I’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):
- 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.
- Meet quarterly with your planning team to plan so you always have 3 events on the calendar, more if possible.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Send an email out about the most recently meeting and reminding them about the next meeting and thank the people who participated/presented.
- 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.
- Keep vendor influence to a minimum; keep it about the people attending.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
114 Replies to “25 Best Practices for Meetup Organizers”
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!
Hi Lana, you are very much welcome.
(And now when others ask I can just point them to this post. :)
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!
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.
Just started a meetup group today and found your comments very useful. Thx.
@Ray, awesome, and thanks for leaving a note. What’s your meetup about? Leave a link?
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.
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!
Mike thank you for sharing. Many great pointers I shall try as I move along.
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
Thanks for the comments @John, @David, @ainjali and @Claude. Glad you found it helpful.
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?
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.
I learnt a lot from your experience and tips for best practices, I will apply some of them in my group in Accra.
Thanks Mike for sharing your experience. I will surely avoid those bumps and apply your good tips. Good luck to you.
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.
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.
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?
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:
Ah great advice thanks! Will keep it Metrowest Tarot.
@Chanah: Awesome! Good luck.
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.
Glad you found it helpful. Good luck with you group (maybe I’ll show up one day, I’m in your demographic. :)
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.
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. :)
Thanks Mike! My meetups are different than what you mentioned, but it does pertain to my line of work. :) Great job!!!!!
Thanks for the comments. Glad my experience could help, even if not exactly the same as your needs.
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
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:
Hope this helps.
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?
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!
@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…
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.
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
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Why is it some people who clearly have a biz related to their meetup groups are removed from the site and others are allowed to promote their biz-related events?
415.289.2213 I’d be interested in you coaching me to do it correctly as the site offers inadequate help on this topic.
Hi Mike – Why is it some people who clearly have a biz related to their meetup groups are removed from the site and others are allowed to promote their biz-related events?
415.289.2213 I’d be interested in you coaching me to do it correctly as the site offers inadequate help on this topic.
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 :).
Hi @Gino – Thanks for the comment. Best of luck with your Meetup!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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
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.
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?
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.
Thanks for the comments. Congrats on your success, and I couldn’t agree more with your comments.
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!
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.
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
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.
Great info. Thanks.
Great content! Hey i was thinking, what will you need from me to help me plan a successful meetup?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Great information. How many meetup i can conduct for free? please let me know the price details. Thanks..
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.
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.
Can I put a link to my website in my meetup group?
Yes, of course.
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?
Add your website as a sponsor:
> Group Tools > Group settings > Sponsors
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.
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.
Thanks for your help, Mike.
Great info and a lot of good comments and feedback to go thru here. I am looking for list of decent venues for first few meeting where I expect less than 10 people. An Atlanta location that is quiet enough that allows for conversation and also has fun atmosphere. Crowd ranges from mid-20s to mid 40s, tech sales industry. I was considering Ormsby’s. Any other suggestions?
I did browse thru all content above. Forgive me if you have answered this already and I missed it.
Great list! Even after all these years, still extremely helpful. You said you got burnt out though, what led to you burning out? I just started a Meetup Group, need to learn best practices before my first meetup. Looking forward to your response, link to my meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Coworking-Networking-Meetup/
I just started a MeetUp today and found this really useful! Hoping I can get some interest from this!
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.
Best of luck.
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.
Hi Mike, my question is- I advertise my workshops on meetup and i always inform them that there is a 20% deposit to be paid into my account or cash one month before the workshop and then the remainder to be paid one week before the workshop, but due to people who RSVP and they dont pay their deposit, i am going to have to add payment option on my page, I am not sure how this works? If i request a deposit can i prevent them from making their RSVP until i receive payment? Can i add them after they have paid? Also Can i remove them from the list if they have RSVP’d and not paid their deposit?
Hi Mike! Wow… how I wish I had read this 2 years ago! Would have saved me many an hour of angst over folks not offering to help out, or doing so then backing away when I (wrongly) assumed it meant they were as committed to our group as I was/am. Honestly, Meetup should make reading of your blog mandatory for all aspiring organizers.
I do have a question, though, about charging members. My group is a no-audition, no-commitment pop-up choir. I charge $5/head at the door to be able to pay our 2 musicians at least a pittance of what they’re worth. Would you suggest I make folks pay ahead of time? I assume that’s what you were implying when you said what you did about did about people canceling if they werent asked to pay. I’ve considered doing what a very successful North Carolina pop-up choir does, which is to offer two options: purchase x number of tickets ahead of time for x amount or buy a more expensive ticket at the door.
Lastly, it’s so generous of you to be answering questions 6 years later! Really appreciated.
~barb in Houston
sing3 founder & choirmom
Wow! This was very helpful. Thank you.
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.
I am the organizer of two Meetups and found your advice very topical and useful.
I really appreciate this article!!! I’m starting a Meetup group for public speakers. About charging; I’m wondering how much, to have them pay at the door or online via PayPal, and also, what would the charge go to? If we have an event would the member pay for the privelege of being a member and present; plus they would pay for the meal, the movie, the entrance to the campground, etc.? Would I have a separate bank account for this?
Thanks for all!
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.
Please try to remember that people need help networking. Not everyone is a natural, and not everyone can talk to everybody else, on all the topics.
http://EventNetworker.org facilitates pre-event discovery for people with similar interests, so that the participants are “warmed up” for the right conversations with the right people.
Investing in the participants it’s the best strategy for organizers to build a solid community that will help out (with events, etc) in the future.
Please feel free to check out https://teamup.zone to create meet up groups and events for free.
Are aware of any on-line Meetup classes? I want to learn more about how we can utilize more of the features in Meetup that are specific to our organization.
I have a question. Recently, I have seen several Meetups stating they do not have an organizer. If there is no organizer, who in the group directs meetings and keeps the group going? I do not really want to be the organizer but would like to join the group. There does not seem to be any way to join when the page only states that the group has no organizer. Thank you.
Excellent list for beginners, thanks Mike for taking the time to build it.
Your article holds true, even after more than 8 years. Me and my colleagues are hosting our first meetup on 2nd Feb on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Pune, India and i am glad i landed to your blog just when i needed it.
Thank you again!