,

I just wanted to thank you for this post. I read it before starting my meetup (meetup.com/mahoganyphilly). Though it is a different type of group, I always tell people about this blog post when they ask me why my group is so successful!

Thanks again,

#42 Jamaica on 12.22.12 at 7:16am

Hi Mike,

I just wanted to thank you for this blog post. I read it before I started my Meetup group, and I feel it made a huge difference (meetup.com/mahoganyphilly). People often ask me how my group became so successful, and I mention this post.

Thanks again,

#43 MikeSchinkel on 12.23.12 at 1:48am

Hi @Jamaica,

I’m very glad this was helpful, and it’s really nice to get such positive feedback.

Here’s wishing you continued success with your group.


#44 Gino Goossens on 02.09.13 at 5:44am

Hi Mike,

Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences!

Still very useful information and I will be using it for our first #meetup! We’re thinking about using Wednesday for “Multi-Cloud Wednesday’s”. Based on your tips, I think we can’t go wrong :).

Thanks again.


#45 MikeSchinkel on 02.09.13 at 6:12am

Hi @Gino - Thanks for the comment. Best of luck with your Meetup!

#46 Caz on 10.11.13 at 4:34am

Great article, I just wrote something slightly similar about how the small business can benefit from ‘meet-up’. It really is a great social media platform that is growing quite fast and I have heard some really great success stories from small businesses and people just wanting to make friends.

#47 mikeschinkel on 10.11.13 at 10:16am

Hi @Caz,

Nice article and thanks for linking it.

One thing though, I found your use of hyphenated “Meet-up” disconcerting, especially because you only used it twice vs. using “Meetup” many tens of times. Also their brand is “Meetup” vs. “Meet-up” so I would assume you’d want to be consistent?

But, that’s my only criticism; as I said, otherwise great article and thanks!


#48 Budd on 10.11.13 at 10:19am

How do you deal with the socially awkward person that makes everyone uncomfortable? In my experience, if this person isn’t handled, they can kill a group.

#49 mikeschinkel on 10.11.13 at 10:22am


Great question, and unfortunately I don’t have a good answer but maybe some of the others who have commented or will see this can suggest a solution?

I’ll tweet your question too and see if I get an answer.

#50 mikeschinkel on 10.11.13 at 10:23am

@Budd: https://twitter.com/mikeschinkel/status/388686318948995073

#51 Niki on 10.21.13 at 7:24pm

Hi Mike,

I am looking to start a meet-up for the company I work for Spinlister, a peer to peer bike share company. Do you have any tips for a choosing what day or night of the week to host a meet up?


#52 mikeschinkel on 10.21.13 at 7:51pm

Hi @Niki,

Thanks for commenting.

It really depends on what your members think is best. Start the meetup, gather a reasonable number of members (whatever you think is reasonable) and then ask them to vote on some options via an online poll.

BTW, you’ll never please everyone, and once you set a date/time be consistent and if you plan to have a successful and growing meeting, don’t change it frequently once set.

Hope this helps.


#53 ESP 052: Meetup Success: 25 Essentials That Every Organizer Must Know Before Getting Started on 05.06.14 at 12:49pm

[…] 25 Best Practices for Meetup Organizers  […]

#54 Yvette on 05.13.14 at 6:11pm

I am preparing to plan a meetup and following your advice to have the first two free admission but the attendees pay for their food I was told its a no no to specify that on invites it is a given. I found a restaurant that has a closed off area to hold group and with growth it would expand to the front larger area Im thinking is it ok to charge if people don’t rsvp the day of the event $10(at the door)and is it necessary to use the free services that allow members to rsvp attendance if they rsvp via email. thank you

#55 Yvette on 05.13.14 at 6:20pm

At the very beginning I plan to have weekly meetups at this same locations Wednesdays afterwork 6p-9pm to professionals, entrepreneurs and small businesses, with diversified professionals. It is very hard to find space that isn’t restaurant. thanks

#56 mikeschinkel on 05.13.14 at 6:31pm

Hi @Yvette,

Yes, it is often very hard to find meetup spaces; that was one of my biggest challenges. What city are you located in?

You might look for co-working spaces and/or local universities, chambers of commerce if a small town, or even local businesses that want to act as a meeting sponsor.

Hope this helps.

#57 Jon on 05.21.14 at 11:53am

Hi Mike
I see you can download the member list into an excel file. Have you been able to do this successfully? I found this page trying to google it but it is very hard to google anything about Meetup without just finding Meetup groups haha!

I don’t think the excel file has a list of email addresses in it which is a pitty, but it does at least have the answers to your sign-up questions in it, but I am unable to format it well so I can make any sense of it. I am using Open Office to open the .xls file. Any tips?


#58 Stuart Stirling on 05.28.14 at 12:19am

Thanks for all the tips you share here Mike. I and partner run several meetups here in Japan (we’re both Australian) and have had quite a bit of success getting clients for marketing projects. We generally use the Meetups to share online marketing advice and build our network. They’re usually a lot of fun too. Highly recommend anyone not yet doing Meetups to start.


#59 mikeschinkel on 05.28.14 at 10:37am


Thanks for the comments. Congrats on your success, and I couldn’t agree more with your comments.


#60 Change Toolkit | Daily PlanIt on 09.07.14 at 8:17am

[…] can reach a lot of people, but costs. See advice for running a Meetup Group and consider looking for Sponsors or […]

#61 Social Networking Sites: Is Meetup.com Right for You? | McQueen at Home on 09.18.14 at 9:03am

[…] base and the customer base of your new acquaintance.  This will mean you will have to do a bit of leg work to get it off the ground, but the results can be very […]

#62 Davis Fields on 10.01.14 at 4:01pm

Hey, Mike, excellent column. Wondering if you know anyone who does Meetup site content/development/maintenance as a paid service. I’m the founder of a non-profit organization called the Divorce and Relationship Recovery Network. You’ll see from my web site that I run a bunch of Divorce and Relationship Recovery groups around the San Francisco Bay Area. I’ve successfully recruited teams to run the live weekly meetings, but so far I’ve done all the Meetup stuff myself. I need funds to keep the non-profit operating, and am wondering whether I could offer this to churches (who host most of our groups) as part of am annual fee they’d pay the non-profit. But I have no idea what the going rate might be for Meetup help. Any idea? Any online info you could refer me to? Any thoughts? Best wishes!

#63 mikeschinkel on 10.01.14 at 4:49pm

Hi David Fields,

Thanks for the comment. Interesting. That sounds like something that would be better discussed in email. I will email you and we can discuss more.


#64 Kris on 11.04.14 at 4:32am

If I have a meet up group say in Chattanooga and want to get a new group started in Nashville how would I promote the group to the new city. Or would I have to start a new meetup for the new city. Trying to scale down cost. Loved the tips. thx

#65 mikeschinkel on 11.04.14 at 8:10pm

Hi @Kris,

Great question, sadly I don’t have any experience with that so don’t have an equivalently great answer.

I guess I would look for other organizers who have groups in multiple cities that don’t compete with your group and reach out to them for help.


#66 10 Ways to Be a Person of Influence & Join the Digital Professional Development Revolution | Etale – Life & Learning in the Digital World on 11.29.14 at 1:22pm

[…] 25 Best Practices for Meetup Organizers […]

#67 Andrea on 12.02.14 at 5:45pm

Great info. Thanks.

#68 Atlanta WordPress Coders Guild: A New Meetup for Designers and Programmers on 12.17.14 at 6:34pm

[…] has lived in the Atlanta area for several decades and has organized professional meetups for the past eight years. He’s an accidental connector who became acquainted with many people […]

#69 Justis on 12.22.14 at 12:05am

Great content! Hey i was thinking, what will you need from me to help me plan a successful meetup?

#70 mikeschinkel on 12.22.14 at 12:07am

Hi @Justis,

Thanks for the comment. That said, I don’t offer meetup planning services, I’m a software developer and startup entrepreneur. The best I can do is suggest following the ideas above. Good luck.


#71 WPTavern: Atlanta WordPress Coders Guild: A New Meetup for Designers and Programmers | WordPress Planet on 01.03.15 at 3:32am

[…] has lived in the Atlanta area for several decades and has a great deal of experience organizing professional meetups. He’s an accidental connector who became acquainted with many people in the area and has a unique […]

#72 MeetUp – Event Organizing Turned Social Networking | #LauraLoves… on 03.01.15 at 10:46pm

[…] gives the organizer an unlimited amount of members and co-organizers, and a premium membership. This is a great article on some best practices for Meetup […]

#73 Ann Marie on 08.12.15 at 1:25pm

We’re getting conflicting info regarding content for the meeting invitation. The former Head of Marketing didn’t want links to the company blog or Facebook page in the invitation. They’ve not been very successful.

I come from a background that says to utilize the opportunity to share info with those that are interested. And to make it easy. I’m all about offering to share related information and hyperlink to it at the bottom of the invitation. Two sentences, “If you would like to learn more, please like us on Facebook, take a look at the website and check out the blog!”

What’s your suggestion? I can’t find any articles discussing this. Our meetups share process information, business tools and methods to develop new products. People come to learn expertise. Not giving them easy access to what’s available seems illogical to me.


#74 mikeschinkel on 08.12.15 at 8:36pm

Hi @Ann Marie,

Thanks for the question, but I’m confused by the scenario. Is your company running a meetup? What is your company name? Meetup’s URL?

Email mike nospace schinkel at gmail dot com if you don’t want to post publicly.


#75 L.P. on 08.28.15 at 8:59am

Mike, I want to start a networking group with fairly high yearly membership fees ($600/year), and my plan was to promote a kick-off party on MeetUp, which would be free. Somewhere on the page, I’d let folks know that this was an introduction to a dues-based networking group, so people would know. Then, at the party, I would talk about the monthly group and get the application process started.

I wanted to go thru Meetup in order to get a wide spectrum of viewers and possible attendees to the kick-off.

Do you think it is an appropriate way to use Meetup?

#76 mikeschinkel on 08.30.15 at 10:39pm

Hi @L.P.,

Thanks for the question.

I think your implied question is “Will Meetup be an effective way to find leads for a $600/year membership organization?” If I understood correctly, then my hands-down answer is “No.”

Most people who attend Meetups expect to pay little to nothing for the Meetup. The ones who are willing to spend $600/year are generally not the type of people who attend groups events on Meetup.com. Well they might attend a hobby Meetup, but they sure won’t pay $600 a year for it.

If you are instead wondering if Meetup will be a good tool to help you manage and organize events for a $600/year membership organization, with the occasional quality lead, then yes. I would probably use it in conjunction with other tools because they do not allow you access to email addresses, phone numbers or real names. And for a membership organization you really need that.

I looked at your website and it seems that you have established yourself with your books and other activities so I think you should use those along with Twitter, Facebook and other social channels to drive leads for your $600 group.

Best of luck, and if you have any more questions, just post.


#77 Skip Jones on 09.11.15 at 11:38am

Hi Mike, I just became Organizer of a camping MeetUp group with about 350 members and growing. (San Francisco Bay area) We are obviously a non-profit and we try to fairly and equally divide the actual campground fees. My question is in regards to the MeetUp fees ($180 per year). With 350 members, that equals about 4 cents per month or 50 cents per year, per member. That cost will obviously go down as more members join. I would like to present a plan to members that would facilitate the collection of said fees without using words like” Membership Dues” or “Fees” and I would like to keep the payment completely voluntary. As I am completely new to this, does this plan make sense? Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks.

NOTE: This group had over 700 members at one time. The organizer imposed a mandatory $10 membership fee and I believe nearly every single member bailed, including myself.

#78 Rob Delory on 09.21.15 at 1:20pm

Thanks. I have gotten one social group off the ground. Now I am trying a tech group, and the same rules don’t seem to apply across the board. The meeting space has been the most difficult part, so I will keep the rest in mind.

#79 Pascal on 10.11.15 at 4:14pm

Hi Mike,

Great job, 25 great suggestions! Even in 2015, I bet it all still counts the same. Or do you have any more hidden “secrets” since the writing of the post?


#80 mikeschinkel on 10.12.15 at 11:46am

Hi @Pascal,

Thanks for the comment.

As for more “secrets,” I wrote this at the end of a period where I was stopped actively organizing meetups (I got burned out on it) so nothing new.


#81 Manikandan on 10.28.15 at 8:01am

Great information. How many meetup i can conduct for free? please let me know the price details. Thanks..

#82 Krishnaa on 11.29.15 at 1:34am

Superb tips & guidance Mike, intend to implement most of your suggestions. Have a meetup scheduled in Jan but am finding it tough to balance my business, law school exams, & meetup activities. Will post back how we fared shortly. (Bangalore Lawyers, Law Students, Law Startups, & Mediators). If you feel the name is too long or have other suggestions would be grateful for those as well. Others also welcome to suggest & support.

#83 Krishnaa on 11.29.15 at 1:39am

Superb tips & guidance Mike. Tx for your efforts. I have my first meetup scheduled in January but currently under a lot of pressure trying to balance my business, law school, & meetup! Our meetup is– Bangalore Lawyers, Law Students, Law Startups, & Mediators, if you feel the name should be shortened or have any other suggestions please let me know. Will revert shortly on it pans out.

#84 Using Meetup for Business Purposes on 03.12.16 at 2:56am

[…] Best practices for using Meetup.com has as much to do with perfecting offline event management skills as it does properly employing the sites online social media tools. Offline, you should: […]

#85 Richard Hertz on 03.12.16 at 1:16pm

Can I put a link to my website in my meetup group?

#86 mikeschinkel on 03.12.16 at 2:47pm

@Richard Hertz,

Yes, of course.

#87 Richard Hertz on 03.12.16 at 3:45pm

Don’t see web site links on the Meetup pages I’ve visited. Where do you suggest I should put the associated web site name and link?

#88 mikeschinkel on 03.12.16 at 3:51pm

@Richard Hertz,

Add your website as a sponsor:

> Group Tools > Group settings > Sponsors

#89 Richard Hertz on 03.12.16 at 4:14pm

Sponsor, eh? Interesting location. Bet not too many visitors look there. Can I create a link in the initial paragraph describing the Meetup? I’d like to have the link somewhere on the first page.

#90 mikeschinkel on 03.12.16 at 4:25pm

@Richard Hertz,

That’s the best I’ve got for you. If you explore the features in the Meetup group tools, you might find something better. Good luck.

#91 Richard Hertz on 03.14.16 at 11:34am

Thanks for your help, Mike.

#92 Gillian Frank on 10.10.16 at 8:12am

Hi Mike

I just started a MeetUp today and found this really useful! Hoping I can get some interest from this!


#93 Marge on 10.18.16 at 7:49pm

I am trying to start a meet up and can’t put my town in. It puts in the large one next to mine but I want to put my town in. Do you know how to do this.
Thanks, Marge

#94 mikeschinkel on 10.18.16 at 8:43pm

Hi @Gillian,

Best of luck.


#95 mikeschinkel on 10.18.16 at 8:44pm

Hi @marge,

No clue, I live in a large town so never had the issue.

Contact Meetup support about it, if it can be solved I am sure they can help.


#96 Verena Irene Wimmer Riedo Kulenkampff on 04.04.17 at 10:50am

Please built a group of certifed organizer with meetup with me and there we teach a real and fast community manager worksheet to go having fun and money to plan very good events and the show to understand the IT and communication. The members are behind of all, so we step to give them new perspectives in life and in the actual job. All the old associations are slow and sleepy so we present a programm for a lot of meetings with very good exiting presents.

#97 Patricia on 04.05.17 at 6:02pm

I am the organizer of two Meetups and found your advice very topical and useful.

#98 Fernando on 06.30.17 at 4:50pm

We have about 30 toastmasters clubs who wants to use meetup. Do you guys have any thoughts about having that many clubs (say 2 organizers from each club) using the same account and having to respond to messages and post.

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