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.

よろしく!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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Meetup welcomes new CTO, Yvette Pasqua

Yvette Pasqua Headshot

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of Yvette Pasqua as CTO! Beginning today, she’ll lead one of the top engineering teams in New York City. Her charge is to grow and evolve the engineering organization so that Meetup’s technology continues to deliver an outstanding experience for millions of organizers and members.

Being CTO at Meetup presents a special opportunity to work on a product that enables over 200,000 Meetups to form real, local community, including 30,000 Meetups devoted to technology. According to Yvette, she’s most excited about the Meetup mission because “Meetups create community, which sparks invention, allowing people to make truly original things together.”  

Yvette first joined the Meetup platform as a member in 2004 for the NYC Pug Meetup with her dog Arthur. She remembers thinking at the time, “It was like magic. I was a first time dog owner and was instantly connected to dozens of other pug owners in my neighborhood to meetup with and ask advice.” Ten years later she was the original founder of the AKQA Tech Insight Meetup, a Meetup group to share inspiring and innovative code and software ideas with engineers in NYC and around the world.

Yvette is welcomed by a strong team of over 50 engineers who are responsible for Meetup’s growth and success to date.  But one of her most important responsibilities will be growing the team to meet the future needs and vision for Meetup (check us out!).

Prior to joining Meetup, Yvette’s career included leadership roles at startups and technology development firms, most recently overseeing Product Engineering and Design at Tinypass. Before that, Yvette spent 10 years in technology leadership roles at Schematic/Possible and AKQA, managing large teams. Yvette was responsible for leading the team who built Grindr during the early days of Grindr’s most rapid growth. She is a mobile pioneer and proven team-builder, and we look forward to seeing her thrive here.

Spotlight: Meetups in Austin

As the self-proclaimed “live music capital of the world,” it’s no secret that Austin, Texas loves to entertain, and their Meetups are no exception. 

We planned a perfect day (and evening) in Austin so you don’t have to, highlighting some of the awesome Meetups you’ll find in and around the city.


Start your morning with a hike: The Austin Sierra Club hosts morning hikes around local parks and nature preserves starting at 7:45am. Beginner hikers can check out the Canyon Creek Trailhead Hike, while more experienced ones can tackle the Barton Creek Greenbelt


Sample local fare: If you build up an appetite after all that hiking, you’ll want to check out the Trailer Friends: Exploring Tasty Food Trucks Meetup group. Their mission is to try every food truck in Austin “one funky trailer at a time”, and we fully support that.


Play a game: The Central Texas Boardgames Meetup group gets together to play everything from classic board games like Monopoly and Scrabble to strategic ones like Cosmic Encounter and Settlers of Catan. New games are always welcome, so if you’ve got a cool board game, bring it.


Express yourself: As the Doodle Dudes Austin Meetup group organizer puts it, “we’re just gonna draw a bunch of cool stuff and do our own thing with light constructive communication and feedback.” You know, Picasso and Monet had to start somewhere…


Walk away with jazz hands: When you’re in the city that prides itself on its live music, you have to check out a show. The Austin Live Jazz Meetup group combines making new friends with listening to music, which sounds like a great way to end the night.

There are over 2,000 Meetup groups in the greater Austin area, so whether you’re a long-time resident or a newcomer, you’re sure to find a Meetup that makes you feel like a local.

Meetup now available in Japanese

As of today, Meetup is officially available in Japanese on all platforms (iOS, Android and Web)!

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 10.01.01 AM

The Meetup community is growing in Japan thanks to our members and organizers. There’s never been a better time to start a new Meetup group in Japanese, and find people around you who share your passions.

“Meetup exists to help people create a world with more real community, and I have deep respect for the importance of human relationships in Japanese culture. We are very honored to see people in Japan are already using the English version of Meetup to broaden their horizons. So now we are very excited to formally launch Meetup in Japan and can’t wait to see new connections, new community, and new opportunities emerge!” Meetup’s Cofounder and CEO, Scott Heiferman said.

See instructions on how to switch to Japanese. As we launch this new language, we also want to hear from you. Please make sure to follow us and engage in conversations on our Japanese blog and Twitter account