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.

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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.

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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,
Meetup 
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.

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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.

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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.

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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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