As 2014 winds down, we decided to take a look at the year in review, according to our data. Our team dug into Meetup group category growth by state to get a feel for America’s shifting interests landscape over the past twelve months. The results were more varied and interesting than we ever could have imagined…
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and there’s so much that we’re thankful for. Mostly, as we enter this holiday season, we’re thankful for the Meetup community—for the 20 million members and organizers bringing community to life in neighborhoods around the world. And this Thanksgiving, over 300 Meetups will be giving back to those neighborhoods, volunteering their time and energy in the spirit of the season. We caught up with organizers behind four of those Meetups to learn more.
In DC, the Beautiful Brown Girls Brunch Club Meetup will be serving up a meal at a local homeless mission and doing some holiday decorating to boot. “When the holidays came around we wanted to make sure we weren’t just thinking of ourselves, but also providing opportunities for our members to give back,” explains organizer Christina. “Our Meetup’s mission is to empower and build each other up, and we take that to heart outside of our membership, as well. It’s all about loving our community, loving ourselves, and loving each other.”
Also in DC, the Embassy Events in DC for Young Professionals Meetup will be preparing, packaging, and delivering meals to elderly people in the community. “One thing I’ve learned about charity,” says Greg, the Meetup’s organizer, “is that people can give money and that’s great, but what they really enjoy is going out into the community to do things.” Volunteering, Greg explains, allows his members to connect with their charitable-minded peers. “People want to make friends with people who think like them, who are willing to give up time on their holiday to do something for others—it shows there are people out there who care.”
Jennifer is anything but socially awkward. The Meetup she organizes is jam packed with awesome activities—even outgoing locals would call it one of the most active and fun loving groups in Memphis. You’d never guess that Jennifer heads up the Memphis Shy Guys Meetup— A Group for the Shy and Socially Awkward.
While Meetup might seem like a strange destination for those with social anxiety—face to face interactions with strangers?!— it works wonders for members, and Jennifer’s Shy Guys are proof. Her members come out in droves for Meetups like ‘Trivia Night’ and ‘Salsa Dancing’—not exactly activities for the faint of heart. There are over 600 Social Anxiety Meetups, and over 400 Shyness Meetups worldwide. Some of them are public, some of them are private, but all of them are designed to support members through a fear of social situations.