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)!

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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

Celebrating Fall with Meetup

Get your sweaters out and your hot apple cider ready.

Fall officially began on September 23rd, and Meetups are already celebrating the shifting seasons in style.


Photo from the Portland French Bulldog Meetup group

Check out these autumnal Meetups for inspiration:

Summer Send-off

Having an official end-of-summer Meetup is a great way to recognize the changing seasons, especially if your Meetup group is outdoors-based. Get out there and enjoy the warm temperatures one last time before it starts getting really chilly.


Last year, the Nashville Kayak Lessons Meetup group hosted a Summer Send-off Meetup, complete with a final kayak trip and bonfire.

Apple Picking

Harvesting fresh fruit while making new friends is a fantastic way to usher in the season. Get ’em while they last.


The Fit and Fun and Active Singles Meetup group went apple picking in New York State last year. 

Pumpkin Picking

If you’re looking for a family-friendly Meetup, why not take a trip to the pumpkin patch?

Many pumpkin picking locations offer additional family activities like hayrides, petting zoos, and corn mazes.  


There’s something fun for everyone, even the dapper Frenchies pictured above from the Portland French Bulldog Meetup group.

Haunted Houses

If you’d like to do something a little scarier, visit a haunted house in your area alone, or join a local Ghost Hunting Meetup and learn how to investigate paranormal activity with enthusiasts.  


Photo from last July’s Meek Mansion Meetup with the Bay Area Ghost Hunters

Don’t miss their upcoming Meetup: a guided tour of the Meek Mansion in Hayward, which is known for its paranormal activity. For newbies, they also offer a Paranormal Investigation Class

There are other ways to get in the spirit too. Crafty Girls Night In members made their own haunted houses, and the Poughkeepsie Girls Gettin’ Together found their own Headless Horsemen attraction to follow.

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Photo from last night’s Data-wiping for Good Meetup, where members got together to prepare 40+ laptops donated to their fledging coding school and the computer lab at Buch for refugee students.

From their Meetup group description: “We believe that every human being has the right to live up to their potential and to improve themselves. Our aim is to help refugees to build and expand their qualification as software developers and provide them the opportunity to work with startups and tech companies. We do this by creating a coding school. This Meetup group is to engage and organise volunteering to create a supporting community for Refugees on Rails.”

Q: Why are you called Refugees on Rails?

A: We are inspired by the Ruby on Rails open-source web framework that’s “optimized for programmer happiness and sustainable productivity”. We also want to signal movement and progress, because that is what we aspire to.

Q: What is your vision?

A: To change the perception of refugees. We wish that countries will see refugees as a blessing and as assets and hence start arguing about which country is allowed to welcome more.

Q: What is your mission?

A: A European network of tech labs for refugees teaching hundreds of people how to code. Our aim is to help refugees to self-organize and find jobs in the tech industry. We aspire to create a franchise to support the operation of these programs on a global scale.

Q: What are your core values?

A: We believe in the inherent dignity of all human beings. We believe diversity drives business innovation and human progress. We believe in co-creation and we think this is really great.

Q: How can I help?

A: Right now, by donating your laptop. We would also love your help to spread the word amongst your friends about the project.



Spotlight: Meetups in Paris

Paris is known as the city of l’amour, but it’s also home to over 1,700 Meetup groups, from French language classes to meditation picnics and comedy nights.

I took a closer look at what’s happening in Paris for you, so if you’re lucky enough to find yourself there, you can easily find a Meetup to restore your joie de vivre.

Let’s take a tour of Paris, shall we? Allons-y!

What better way to start off your morning than by brushing up on your French language skills? Geneviève, organizer of Parlons Français au café, holds a French conversation course every Thursday morning, so you can learn to speak French like a local in no time. C’est magnifique!


Once you’ve mastered your French accent, you can unwind and reconnect with your core at the BodyMindGreenYoga Meetup. They host yoga and meditation picnics every Saturday, so you’ll leave feeling relaxed and energized for the rest of your day.


If learning about French culture and history is right up your alley,  La Vie Parisienne Meetup hosts guided walks through Paris. Members rave about how much fun they have taking in the sites with a true local history buff. How can you say non to that?


For a few laughs and great company, check out Sebastian’s Paris Standup Comedy (in English) Meetup group. One member writes, “Haven’t laughed so hard in ages. Amber and Sebastian had me in tears. A must-see for anyone hankering for a hilarious anglo-saxon perspective on life in Paris.” 


And if you’re looking to get a sense of Paris’s bustling nightlife, try the Paris Bar Crawl Meetup. Nicolas hosts a bar crawl every Thursday, Friday, AND Saturday.


There’s a Meetup for just about everything in Paris.

If you join one of these awesome Meetup groups, make sure you tell them Ann from Meetup HQ sent you. À bientôt, j’espère!


Meetup International

Although Meetup is available in 180 countries, it has now truly become a global company by creating an International Team to focus on the needs of organizers and members worldwide.

The International Team consists of native language speakers and translators, copywriters, product managers, engineers and community specialists, all focused on improving the Meetup experience abroad.

The first step towards healthy international growth is localization. This means making sure Meetup’s content and experience is familiar to local members. To achieve this we hired copywriters in each of the languages we support, in order to develop an authentic brand voice. Meetup and its apps are available in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese.

We also launched Organizer Meetups in Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, BerlinMunich, and Buenos Aires to meet with organizers in person and to create a local resource for organizers to connect, share and learn from one another in their native language.


Photo of the Berlin Organisatoren Meetup

What do members Meetup about in different countries? Let’s break it down:


Photo of the Internationals in Paris Meetup


Tech Meetups are the #1 trend in France. The largest Meetup is Growth Hacking in Paris. The oldest Meetup group in France is the American Expats in Paris, created in 2002.


Photo of the Barcelona ARTivities Meetup group


The #1 topic in Spain is Language Exchange. 50% of all Meetup groups are in Barcelona. The most active Meetup group in Spain is Plan B in Barcelona, which offers fun cultural activities like hikes and weekend trips. There are over 300 Meetup groups for Language Exchange.


Photo of the Rome Explorers Meetup


It’s no surprise that the #1 category in Italy is Movement and Politics. Other popular categories are Tech and Language Exchange. Italy’s oldest Meetup group is Roma English as a second language. 65% of registrations in the last month have been made by female members.


Photo of the Munich Lego Serious Play Meetup

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Growing the largest per-capita Docker Meetup outside of the US

Reblogged with permission from Mark Coleman, the CEO of Implicit-Explicit and Co-Organizer of Docker Randstad. The article was originally published on the Implicit-Explicit blog.


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At Implicit-Explicit it’s our business to catch trends early. Following the Lean Startup scriptures, we organized the very first Docker Amsterdam Meetup in Mark Coleman’s (CEO at Implicit-Explicit) living room!

Despite the fact that nobody knew exactly what to do with Docker at the time, we ended up having to run the event over two evenings as the aforementioned living room wasn’t big enough!

Your turn

Those days are long gone. Now we’re the largest per capita Docker Meetup outside of the US and the 7th largest on Earth. That’s right. And you are just five tips away from achieving the very same.

Tip #1: Big names mean big crowds

Popular speakers have tight schedules and naturally want to go to events where they will have more impact. Now how to get those big names? Right! Good question… How do you get big names when you’ve just started? You’re just one Meetup group among many. Sending an e-mail is bound to land you in the spam folder, right? Calling? Fireworks? What?!

First we tried poaching: whenever there was a conference in town, or relevant speakers at a related Meetup group, we’d steal them. This takes a bit of persistence but if they’re in town anyway, your chances are greatly improved. Second we partnered. For us co-hosting together with Container Solutions was a smart move. Their network is large and still growing. Not to mention they provide many good Meetup speakers. Lastly, be on the look out for rising stars. Things change real fast in tech and this week’s nobody is next week’s big name. Know who these people are and pounce on them…fast.

Being able to get Bigger Names at Docker Amsterdam turned out to be the number one driver of growth. If anything, make sure you put your resources, time and efforts there.

Tip #2: Bring learning, be fun

Have you heard the one about the woman who goes to a Meetup, meets loads of new interesting people, has a great time and then refers that Meetup to everyone she knows? If our experiences are anything to go by; probably not. At Docker Amsterdam we do games, we throw around t-shirts, drink craft beers and get people to hug each other. (They are allowed to just shake hands if they’re shy…)

We do this because many Meetups are static. Too static. Speakers speak, people clap like they’re at a golf tournament and then everyone goes home. For selfish reasons we couldn’t do that. We are in the habit of transferring our considerable amounts of energy to others. So, Mark shamelessly decided to provide comedy relief in the pauses before, between and after speakers. The word soon got around. He has hosted DockerCon Europe ‘14 and will be hosting DockerCon SF ’15. Both amazing opportunities to spread the word further, wouldn’t you say?

Find someone who will do this for your Meetup group. Better yet, think hard about what makes people engage more. What makes them feel welcomed, appreciated and what will have them leave with a smile on their faces.

Tip #3: Ad hoc is a good thing

And then we thought it was necessary to have the Meetup on a fixed day each month. Very much against our own nature. We foolishly thought this was how it was supposed to be. But sure enough, routine rots. See it like this. When you’ve just found out that there’s a really good speaker in town, what do you do? Or someone from the community just got accepted for ycombinator? Do you respond with: “Oh, gosh, we don’t have a Meetup scheduled…shame…” Or do you rise to the occasion and start mobilizing the network to meetup, “anytime now!” Much to our surprise we found this really, really works. As long as the speaker is relevant you can even “have a Meetup tomorrow night! In a cafe with space for 20 people and cram 40 in anyway.”

This approach helps to keep things real and crisp. A tell-tale sign might be that these days we rarely get below 70 attendees and regularly hit 100+ before the abstracts, bios and location are even posted. So when you think regularity is good, remember that it’s actually exactly as it sounds, boring. We let opportunity and content drive the Meetup dates.

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Meetup Spotlight: Desi Empty Nesters

There are a lot of amazing Meetups out there that unite hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of people into large, vibrant communities.

But the Meetup ecosystem is also filled with smaller, more intimate groups that bring together a very specific subsection of a local community. Take the Desi Empty Nesters – NW Austin Meetup, for instance.

With a small but powerful membership of 28 people, the Desi Empty Nesters have become a dedicated and tight-knit family, where more often than not, at least half of all members attend each and every Meetup event.

We reached out to the Meetup’s organizer, Abha Sethi, to find out more about her Meetup experience. Says Abha, “I started this Meetup because my husband and I wanted to meet other couples in the Austin area who had similar backgrounds and were in the same stage of life.”

Abha has found a formula for her success: “I plan out activities that my husband and I would like to do, and talk it over with about 2 other couples.  Once I know that we will have at least 3 couples interested, I post it on the website. This way, no matter how many people can attend, we still have fun!”

They practiced their painting (and sampled some wine) on Valentine’s Day:


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Play with your Meetups

Do you consider yourself an athlete? Or perhaps you’re just a human who enjoys breathing, like me.

Meetup has sports for all levels of energy and enthusiasm, even imaginary sports.

Check out the new, modified and “improved” sports being played by Meetup members all over the world, and maybe in your backyard.

Bubble Soccer

Bubble soccer is exactly like soccer, except that you’re encased in a bubble. Seriously.


This is a picture from the Bubble Soccer Korea Meetup in Seoul, South Korea. Pretty neat, huh?

Bubble soccer is all over the world! Check it out in your community, especially if you’re into soccer and/or bouncing into people.


According to Wikipedia, in broomball “there are two teams, each consisting of six players: a goaltender and five others. The object of the game is to score more goals than the opponent.”

Thank you, Wikipedia. But it’s more than just that.

Broomball is basically the same as hockey, except you play with a broom instead of a hockey stick. And you wear sneakers instead of iceskates.

I’ve played this before and it’s awesome. Don’t take it from me, though. Check out the Omaha Broomball Club doing their thing:



If you’ve never heard of quidditch, then I assume you’re not a wizard. Or at least you think you’re not a wizard.

Fear not, there’s plenty of time to become one, and what better place to start than playing quidditch.

Based on the sport in the Harry Potter series of books, quidditch is a now a popular, full-contact sport played all over the U.S. (You can find the official rules here, mudblood.)


Check out these members of the Honolulu Quidditch Team flashing their skills.


Contrary to what you might think, pickleball is not the practice of placing tennis balls in a vinegar brine.

Rather, it’s a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. According to the Chapel Hill Pickleball Enthusiasts Meetup, it’s also “the fastest growing sport” in the U.S.


Photo from the World’s First Kitchen Tournament.

Here’s a quote from their Meetup group homepage: “Pickleball is FUN to play and EASY to learn. The game combines fitness with friendship. Humor and laughter are common. And the spirit of the game is positive and supportive. An average doubles game lasts about 15 minutes.”

Whoa! I can’t even dill with how fun that sounds.

Ok, no more pickle puns. I don’t want to be accused of dilling with this immaturely.

Runaround ping pong

Last but not least, I bring you this picture from my native New York City, of people running around a ping pong table.


As the New York Runaround Ping Pong Meetup says, this sport is for:

  • Anyone who likes to laugh. In a group of strangers and friends.
  • Anyone who likes fresh air and parks.
  • Anyone who likes helping others.
  • Anyone who is a human and enjoys breathing

Alright, I admit: I added the last bullet point there, but you get the picture.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and play with your Meetups or invent a new one.

Wizards, the same applies for you.