The Organizer Guide

Go ahead — bring people together

  • Priya Parker, author of "The Art of Gathering"

    Most hosts make this mistake
  • Congratulations! You’re bringing people together.

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    Powerful things happen when people show up for each other, and we’re here to guide you to your goals.

    Our Help Center is available every day to help you learn to use our tools, but the Organizer Guide will provide you with the guidance and inspiration you need to be successful at any stage of your Meetup journey.

    Just made your Meetup group (or still considering it)?

    Made your Meetup and ready to hit the ground running?

    Looking for inspirational ways to connect with your people?

    If you’ve already had some great Meetups, we’d love it if you’d share them with us! You can also join a local organizer Meetup to share the wisdom you’ve gained and learn from other organizers in your area.

    The Meetup Organizer Tour
  • Every community starts with hello

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    At your Meetup

    • Make time to say “hi.” Be warm and welcoming — look them in the eye, smile, and introduce yourself as soon as you can.
    • Set expectations. Remind everyone what this Meetup’s agenda is. Clarifying the day’s activities gives members something to do right away when they get to the Meetup.
    • Open things up with interesting group questionsPrepare a question or two that members can use to get to know each other. It should be specific, fun, and related to the theme of the Meetup.

    Between Meetups

    Meetup has communication tools to keep conversations going.

    Reach out using the Mailing List.

    • Send a message to attendees the day before a Meetup to remind them. Shout out that newbies will be there, mention you’re looking forward to seeing everyone, and remind them of anything they’ll need to bring.
    • Follow up with attendees the day after a Meetup to thank everyone, continue a conversation, and give a hint to what might come next.
    • Value your members’ time—limit yourself to 1 or 2 messages per Meetup.

    Connect through comments.

    • Reply to members with timely, conversational, informative comments. Member can’t make it? Make sure they know when the next Meetup will be and welcome them to it.
    • Tell members how to find you (i.e. the woman with the pink hair at the back table) and encourage them to reach out if they’ll be late. Assure them they’ll be welcome even if they’re not on time!

    Brainstorm what’s next in Discussions.

    • Suggest ideas for new Meetups and respond to member ideas in this short-form discussion tool.
    • Keep conversations going between Meetups and cultivate an atmosphere where members feel empowered to connect and share ideas.
    How do I make everyone feel welcome?
  • Whether you’re communicating with a member for the first time online, or talking to a regular in real life, there are things all members expect from a Meetup organizer

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    Trust

    Be real.

    Meeting up with a group of people you haven’t met before can take some getting used to. Great organizers make members feel welcome before they arrive to a Meetup, during, and after.

    1. Set an example. Greet everyone when they arrive at your Meetups. Make time to introduce new people to everyone else. If being welcoming is your priority, other members will follow your lead.
    2. Communicate. Answer questions and comments on your Meetup in a timely fashion. Showing a member you’re there to help and welcome them builds trust even if you’ve never met.

    Authenticity

    Be yourself.

    Clarify your expectations for every member. Hold each other accountable through honest communication and empathy. Show your members that you’re warm and approachable, and they will be too.

    1. Empower everyone. Instilling trust in your members will encourage them to trust you, too. Build a leadership team and coach your organizers to uphold your values.
    2. Collaborate. You’re not in this alone. Ask for Meetup ideas, venue recommendations, and feedback. Implement change wherever it makes sense.
    3. Stay active. Always make sure your members know what’s up next. Keep scheduling Meetups!

    Respect

    Be cool.

    Part of being friendly and welcoming is respecting your members. They want to be a part of your community, so make it easy for them.

    1. Stay on topic. Schedule Meetups that focus on your community’s goals. Avoid scheduling too many Meetups that don’t align with your mission.
    2. Balance your onsite communication. There’s a difference between keeping people informed and overloading them with emails. Be respectful and condense your messages. Highlight what’s most important, and make sure the information only goes to those who need it.
     
    What do members expect from an organizer?
  • Make a Meetup that finds your people.

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    The time is now—start your Meetup!

    Create an inviting name

    Your Meetup’s name is an invitation to your future community. Make sure your future members feel welcome and know what you’re all about.

    • Be specificMake it easy for everyone to know they’ve found their home here.
    • Use accurate adjectives, locations, and action-oriented verbs. Ex: Bearded Hikers of NYC or Seattle Boat Lovers
    • Use words that reflect who you are or who you want to be. e.g. Girls Who Code
    • Keep it short — what if your new community wants team shirts someday?
    • Avoid using your own name — your Meetup is for your community, not just you.
    • Spelling counts — check for typos. Unsure? Download Grammarly.

    Craft a captivating description

    Be clear and authentic — this builds trust with your future members.

    • Why are you starting this Meetup group?
    • How does it create community?
    • What do you want people to take away from your Meetups?

    Let them know what this Meetup is going to do for them, and what they need to do for it.

    Choose the right topics

    The topics you choose when you’re making your Meetup are what we use to locate your future members. Choose the topics that best relate to your Meetup. Having too few or too many unrelated topics will make it hard for the right members to find it. You’re limited to 15 total, so use them wisely.

    Express yourself

    Be real and welcoming by giving your members a clear picture of what they’re signing up for.

    • Upload a cover photo — if you have a logo ready to go, use it. If not, choose something else that represents your Meetup’s identity (and you!). Try a free stock photography site like Unsplash or Pexels until you have some event photos of your own.
    • Schedule your first Meetup right away — that way, when members join, they’ll be able to attend and get involved from the beginning.

    Congrats! You’re ready to start your Meetup.

    Once your Meetup has been reviewed and approved, we’ll look for members that have expressed interest in the topics you selected. Those members receive an email announcing your Meetup, and they’ll be invited to join right away.

    Take a second and make sure you’ve said everything you need to say. Your announcement is your first impression in the world — make your mission clear.

    Creating your Meetup group
  • Are you ready for your Meetup? Here’s five things to check off before you meet.

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    1. Create an agenda

    • Set a clear schedule in your Meetup description. If the Meetup has set activities, note when members need to arrive. If it’s more of an open social hour, let people know.

    2. Secure a venue

    • Find some venue options. Contact management with your questions, and check if your members need specific accommodations.

    3. Send an message to those who said they’re coming.

    • Rely on your regulars — don’t be shy about asking them to help out.
    • Reach out personally to newcomers — developing a rapport encourages them to show up.

    4. Gather your supplies

    • Make signs, prepare name tags, and ensure you have everything else you need for Meetup to be successful.

    5. Welcome everyone

    • Get there early and greet people as they arrive. Introduce them to each other, and ask them thoughtful questions.

    You’re ready! Let’s do this.

    Checklist: Before your Meetup
  • You’re in. It’s time to make IRL plans.

    What are you loving right now? What do you want to do? Your first Meetup is where you make it happen.

    The steps to scheduling a Meetup are easy, so keep your momentum going and get something on the calendar. Find inspiration from your surroundings, other Meetup groups, or ask your new members if they have any cool ideas. Getting them involved from the beginning creates trust, and they’ll be more likely show up when the time comes.

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    First events don’t need to be hiking Mt. Everest. It’s fine to keep it low-key while you’re still getting to know each other.

    • Select Plan a Meetup from your Meetup group’s homepage
    • Name your Meetup (be clear and concise!)
    • Select when the Meetup will start
    • Pick where you’ll be — you can choose from your fav venues or look up a different one
    • Upload a photo (choose something that captures the spirit of your Meetup!)
    • Let your members know what will happen, what to bring, how they’ll find you, etc.
    • Decide who will be hosting
    • Select Schedule
    • Select Announce Meetup — your members will receive an email encouraging them to attend!
    Scheduling your first Meetup
  • You and your members are what make Meetup great

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    We know there are countless organizers and members around the world who are building real and welcoming communities — we want to hear about the cool things you’re doing with your people.

    You may have a chance to have your Meetup celebrated in email campaigns, on Meetup’s Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook pages, or in other content we design to inspire more organizers!

    If you feel like your Meetup represents our values, tell us!

    • Show us your best Meetup photos
    • Share the ways your Meetup creates community
    Tell us your Meetup story
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