Members join Meetup groups for a variety of reasons
Members join Meetups to…
- Learn something
- Do something
- Build relationships
Your Meetup group has a connected, welcoming, and passionate community with common goals, and your Meetup’s homepage tells story.
Here are some way to make a Meetup that encourages people to show up:
DO: Have a welcoming and accurate description.
Set expectations. A local book discussion or a coding class might be exactly what a potential member is looking for, but if your description is too short or overwhelming, they might not take the next step and join. Balance is key.
Give potential members an idea of your Meetup’s vibe. Be clear about what should they bring to the table when they attend your Meetups, and what experiences they’ll leave with.
DON’T: Overcrowd your description with rules.
Focus on the positive qualities you want in your community and paint a picture of the members you want to join.
DO: Choose photos that highlight your personality.
Use a clear photo of yourself on your organizer profile. Having a good photo will let potential members know you’re a real person, and starts building trust before you meet.
Select a cover photo for your Meetup. If you don’t have group photos yet, that’s okay! Choose a photo that represents your Meetup’s identity.
DON’T: Use blank or generic photos.
Having no photos on your profile or in your Meetup is a missed opportunity! A great photo tells the story of who you and your members are.
DO: Keep your calendar full of awesome Meetups.
When a Meetup ends, get your next one scheduled ASAP. Collect suggestions for new activities and give your members something to look forward to. Find a consistent cadence that is right for you.
DON’T: Schedule Meetups you can’t attend.
An automatically recurring Meetup ensures your calendar stays packed, but you have to manage it. If you have a Meetup you can’t attend, cancel it and update your members.
The online aspects of your Meetup help make your in real life experiences even better. Spend time making your Meetup homepage the best it can be!
Being a Meetup organizer comes with many rewards
Learning new skills, honing old ones, achieving specific goals, and forming forever friendships—communities have the power to give back.
Yvonne, organizer of NYC Tiny House Build: Empowering Women/Girls Meetup, started her Meetup after spending time wondering why she didn’t know how to use the tools she saw in her favorite home improvement show. She posted her first Meetup with a simple premise in mind: Who wants to use a mortar saw with me?
“I was a little afraid to use a mortar saw. So having these other women here helped me and made me feel like I wasn’t in this by myself. We were going to learn to do this together!”
Many Meetups later, her members wield mortar saws (and many other tools) with confidence. The rewards of her community have multiplied and evolved. “I started out saying we’re gonna learn how to use tools,” Yvonne said. “Now, we’re going to build a vehicle by which other women are going to learn from these women how to use tools.”
Jace and Yasmin started Brick Oven Brooklyn with a singularly defined goal: find an available brick oven, and start cooking with other people. What started as a niche interest turned into a community that grew so much their single brick oven could no longer take the heat.
They worked together to crowdfund a bigger oven, and now they’re able to host open baking Meetups where anyone in their community can bring something to cook. The small cooking community they hoped to create has expanded to include anyone in the neighborhood that has something cook! Their current record is 94 pizzas in 3 hours.
Not every Meetup organizer has the goal to make something new. Sometimes, communities are made around rediscovering something you used to love. Ryan created North Brooklyn Brass Band Collective to find other casual musicians who missed their high school band instruments. His only hope was to find an outlet for his music degree. Less than a year later, his Meetup has grown from Sunday afternoon jam sessions to parade gigs. Ryan said “I have not, since school marching band, ever been a part of a group of such amazing and musical human beings. This Meetup has become more than just a weekend activity; it’s actually become a family. “
Being a Meetup organizer comes with plenty of rewards you’ll expect, and several that’ll surprise you.
- Why your Meetups matter
- My first Meetup
- Get your community talking
- Meetups that make an impact
- Use risk to sustain your community
Jeremy Heimans, author of "New Power"
Meet Jeremy Heimans, author of "New Power." In this video, he’ll share four tips for finding your group’s identity and mobilizing their energy to make an impact in your community.
- Building a community with purpose
Sharing the work of organizing makes it easier to host powerful, well-attended in-real-life experiences. Learn how two organizers collaborate to build strong communities.
With the help of his six co-organizers, Shane Rispin has built “Kick Ass Adventures Ireland” into a community of 8,000 members who meet up for adventures from surfing to ziplining, escape rooms to go-karting. “One of the hardest parts of collaborating is handing over elements of control to others, but when you do, the options for fantastic events are endless.”
Divide and conquer
“Assigning two orgs to each event means we can host weekly, and offer a wide variety of Meetups.”
Play to your team’s strengths
“We match their unique skills to a job around leading. For example, one of our orgs is an accountant, so he handles all of our venue bookings & financials.”
Create space for planning
“We meet monthly - usually followed by dinner and drinks - to plan future events and create policies for the group.”
Gene-Paul Parish - along with 15 other “Game Masters” - has been bringing together gaming enthusiasts for table-top role-playing in Cleveland since 2016. “Admitting you can’t do everything yourself is hard for all of us. To grow, we need other leaders. This not only involves delegation, but actually giving them a seat at the table.”
Allow room to expand
“You’ll reach a critical decision as your group gets bigger: either run a small group by yourself or find people of like mind to help you.”
Offer training and leadership development
“Give training and develop standards for the kind of things you want to see. Leadership isn't just about being the person everyone follows and counts on. It is about developing equally strong and intelligent people who can help bear that burden.”
Give your team the freedom to lead
“Don’t micromanage. Handle the big stuff and get out of your leaders way as much as possible - let them bring their own energy and style to the table.”
Want to learn more in person. Join the orgaizer network and see if there is a real life Meetup happening around you. There be people who have done this before, ready to help and you can be part of something special.Join the org network