Why people should join a meetup group
“How do you meet people who are interested in the same things you are, either in a place you live in, or one you are visiting?”
“Where do you get ideas on new things to do?”
“What can I do in an area that I haven’t thought of before?”
"I am bored and want to try something new."
These are thoughts that people have either asked me, or I have asked myself at different times. An awesome website that answers all these questions is www.meetup.com. Meetup.com is not a dating site, it is a website where people can find and attend events in many different categories. Its purpose is to increase social interaction and was originally intended to focus on hobbies and interests.
I have used Meetup extensively and:
· met many new and interesting people
· stepped outside my comfort zone and learnt more about myself
· listened to amazing stories from others
· attended new restaurants and social functions
· shared social experiences with others
· expanded my network and my sphere of influence
· built up my self-esteem
· made ongoing friends
· listened to recommendations from locals of places to visit that are non-touristy
· tried many new activities such as dancing, kayaking, hiking, dumpling making, comedy nights, the list is lengthy
· been invited to people’s homes for parties and baby showers
· discovered what the locals like to do
· shared knowledge I had with others
· stopped being lonely
Groups are created and hosted by people who schedule events. You can share hobbies, find friends, network professionally etc., Some groups are age or gender restricted. There are over 30 topics that you can find groups on. Some are very active and others quickly fill up available spots. Spreading to 180 countries, there are more than 225,000 meetup groups, around 140,000 organisers and 35 million Meetup members (as of 2019).
In the main Meetup page, you can key in a search for either groups or a calendar of an area.
If I was visiting New York and was a keen jogger, I could do a search on the calendar for any jogging groups in New York. Or a kayaking group in Berlin, Germany. Or what groups I can join in Phoenix, Arizona.
Finding one I might be interested in, I would click on the bio and find out more information, including who is organising the event, if there is a fee to attend and how many people are going along. The page advises how many spots are left open and by clicking the attend button I am booked in. A brilliant feature is the “Add to Calendar” button. By clicking this, my online calendar is automatically updated with event details.
It is also possible to send a message to an organiser. This is a great idea if you are new to the group or just visiting the area. By doing this when I have attended a new group, organisers keep an eye out for me and then introduce me around to others at the event.
Being a member of meetup is free, the organisers of the various groups pay an annual fee to the site. You can be a member of multiple groups, and RSVP for a multitude of events. Some groups have a charge for events, a lot are free. The details will always be in the description. If an event is booked out, you can be placed on a waitlist.
Politeness means that if you are not going to attend an event that you change your RSVP as soon as possible. It is frustrating for organisers to go to the effort of creating events and have very few people turn up. Especially if there is a waiting list. Some organisers will ban people from their group if those people continue to rsvp and then do a no-show.
My advice is to gain confidence in this new endeavour by attending a group or two in your own city. Then you will feel braver to contact groups further afield.
Meetup was founded in June 2002 by Scott Heiferman and five co-founders. The idea for Meetup came from Heiferman meeting his neighbors in New York City for the first time after September 11.” - wikipedia
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