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Meet the new Meetup

Today we re-launch Meetup with beautiful new apps for iOS and Android.

Everyday in thousands of cities, Meetup expands possibilities for our members by offering access to worlds. But it wasn’t easy enough to find the Meetups that could change your life. How can we help you train for a marathon, practice a language, get into tech, write a play, learn to cook, hike a mountain? How can we help more people have the life-changing experiences that happen when they meetup to do things they want to do in life?

  • Shows what you’ve been missing — what’s new, trending, or happening soon
  • Makes it easier than ever to join and start a Meetup
  • Exposes the breadth of Meetups available in 24 categories
  • Seeds Meetups around what people nearby are interested in

Expect more good things in the apps in the months ahead, and for the new Meetup to be on the web, too. (Apps were the priority because they had a lot of catching up to do.)

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Meetup Rebrand

by jen gergen
Design Director, Brand & Identity at Meetup

Starting today, we’ve got new apps and a new look — bright, bold, energetic, and yes, a little quirky — that captures Meetup as we’ve always known it. For the first time, our outsides finally match our insides. 

The swarm and our new look

There are lots of reasons to love Meetup’s nametag logo, but one important reason to ditch it. The nametag represents the most awkward moment in the entire Meetup experience — the moment you have to say hello to a complete stranger.

We didn’t make the same mistake with our new branding (created by renowned design firm Sagmeister & Walsh). Now our logo represents why Meetup exists in the first-place — to bring people together to do the things that matter most to them. We call it the Meetup swarm, and it’s created when individual dots unite to form the “m” symbol. We love the dynamism of the animation, and all the possibilities it inspires for our product design.

Each Meetup group is a different swarm, made unique by the people who join it and the interests they share. The new Meetup visual identity is inspired by this concept — a brand built by the crowd. In the same way a crowd changes and grows with the people who join, Meetup is constantly evolving with our members. A company like ours can’t upgrade our branding without giving everyone in our community the chance to participate.

So, coming soon, each Meetup group will have an easy way to pick a symbol, customize it, and make the Meetup swarm their own. We hope our members and organizers love the new look as much as we do, and that it helps create great looking signs and swag, making it easier to find each other in real life.

Beyond the swarm, all the elements of our new branding system capture the spirit and energy of millions of people meeting up to do what they want to do in life. This includes the bright color palette, the duotone photo treatment, and a set of unique photos created for each of Meetup’s categories (featuring Meetup members as models).

Our new apps

The best way to experience our new look is on our apps for iOS andAndroid. The new visual identity is launching at the same time as a total overhaul of our apps. We’ve redesigned them to expose the best Meetups for our members, and to simplify the experience so that it’s easier than ever to join, RSVP, and start a Meetup.

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Meetup Redesign

At the outset of the redesign, we challenged ourselves with a dream assignment: imagine you’re creating Meetup from scratch and build an experience that lays the foundation for the future of Meetup. This was a rare opportunity to create a cohesive end-to-end experience designed to serve member and organizer needs.

The Questions:

The most important step at the outset of a project like this is formulating the right questions since each answer introduces constraints that shape the final outcome.

First and most importantly, the team decided to focus on the Meetup apps for iOS and Android. We’re not delivering on the core promise of Meetup if we’re not using location information and notifications to enrich and enhance the in-person Meetup experience. People want and expect a great Meetup app, and our team was ready to realize the possibility of Meetup as a mobile first product.

Beyond the first clear-cut decision to design mobile-first, the team probed to understand member and organizer motivations and behaviors. We conducted an expansive research phase including user research with our members and organizers, stakeholder interviews, and a company-wide survey to solicit input.

Starting the design process:

The research phase concluded with a design-led offsite involving representatives from every team. We worked in small groups to dream up product solutions to address the different phases of the member journey. In an afternoon, those dreams became paper prototypes, and that same evening, we visited Meetups all over New York City to get real-time feedback from members and organizers.

 With some new insights uncovered, we could crystallize why people are drawn to Meetup, and what our app could uniquely deliver.

An Answer We Could Build On

We learned that people love Meetup for the variety it offers, and ultimately because a Meetup group becomes an outlet for the things that matter most to people. That can include learning a new language, writing that screenplay, running a faster mile. Meetup offers access to worlds by expanding possibilities for our members.

When we mapped this project focus to the member and organizer journey, it was clear where we had the biggest opportunity. Whether you’re a new member, or someone who’s been on the platform for years, there’s something(probably many things) in our network of Meetup groups that would capture your imagination. How could we expose the best Meetups for each person? How could we get more people to join, and go, so they can have the kind of life-changing experiences that happen when people pursue what they’re into? It’s obvious why this is important for our members. But it’s equally important for our organizers, too, because it helps them attract more engaged members to their groups.

So with this redesign, we aimed to expose the breadth and depth of the Meetup network, and unlock the best of Meetup by connecting more of our members to the right experience for them. The new Meetup:

  • Shows what you’ve been missing — what’s new, trending, or happening soon
  • Makes it easier than ever to join and start a Meetup
  • Exposes the breadth of Meetups available in 24 categories
  • Seeds Meetups around what people nearby are interested in

Download for iOS and Android today and find Meetups you’ve been missing.

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Revealing Meetup’s core values

We pride ourselves on building the company we want to work for. In recent years, the team grew, we took on more ambitious projects (check out our new apps!) — and we realized it was time to better define our core values so we could clearly express what kind of company that would be.

Codifying the values became an ambitious project in itself. But on the other side of it, we ended up with a strong point of view about how we work together and what characteristics matter most when we hire new Meetuppers.

If you see something that moves you, leave us a note.

A — Always go for maximum impact on lives.

POSSIBILITY > STABILITY
We like stability, but we like the possibility of impacting more lives even more.

SCALE > EDGE
We like to care for everyone, but we like scaling and simplicity even more.

LIVES > MONEY
We like money, but we like making money in ways that strengthen the network even more.

B — Be brave & bold.

FOCUS > SPREAD
We like to take on a lot, but we like doing fewer, high priority things well even more.

ACTION > PRECISION
We like precise measurement, but we like acting when measurability is not possible even more.

PUSHY LOVED ONES > POLITE PEACEKEEPERS
We like not annoying people, but we like confidently encouraging people out of their comfort zones even more.

C — Change the company.

COURAGE > COMFORT
We like our routines and ways, but we like always improving even more.

RISK & EVOLVE > PROTECT THE PAST
We like what we’ve got, but we like making the Meetup of tomorrow even more.

SYSTEMIC FIX > ONE-OFF FIX
We like fixing things, but we like systemic fixes (small and big) even more.

D — Debate & decide.

SPEAK UP > HARMONY
We like harmony, but we like the better ideas that come from people speaking up even more.

ACTION > CONSENSUS
We like consensus, but we like action even more.

COMMIT > KVETCH
We like defending our opinions, but we like being open and recognizing when it’s time to commit (or switch teams) even more.

E — Empower everyone.

UNLEASH POTENTIAL > CONTROL PEOPLE
We like having power, but we like distributing power even more.

OWNING > WORKING
We like people who show up, but we like people who step up even more.

DECENTRALIZED > CENTRALIZED
We each like caring about everything, but we like clear roles and responsibilities even more.

F — Futurize.

BUILD FASTER TOMORROW > BUILD FAST TODAY
We like launching, but we like investing to launch faster in the future even more.

GROWING ROOTS TOGETHER > LIVE FAST, DIE YOUNG
We like hard work, but we like working hard sustainably even more.

REPUTATION > WINNING BY ANY MEANS
We like winning, but we like integrity even more.

VISION-LED >FAST-FOLLOW
We like fitting in today, but we like inventing the future even more.

M — Meetup!

TOGETHER > ALONE
We like heroic individuals, but we like rabid, amazing, caring teams even more.

EXPERIENCING > THEORIZING
We like talking about community and Meetups, but we like living it even more.

FACES > SCREENS
We like avoiding awkwardness, but the best things happen when people meetup.

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We went to the very first Hamilton Sing Along Meetup

For most people it’s enough to just see the most-buzzed-about show on Broadway, but for the die-hards of the Hamilton Sing Along Meetup, that’s only the beginning.

After the live show ends, the Hamilton score takes on a life of its own in the minds of those who hear it.  “It’s just brilliant. It’s brilliant.” the Meetup’s organizer, Ed, gushes as he conveys the catchiness of the melodies, the complexity of the lyrics.  He briefly recalls not being a fan of hip hop before seeing the show, but then breaks spontaneously into a verse, rapping, “this is not a moment, it’s a movement world. The hungriest brothers with something to prove went,” and then he laughs. 

“It happens a lot,” he says.

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The inaugural Meetup happened on a Friday evening in a Manhattan apartment belonging to Ed, who played the entire Hamilton score from start to finish on a baby grand piano in his living room, while the 17-or-so members in attendance meticulously belted every word.

For members, the Meetup offers an opportunity to experience the musical personally, over and over again.  “I consider myself to be an experiential person. I like experiences,” Ed says.  “This is such an in-the-moment thing. There are very few activities where when you’re doing them, you can’t be doing anything else.  Playing music is like that, and I thought, ‘imagine having a room full of people doing that.’”

What’s something you’ve experienced that you wish you could relive again and again?

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This Meetup is trying to drive $10 billion to conscious companies. Here’s why:

The world deserves better businesses.

The Conscious Capitalism NYC Meetup is one of 25 Meetup chapters around the world that brings like-minded people together who are interested in and support the conscious capitalism movement.

There are 4 tenets of the movement:

That a business’ higher purpose is to generate more value than just dollars

That employees, customers, the environment and the community in which the business operates are all partners in what the business should hope to achieve

That leaders should act more like servants and coaches than dictators

That company cultures should support people and be infused with care, love and kindness

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And so in order to put those ideas into practice, one of the goals Conscious Capitalism set for itself is to drive $10 billion to conscious companies by 2017.

“There’s a massive lack of trust for business in society right now, and for good reason. From corruption and lack of respect for the environment, to putting profits ahead of the issues that are important to the communities where they’re functioning. And so if we can show that conscious companies are actually the most successful companies, we can begin to change that narrative and also create a tremendous amount of value in the world.” – Daniel Dworkin, Co-organizer Conscious Capitalism NYC

Is there a movement you’re passionate about?

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#OrlandoUnited

To Meetup’s LGBTQ community,

We’re writing to share our deepest sympathies after yesterday’s tragic shooting in Orlando.

The history of the LGBTQ movement shows us that people are most powerful when they come together. There are more than 3,000 LGBTQ Meetup groups with a half million members around the world. Together, we can be powerful.

Consider scheduling an #OrlandoUnited Meetup in June to honor the victims and create a web of support this Pride Month. (Simply add #OrlandoUnited in the event name.)

Whether you’re seeking support, or can be there for someone else, showing up makes a difference.

Support each other. Community will prevail.

Schedule or RSVP.

Scott Heiferman & Brendan McGovern
Meetup Cofounders

Photo credit: The Adventuring – LGBT Outdoors Club

 

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What’s in a Meetup group logo?

If you’re looking to make your Meetup stand out, having an awesome logo is a great way to convey the purpose of the Meetup, stand out to new members and become a source of pride and recognition for the members you already have. And here’s the secret: a lot of Meetups don’t have them!  Read on to see what goes into a great logo design and to find out how to get a unique logo made for your Meetup.

 

Inside the design of a great Meetup group logo: 

This one comes from New Tech Northwest.  They went the professional route (but don’t stress, there are other options).  They had a design agency do up a design to convey these ideas:

1. The community has to feel an affinity for the logo to identify as a part of New Tech’s identity.
2. Color – Blue and Green are all you see in the Northwest and it feeds us.
3. People – a font that represents a community you feel a part of, like a favorite sports team.
4. Place – Pacific Northwest elements the community feels represent them – Mount Rainier (nature), the Space Needle (innovation) and hugely tall trees (nature). We’re only missing the water.
5. Technology – microchip fibers; the foundational highways that support the communications that drive innovation.
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Here are more examples of what some other Meetups have done:

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Designing your own logo: 

If you can’t go the professional agency route, here are some other options:

  1. Ask a super talented family member to make something for you.
  2. Reach out to your Meetup community.  There’s always someone who knows someone who knows a friends of a friend who can call in a favor.
  3. Use Fiverr. Custom logo design for as low as $5.
  4. Stay tuned for upcoming Meetup group logo templates in the next few months!

 

Share it with us!

Once you’re ready to shout it out to the world, make sure to tag #MyMeetupGroupLogo so we can see it.

Happy logo-ing!

 

 

 

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Finding Community & Beauty in a Ghost Town

Around 200 years ago thousands of people migrated to New Mexico and other western lands in search of gold, silver, copper, and turquoise.

Hundreds of towns sprang up to accommodate the rapid migration, many of which were later abandoned with as much haste.

These deserted settlements, now “Ghost Towns,” bear structures that serve as eerie and beautiful monuments to the American dream.

Ghost Towns of New Mexico

The Photographic Exploration of Ghost Towns of New Mexico Meetup brings folks with a sense of adventure and interest in history on trips to check out the remains of these towns.

Whether your interest is in exploration, local history, or photography, this Meetup delivers. Organizer Joshua started the Meetup in November 2015, and together they’ve already uncovered many local treasures, including the abandoned silver mines of Lake Valley, an endangered historic tavern, and crumbling buildings marred by roaming bison.

 

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But why drive hours out of your way to see old foundations and rusted metal?

Joshua put it best:

“…wordly travelers spend much money and time gazing at ancient stone ruins in Europe, South America, Central America, and Asia. Though New Mexico has been settled for hundreds of years, what remains of the abandoned settlements and mining towns is our ‘Machu Picchu’. That is the reason I wanted to form such a Meetup. Developing a photographic history of what NM has left before they crumble away. I feel there is just as much history and beauty in an old rusting car or an old Post office as is of a pile of stones that fell off a Greek gathering place.”

Wherever you live, you can find beauty and meaning in your local history. Why not explore it with cameras and friends?

Updates to our Community Guidelines

As part of our efforts to create a better member experience, we’ve decided that some Meetups we previously allowed will no longer be allowed. Starting today, adult photography, dating service, and pick-up artist Meetups will no longer be allowed (see more policy specifics here).  Additional updates will be announced in the weeks ahead.

Why we’re making changes

We care deeply about the quality of experiences people have on Meetup. This isn’t a throwaway line. It’s backed up by a sustained investment in the integrity of our platform. One quarter of the company works on either our Community or our Trust & Safety teams. These Meetuppers review and approve Meetups before they launch, support organizers with ongoing coaching and support, and enforce our community guidelines (Be Real, Be Respectful, Be Safe, Be Kind).

We’re inspired every single day by people meeting up coming together in common purpose to pursue their passions. To make those communities possible, and to make sure our members feel safe and supported, we need to remove groups that don’t foster that same communal spirit.

To some, the updates to our community guidelines will be unwelcome. And we accept that. Our promise is that we’ll focus on serving the most people, and work everyday to make the best experiences we can for our members and organizers.