How to Get Started with Meetup Groups and Meetups
October 10, 2012
tags: entrepreneurs, in-person networking, learning, local group, meeting, meetup group, meetup group perk, meetup groups, meetup perk, meetups, network, networking, perk, relationship building, socialnetworking, tips
I have attended a couple of Meetups over the past two weeks and wanted to share my experience. Meetups are in-person networking events that can be organized via Meetup.com. These Meetups are set up by a Host (this can be anyone on Meetup) with a designated location, time, and subject. These Meetups range from networking to playing nerdy board games at pubs and everything in between. I have attended these networking events in Calgary but there are hundreds of events held all over Canada and the US.
Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups. No matter what your interest is, there is likely a Meetup group for you. If not you can always start your own. Currently Meetup is 11.1 million members strong.
For Users: You can sign up to join Groups and go to Meetups.
1. Go to http://www.meetup.com.
2. Click “Sign up” in the top right hand corner.
3. You can sign up using Facebook or by filing out the form. Very little information is required to sign up. All you need is your name, email, password, country, and postal code.
Once you’ve signed up be sure to fill out your bio.
1. Click on the arrow next to “Account”.
2. Click on “General” from the dropdown menu.
3. Click “edit” under “Bio”.
When you’re logged in, go to the main page and add interests which will show you Groups or Meetups you may be interested in. Some Meetup Groups may ask you to answer questions in order to be accepted into the Group.
For Companies: As a company you can offer a perk to Meetup Groups.
1. Come up with a compelling discount or member Perk.
2. Meetup will review, approve, and share your Perk with relevant Meetup Groups.
3. You pay $5 per month per Meetup Group that accepts your Perk.
Many meetings are held at restaurants or pubs, so it is a great idea to offer a discount or Perk for any slow nights you may have.
My Meetup Experience
So far so good! I’ve now been to my first two Meetups and have learned tons. The first one was a networking course held in a boardroom and the second was a number of entrepreneurial speakers held at a bar. It’s such a great way to network, learn, get advice, meet interesting people, future clients, or future partners. While it’s important to be social on social media channels, it is just as important to get out there and be social in the real world too. Don’t worry you can still tweet from your Meetups. 😉
Search for new Groups or Meetups frequently as there are always new ones being added.
Think outside the box! Don’t think you need to go to a business Meetup to meet potential clients. Go to a Meetup that fits one of your interests like rock climbing and form relationships with people who share the same interest. Those people may be a potential client or send friends and family your way.
Before you go to a Meetup RSVP and check out who else is going. You’re able to see photos and bios on all of those who are going. This is great so you can decide who you want to meet before you get there. This comes in handy for larger Meetup Groups where you will not be able to meet everyone.
Make sure you bring lots of business cards for anyone you meet and sometimes these are used for door prize draws. I’ve been lucky enough to get a great book as a giveaway at each of the Meetups I went to.
Bring something for your notes. I take notes on my iPhone because it’s always in my purse; however, I’ve seen lots of people taking notes on their iPad or tablet. The old fashioned pen and paper always works too. 😉
Have you tried Meetup? What did you think? Have any tips? Leave your comments or questions below. Make sure to Like Us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter for more social media tips and tricks!
Unit next time,