5,000+ Meetup Members Decide to #OptOutside on Black Friday

Last week, we asked our Organizers to get their Meetups to #OptOutside in support of REI’s Black Friday campaign.  Today, we’re grateful to have hundreds of #OptOutside Meetups scheduled and thousands of Meetup members RSVPd to go.

REI believes that a life outside is a life well lived.  The 5 million Meetup members in Outdoors Meetups would agree, with one twist: a life sharing the outdoors with other people is even better.

If you’re inspired by #OptOutside and looking for a way to spend the day, embrace the spirit of the campaign and find the others who are opting outside and meeting up.  There are hundreds of great Meetups to choose from: hot air balloon adventures in PA, trail maintenance in CA, snow lovers hiking in MN….and I’m sure one near you. Go find it!

Pardon the turkey – it’s world vegan month

November has thirty solid days of celebrations revolving around bravery, consumption, and facial hair.

Did you know it’s also World Vegan Month?

This Thanksgiving, as millions tune in to watch the pardoning of a single turkey, let’s learn how to live a poultry free life through the holidays (and beyond) with the Vegan Gents.


Danny and Manny are a plant based cook and fitness instructor duo who host the Tampa Vegan and Plant-based Meetup to empower local vegans and vegan-curious to learn how to make delicious, healthy meals.

How they got started: “We were having a hard time finding a group that fit these standards: veganism, compassion, modernism…but most importantly, open-mindedness.”

How it works: “We offer more than a place to get together, we offer a place to have a healthy discussion and educate one another. A place where both vegans and vegan-curious can come together to learn, share and EAT, of course. We enjoy a hands-on approach. We believe that seeing, smelling and tasting play a major role in retaining information, so we try our best to incorporate all three senses into each Meetup.”

How they celebrate Thanksgiving: “Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays. Being vegan only elevated our levels of creativity, forcing us to find new and inventive methods to make the feast happen. We start the day off with croissants and cheese (vegan, of course) served with mimosas, sparkling water and homemade jam. Then we turn on the stove and let the cooking begin. Danny and I are blessed to have a great support system of family members and friends with which to share this lifestyle, along with the great people we’ve met on our Meetup adventures.”

Danny and Manny, we’re so thankful for you. Is it too late to claim a seat at your table?


Get Your Meetup to #OptOutside

REI has people buzzing about their decision to close all 143 of their stores on Black Friday and pay their employees to head outside. REI wants to see people get outside on Black Friday, and they want Meetup Organizers’ help. So today we’re excited to announce that Meetup is officially joining forces with REI and the #OptOutside movement, encouraging people to skip the lines on Black Friday and head outside.


Meetup Organizers can schedule a Meetup for Friday 11/27 and join a growing number of Meetups taking part. It’s as simple as scheduling an Outdoors Meetup on Black Friday and adding #OptOutside in the name.  To sweeten the deal, REI will promote the #OptOutside Meetups starting as soon as next week. That means by scheduling an #OptOutside Meetup, you’ll have a chance to reach new members who are passionate about the outdoors, but who might not know about your Meetup group yet.  

Let’s get Meetup members and many more to #OptOutside and explore the outdoors with Meetup. Don’t forget it’s only 10 days away!

Photo Credit: Sacramento Hikers & Company Meetup

To Our Meetup Community in France

I’m writing to share our deepest sympathies after Friday’s tragic attacks in Paris.

Many people don’t know this, but part of the Meetup story is the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City. An act of terrorism is designed to bring fear and distrust of one another. We started Meetup for people to create communities that do the opposite.

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After the terrible events in Paris on Friday, know that Paris needs what you build– the strength and bonds of real community.  Thank you today (as everyday) for everything you do to grow community.

As a Meetup organizer reminded us over the weekend, Paris’ motto dating back to the 14th century is “she is tossed by the waves but does not sink.”

Scott Heiferman,
Meetup Cofounder and CEO

Je vous envoie nos plus sincères condoléances après les attaques tragiques de vendredi dernier à Paris.

Beaucoup de gens l’ignorent, mais l’histoire de Meetup a débuté avec les attaques terroristes de 9/11 à New York. Un acte de terrorisme est conçu pour générer la peur et la méfiance de l’autre. Nous avons lancé Meetup pour aider les gens à créer des communautés qui font le contraire.

Après les évènements terribles de vendredi, sachez que Paris a besoin de ce que vous construisez – la force des relations humaines au sein de vraies communautés. Aujourd’hui (comme tous les jours), je vous dis merci pour tout ce que vous faites pour rassembler les gens et renforcer ces liens.

Comme un organisateur de Meetup nous le rappelait ce week-end, la devise de Paris qui date du 14ème siècle est “Fluctuat nec mergitur,” “Il est battu par les flots, mais ne sombre pas.”

Scott Heiferman,
Cofounder and CEO

Wellbeing Meetup Style: Community as Culture

This post was originally published on Disrupters, Virgin’s blog. Reblogged with permission from the author.

For years, we’ve been trying to nail down what’s so special about life behind the scenes at Meetup. In part, it’s our special rituals: celebrating our team with tokens for work anniversaries – engraved red Swingline stapler at the two year mark, photo slideshows of Meetuppers who have recently crossed the six year mark and a three month paid sabbatical at the seven year mark.

We host an annual cook-it-ourselves company picnic complete with spouses, significant others, children, friends, neighbors and the occasional park worker. New hires venture out on a Meetup crawl to visit as many Meetups as they can get to in one night with our CEO and co-founder, Scott Heiferman.


Each of these rituals show our culture, and there’s a line that connects them. The thing that makes Meetup so extraordinary is that we’re practicing what we preach: community. Meetup’s Headquarters is a prime example of community as culture.We’re a for-profit, mission-focused company.

The world has become so used to companies raking in profit and placing its importance above all else: user experience, employee experience, the footprint left behind, that Meetup’s mission dedication can feel like an anomaly. But it’s the glue that binds us together and motivates us in our work.

Many companies are trying to nail culture because it’s one of the most impactful ways to recruit – and Meetup is no different. We’re building the company we want to work for: a company that leaves the world a bit stronger and treats its team with respect and humanity. In practice, that means we’re deliberate and intentional in everything from hiring decisions to office design, transparent communications to the benefits we offer our team.

“We’re a living, breathing community that exists outside of the walls of HQ”

In one concrete example that I’m proud to share, we revisited and modified our parental leave policy in 2015. The changes weren’t scrutinized for their cost. The decision was about doing the right thing. Launched this summer, new parents are offered a mix of paid leave and transitional leave when returning to work at 100 per cent salary for up to six months. A family should have time to adjust to such a big change, and that time makes for a stronger community. Simply put: the policy change aligned with what we’re all about.

Meetup hires people with a little sparkle, if you will. Meetuppers often have something they’re fiercely passionate about. Maybe it’s something they’d be slow to share among new acquaintances, but once they’re into their “New Job” at Meetup, suddenly those hesitations melt away.


People feel comfortable being themselves, and that creates an opportunity for real relationships to form. Among other Meetuppers, we’ve found our people. And together, working as a true team, we’re making a significant impact on people’s lives.

Just like the communities our platform enables, the Meetup HQ community has changed and shifted over time. Still, ties among current and former employees are strong. At a recent rooftop BBQ with 250 guests, at least 10 per cent were former Meetuppers who came to gather, catch up and celebrate the 13 years of community (and counting!) that is Meetup. When you celebrate the engineer who’s left the team because his side project got funded, and you support the Product Director who was O.V.E.R. New York by keeping him on board in Colorado, you create stronger ties than those at most companies. Meetup has nailed that. We’re a living, breathing community that exists outside of the walls of HQ and we couldn’t be prouder.

PS: Want to get in on the Meetup magic? We’re hiring for all kinds of roles, including Head of Recruitment – check us out!

Meetup Spotlight: People’s Climate Movement Barcelona

As the capital of the Catalonia region, and the second largest city in Spain, Barcelona thrives as one of the world’s most captivating cities.

Between its vibrant architecture, its flavorful cuisine, and its dynamic culture, it’s no wonder that this Mediterranean city is home to over 50% of all Meetup groups in Spain.


We recently had the opportunity to interview Yve Ramirez, co-organizer and founding member of the People’s Climate Movement Barcelona Meetup group which is a stand out within the Community & Environment category.

As its description states, it’s an “inclusive, horizontal, peaceful, creative & positive grassroots movement, coordinated by 350 BCN, a local action group from 350.org.” Their meetings range from movie screenings, to marches, to workshops on sustainability and Twitter discussions on the importance of climate action.

Meetup: Tell me about the mission of the People’s Climate Movement Barcelona.

Yve: Sure! This Meetup group is a part of 350.org, a global grassroots movement in over 188 countries. Our chapter is looking to propel a movement against climate change, starting with Barcelona, and working with our global partners to spread the mission around the planet. Through the Meetup group, we’ve been able to promote our activities and actions further than our usual membership. Our message relates to the reduction of CO2 emissions, and most importantly, the need for citizen actions in all levels to achieve a change in our global economic and social model.

Meetup: How long have you been the co-organizer of the People’s Climate Movement Barcelona Meetup group?

Yve: We created the group on November 8th, 2014 and I’ve been the co-organizer of the group ever since. So far, we’ve hosted 14 different Meetups, which may not seem like much, but we put a lot of effort into hosting events that are impactful and educational, which can often take a lot of planning.

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Spooky Meetups

We know. It’s almost Halloween, and you’re too excited. You’re consuming science fiction novels at an alarming rate. You’re flying through The Walking Dead on Netflix. You’ve been prepping for your office costume contest for months, and this year, you’re going to win.

At Meetup, we think you shouldn’t wait a moment longer–every day can be as eerie as October 31st. Whether you’re ghost hunting in deserted cemeteries and haunted houses, stargazing in the hopes of spotting a UFO, getting creative by writing a scary story, or kicking back and watching a horror movie, take a look at how the Meetup community indulges in their spookiest hobbies:

The Colorado Ghost Hunting Meetup group host paranormal investigations regularly for amateurs and professionals, providing ample opportunities for members to get started or hone their craft. They recently met up for the 4th Annual Spirits of Colorado Paranormal Convention — the largest convention of its kind in Colorado. There were “over twenty paranormal events to choose from including classes, forums, ghost hunts, workshops, psychic readings, plus a midnight seance & slumber party for those brave enough to stay the night!” Sweet dreams are made of this for some Meetuppers:


The Brooklyn Paranormal Society Meetup, and it’s merry band of Boo-zers, has explored Greenwood Cemetery, Fort Greene Park, and Prospect Park on foot. Their mission: “The Brooklyn Paranormal Society was founded in 2015 by inexperienced investigators with a common vision of finding ghosts while inebriated.” This November they will venture out to Mount Misery in Long Island to investigate spooky action at a site where not one but two hospitals burnt down in the past 300 years. Eek.


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Green Meetups

Looking for ways to live a greener, more Earth-friendly life?

Whether you want to grow a sustainable garden, swap clothes with your neighbors, or find a community of fellow entrepreneurs ready to change the world, we’ve highlighted a few Meetups doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint and live a healthier, happier life on our beautiful planet.

The Maine Trash Runners


How they’re saving our planet: They’re making Maine a little cleaner and getting exercise too!

What they say:

Ever notice how much trash there is when you’re out on your morning walk, jog, run, bike ride, hike, skip, etc.? Well, there is A LOT! That’s where the Maine Trash Runners come in. We come from all walks of life and all different backgrounds, but we have a shared passion for taking care of our environment. And it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you think you may be, its all about getting some exercise, picking up some trash, and having a fun while doing it.”

Makes me want to put on my running shoes and clean up the trash in my Brooklyn neighborhood. Now if only I can find where I put them…

Dallas Sustainable Living & Organic Gardening


How they’re saving our planet: They offer workshops on everything from how to become a farmer to creating an urban co-housing community.

What they say:

“Meet other local people who are making their lives more sustainable–whether in leaps or tiny steps. We are interested in many areas of sustainable living: organic gardening, permaculture, starting a green community, homesteading, lobbying our political leaders to create a more sustainable environment, climate change, peak 0il, and preparedness.

Most of us are urban or exurban dwellers who are trying to create a positive impact on our environment and develop varied degrees of self sufficiency. Some of us are also interested in creating/moving to a sustainable eco-community.”

Here’s a Meetup that inspired me to finally plant those squash seeds I bought: Front Yard Herb Spiral Workshop.

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How to Grow a User Group

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 10.38.28 AMReblogged with permission from Ray Hightower, Organizer of the Chicago Ruby Meetup. The article was originally published on the rayhightower.com blog. 

The current team of ChicagoRuby organizers assumed leadership in August 2007. Back then, typical monthly attendance was about five people and the group’s Meetup database contained 78 members. The previous organizer was swamped with work at his day job, so he handed the baton to a new crew.

Today, the new crew has grown ChicagoRuby to over 3,500 members. The group hosts six meetups every month, and the downtown meetings consistently max out the 100-person RSVP limit. Bonus: ChicagoRuby hosts two conferences, WindyCityRails in Chicago and RubyCaribe on the Caribbean island of Barbados.

How does ChicagoRuby do it? Through consistency, teamwork, iteration, and learning from mistakes.

Be Consistent With Meetings

Consistency is very difficult in the beginning, especially on that night when only three people show up for the meeting. I have hosted a 3-person ChicagoRuby meeting before. Consistency is hard, and it is also the most important factor in user group success.

People trust consistency. Consistent meetings grow groups.

Members of ChicagoRuby know that we meet on the first Tuesday of every month downtown, the third Saturday of every month in Elmhurst, and one evening per month for the hack night. Members can plan their schedules months in advance because the ChicagoRuby calendar is consistent. Consistency builds trust.

ChicagoRuby cancelled one meeting in January 2011 due to a killer snow storm in Chicago. We were forced to cancel because the property manager shut the entire building down. We’re a little bit stubborn about consistency. And that’s how we build trust.

Yes, there will be times when the organizer is too exhausted to run an upcoming meeting. That’s why it’s important to share the work by building a team.

Build the Team

ChicagoRuby believes in sharing the work amongst multiple organizers. The group is stronger with several brains at the helm. Today we have twelve organizers. Working as a team enables us to benefit from each other’s strengths. Some organizers have strong design skills, others are strong developers. And some are good at asking members for help.

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Spotlight: The Tokyo Spontaneous Hangout Meetup

There are close to 1,800 Meetup groups in Japan with Language, Ethnic Identity and Socializing as the most common categories.

On October 1st, we launched Japanese on all of our platforms.

やろしく!We’re looking forward to seeing what kinds of new Meetups start up. 

Today we’d love to share one very popular Meetup group called The Tokyo Spontaneous Hangout, which was started in 2011 by Aki and currently has over 8,600 members.


Spontaneous…friendship combustion! Look at sparks fly at a recent BBQ Meetup in Yumenoshima Park at the bank of Tokyo Bay.

We reached out to the current organizer Allon. When asked about the focus of the Meetup, he said it’s to “offer a great variety of types of events and venues and in doing so offer a wide variety of activities and opportunities for members to join and hopefully enjoy.”

They are a very active Meetup group hosting approximately 30 Meetups per month. He also makes it a point to garner member interest and engagement by taking suggestions from members.

His personal favorites are outdoor picnics: “Every Meetup feels like I’m going out and having a good time through meeting regular and new members so generally they’re all fun but, being very fond of nature and the outdoors, my favorites are the picnics, night picnics and BBQ’s.”


Gearing up for a day of Parkour


Enjoying a sake brewery tour and tasting


Picnicking and playing cards at Yoyogi Park

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