Meetup Spotlight: NYC Guerilla Love Notes

As a Community Specialist at Meetup, I learn a lot about what people like to do with others. In fact, a big part of my day is spent going through newly created Meetups. It’s always really interesting, but occasionally I come across something that really surprises me.

NYC Guerilla Love Notes is one such Meetup. Here’s an excerpt from their Meetup description:

Looking for those who want a way to hail + celebrate the good stuff and keep it going.  We’ll meet up once a month in Bryant Park to craft + decorate notes, postcards and letters of love, support, thanks + encouragement for strangers, friends + family, estranged folk, those serving overseas, prisoners, our elderly, the super, the mailperson, the middle school teacher, the barista, the MTA driver. What’s a job you’d hate to have? Let’s thank THAT person.

Here was a community formed with the sole purpose of making others feel a part of a community. I was inspired! I joined and RSVPed to the next Meetup.

highres_439895035-1

When I arrived, I found a small group gathered in the shade of some umbrellas. Jennifer, the organizer, handed me an envelope with my name on it. Inside was a handwritten card thanking me for coming. People introduced themselves, and then I sat down and started writing a letter.

Friendly conversation was sparked by Jennifer asking each person, “What’s been your favorite part of your day so far?” And an hour later, I’d made some mediocre love notes (not Jennifer’s fault), met some interesting new people (every borough but Staten Island was represented), and felt great about living in New York City.

I followed up with Jennifer after the Meetup with some questions:

Continue Reading →

Foolproof Summertime Meetups

There are lots of variables that make summertime Meetups a challenge for organizers. There are vacation schedules to contend with, unpredictable weather, and competing local and regional events that can distract your members from your Meetup’s usual routine.

That said, festivals, fairs, and concerts can also be great opportunities to take advantage of the weather and engage with your members in new surroundings. It also takes the pressure of heavy duty planning off of you.

Check out your local community calendar or regional news sites for ideas.

lafree

Los Angeles Free Concerts 

Too hot for you? Beat the heat

Track down venues with great air conditioning to escape the hottest part of the day. For something a little more active, try an indoor roller rink or bowling alley.

la30

20 and 30 Somethings Los Angeles

No need to fly solo

If you’re going out of town, ask members to pitch in. You can easily appoint an enthusiastic member as Event Host to manage communications and logistics while you’re away.

Washington DC History & Culture Meetup

Have a backup plan

Summer storms can put a damper on an outdoor Meetup. If the weather forecast isn’t looking great, have a nearby indoor spot in mind in case you need to relocate.

southdenversocial

South Denver Social Club

Stay safe, healthy and hydrated 

Remind members to bring plenty of water and sunscreen for outdoor Meetups. If you’re planning to take your members on a hike or excursion for the first time, don’t be shy! Reach out to a local Hiking Meetup expert for advice.

chicagohiking

 Chicago Hiking, Outdoors and Social Group

Tips on being a great Meetup host

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or you’re gearing up to host your very first Meetup, it’s good to have a few secret weapons up your sleeve to make sure it’s a success.

Hosting an awesome Meetup involves tons of moving parts, from choosing the right date and finding a venue, to helping new members feel welcome and included.

The Community Team at Meetup HQ hears all about what works and doesn’t work from our members.

Here are some of our favorite tips:

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 12.35.11 PM

Melbourne Creative Professionals Meetup

Be visible.

One of these best things about Meetups? Meeting new people. One of the hardest things about attending a new Meetup? Finding those people.

Make sure members can find you. Have a sign at your table, or provide name tags for your members. It not only helps attendees find your Meetup group, but it can also attract curious new members.

Continue Reading →

oldudes

Old Dudes on Dirtbikes is a Meetup based in Spring, Texas that brings together a wide age range of older riders, which makes it stand out from the pack (early 30’s to mid 70’s).

Their Meetup is not just about getting older riders together, they work with the Sam Houston National Forestry Service to remove debris and cut down fallen trees on their multi-use trails.

These members are improving roads less traveled, one Meetup at a time. Proving, once again, that great things happen when people Meetup.

 

5 Ways to Celebrate Summer with Meetup

We’re 9 days into Summer already. It’s time to get moving, try something new, explore your neighborhood and treat yourself to some serious summer fun, Meetup style.

yogaphoto

Get moving

Fitness Meetup groups sport more Meetups per month than most other groups. You’re bound to find something to get your heart rate up that fits nicely into your schedule.

Play recess at a bubble soccer game or join a dodgeball league. New moms can get down with stroller fitness.

Or, embrace the zen, like these Central Park yogis.

 

paddle

 Try Something New

We all feel a little more adventurous this time of year. As temperatures rise, so does that restless voice inside urging us to live a little.

Outdoor Adventure Meetups thrive during this time of year, and boast extra high RSVPs, so it’s the perfect time to jump outside your comfort zone, and meet fellow thrill seekers.

The Beach Bum Social Club takes in beautiful views while paddle boarding in Naples, Florida.

…and once you’ve mastered that, you can move on to ATVs, climbing, or even spearfishing.
hiking

(Photo courtesy of Hiking Hikers member Chris)

Explore

The Hiking Hikers Hiking Group of Phoenix, Arizona, is arguably the most aptly named Meetup of all time. With 98 upcoming Meetups, they understand the value of embracing opportunity, going somewhere new, taking in the sights and seeing what’s out there.

While gearing up for a recent hike, the host reminded members, “As always, bring…your sense of adventure!”

cleanup

 Stay local

Members of the Lend a Hand Volunteers Meetup—who call themselves ‘World Changers’—know they can make a big difference close to home.

Our neighborhoods are never as vibrant and alive as they are right now, so show them some love. Clean up a local beach, like the World Changers in Tampa, maintain a trail, or grow something at your local community garden.

tapas

Treat Yourself

If you’ve gotten this far and you still aren’t beat, remember you can also find your people indulging in the simple things. Take a cue from these Tapas Lovers from Madrid, Spain: sit back, relax…and enjoy your Summer. On Meetup.

Meetup Spotlight: Curious Kat’s Adventure Club

curiouskatWe recently connected with Kat, who organizes Curious Kat’s Adventure Club, one of the most active and successful Adventure Meetups in London.

At last count, her Meetup has over 6,000 members and she’s hosted 391 Meetups in just three short years.

New organizers and old organizers alike can benefit from her simple but sage advice on creating compelling Meetups and how to keep things ‘curiouser and curiouser’.

Origins

Meetup: What prompted you to start this Meetup?

Kat: One weekend I really wanted to go hiking but was not able to get a place on the hiking events as they were all full. I rounded up a couple of friends and we went to the location together, without a proper map or any idea what we were doing. We found the way and had a great day. It made me realise that I am a natural at it and if I put a bit more effort I could actually run a group myself. As my interests are varied I slowly started expanding and adding different types of Meetups until I realised that the sky was the limit.

Curious Kat’s Adventure Club is a community of interesting and curious people who like to explore London, England, and – let’s think big – the world in general. We tell members: If you would like to live your life to the fullest, have fun, make new friends and meet like minded people, then this is the place for you.

Know your Members

Meetup: Your Meetup’s location is certainly helpful in finding unique activities and Meetup ideas. How would you advise an Organizer in a more remote or challenging location?

Kat: That’s a very difficult question as I haven’t got any experience with running a group in a remote location. But knowing your group members and understanding their needs is the key. So I would advise them to learn as much as possible about their community.

skyadventure

Agent November – Spy Adventure

Continue Reading →

Meetup Spotlight: South Jersey Writers’ Group

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 11.48.36 AM

 

amyhighres_30940342

Amy Hollinger has been running The South Jersey Writers’ Group since 2009. It’s a close knit Meetup of 97 writing enthusiasts in Bellmawr, New Jersey.

She was a seasoned Organizer when she took over the Meetup group, having already built and run Get Out Philly, one of the largest and most active outdoors and adventure Meetups in New Jersey.

Her experience running both Meetups taught her important lessons in how to build a leadership team and manage community effectively. We asked her a few key questions recently, to find out more about her team building strategy, structure, roles and responsibilities.

How is your Meetup group’s leadership team structured?

SJWG is a non-profit corporation, which came out of our need to have a designated space. We outgrew five coffee shops in four years. We started charging dues so we could rent a community center. It has been beyond successful, so we incorporated as a non-profit for accountability, to share the responsibility, and so the organization can continue without *me*. Our co-organizers are also members of the Board of Trustees.

The Leadership Team structure: 

President: me, the Organizer

Vice President: who also handles programs and plans our main meeting every month

Membership Director: who approves new members, records dues paid in person, and handles questions from non-members about how to join

Treasurer: who co-manages the WePay account

Community Outreach Trustee: who helps to increase our audience in the area, planning workshops and programs for non-members (and is an Assistant Organizer)

Communications Trustee: who compiles newsletters and press releases

Event Hosts: who are volunteers, generally focused on one particular topic each month

Continue Reading →