“…the thing about cancer is, it’s the club you didn’t want to join”

We host Organizer Lunches regularly at Meetup HQ. It’s a time for us to come together as a company and a community to share a meal and swap stories with local Meetup organizers.

At our most recent lunch, we met Mina Okpi who runs the Young Adult Cancer Collective in New York City, a Meetup group for Millenials with cancer. 

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She was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2015, and her life changed overnight. Her health deteriorated, she felt isolated, and she withdrew from her friends. She sought out traditional support groups, but they were often in hospital settings, served an older age group, and did not meet her needs.

She knew something needed to change, “if you can’t get yourself out of bed every day, you are not going to do as well with your treatment.” So she started a Meetup specifically focused on Millenials, and found members who were going through the same sense of isolation from their healthy peers.

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Why January Matters at Meetup

January is a very important time at Meetup. Think of all the folks you know making resolutions to get fit, volunteer more, spend time outdoors, take on a hobby, travel or write.

It’s a time for fresh starts for organizers and members alike.

With so many people joining Meetup in January, the tone you set for your Meetup group now will resonate throughout the year.  

The most important thing you can do is get a Meetup on the calendar in January. Now is the time to capitalize on that momentum. 

It‘s also a great time to give your Meetup a makeover and energize your existing membership. Here are a few key tips:

Dust off your Meetup group descriptionReflect on how your Meetup’s focus may have changed over time, and update your description accordingly. Tell your Meetup story, and make sure it’s clear who should join and what to expect from membership.

Also, make sure any offsite resources or images you’re featuring on your homepage are up to date.

Freshen up your topics: Topics play a key roll in attracting new members. They also affect how your Meetup group is listed on the site and indexed by search engines.

Make sure they accurately reflect your membership base so we can recommend your Meetups to people who are mostly likely to join your group.

Reach out to your members: Set intentions for the new year by sending a friendly note to members about your plans. Encourage members to invite a friend by sharing on their social networks or through the ‘Invite Friends’ tool.


Photo from Sydney Social Kayaking, NYE Fireworks Paddle on Sydney Harbor Meetup

Set your Meetup group up for a great 2016!

And for those of you just joining us, where’ve you been? We have over 200,000 ways Meetup can make your life better in 2016.

Resolve to Meetup.

Meetup HQ on the town

We’re always looking for unique ways to thank our organizers and connect with our members. Sometimes we take them by surprise on what we affectionately call ‘Meetup Crawls’.

It’s kind of like photobombing, only better. Meetup Crawls are for new and old Meetuppers alike to get together as a team, and spend an evening visiting local Meetup groups unannounced.

Crawls are important to us because it’s an opportunity to hear some great Meetup stories, shower our organizers with gifts and praise, and witness the diversity of Meetups in our hometown of New York City.

Here are a few highlights from our most recent outing:

Taco Thursdays (& Tuesdays)

Taco Tuesday

Taco Thursdays (& Tuesdays) welcomed us with open arms, as they do all new members. This Meetup group is all about sharing food and fun conversation. After just a few minutes it was obvious how open and inviting they were as a community. What a simple and brilliant idea! Provided you like tacos, of course. 

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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.


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.


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!

Members Only Meetup


We celebrated the passing of another wonderful year with a members only party on the rooftop of HQ, featuring four spectacular performance based Meetup groups.


We kicked it off with the Brooklyn Accordion Club Meetup, who played their beautiful and intricate instruments (affectionately referred to as ‘squeezeboxes’) together as a quartet called Bachtopus. As the sun went down, two fantastic solo artists surprised us by performing their original works. Pictured above is Mary Spencer Knapp of Toot Sweet.


They were followed by the enormously talented singer songwriters of the NYC Guitar Meetup Group with Charlie Allenson (co-Organizer) and members John Traynor (pictured above), Jay Verkuilen, Steve Baker and Annie Haden.


Then came the delightful and infectious grooves of the Westchester County Bluegrass Jam Meetup, led by Organizer and Chief Picker, Tara Linhardt.


And last, but certainly not least, the Gotham Rock Choir Meetup brought down the house (or rather, raised the roof) by belting out, “Uptown Funk,” “Living On A Prayer” and, as a giant roof-top sing along, “Joy To The World” (by Three Dog Night, of course).

The choir was founded in 2009 “to provide an alternative to traditional choirs and to give choral singing a much-needed sense of cool”. It was such a great show, they acquired several new members before they even left the rooftop.

It was truly a night to remember with the gorgeous New York City skyline as a backdrop. Thanks to all of those who came to celebrate and jam with us.

Cheers to another year of epic Meetups!



All of your Friends at Meetup HQ

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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When it comes to email, less is more

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Over the years, email has been our main way of letting you know what’s going on. Sometimes there’s a lot going on. So we send a lot of email. Not only is a lot of email annoying, but it also makes it harder to find what’s really important to you.

We get it. We’ve been working on it. And we’re making some changes.

Get less email in a smarter way

We’re working to crack the code to keep your inbox clearer without you missing out on what you want to see. To start, we’re rolling up suggestions and announcements so you’re not seeing each one separately.

See the latest news when you need it most

Now you’ll always see what’s most important right away—like a venue change, timing update, a message from your organizer, or comments posted while you’re still meeting up. The Meetup app lets you see these updates as push notifications. Without the app, you’ll still see the latest as emails while on the go.

Expect to hear less from us very soon.


Each quarter we host an all staff meeting and family style lunch at Meetup HQ with select local organizers. It’s a fireside chat moderated by Meetup’s CEO and co-founder, Scott Heiferman.

This past week we heard about the fantastic Meetup journeys of three organizers: Ria from Blood Ink: A Horror Writer’s Collective, Josh from Texpats NYC, and Bridget from the Irish/British Genealogy Meetup group.

This was a quiet moment right before things got started.

Thanks to all three organizers for stepping up, telling their wonderful stories, inspiring their members, and being an inspiration to us too.


Announcing Meetup Pro

Putting the power of Meetup to work for Organizations

For years, companies and organizations have wanted to use the Meetup platform to build community around their brand. Today, we’re thrilled to announce a new product offering that allows companies to meaningfully engage with their fans and followers in real life: Meetup Pro.

Meetup Pro helps organizations transform their audience into a community. Now organizations can manage, grow and measure face to face engagement with their fans and followers.


With Meetup Pro, organizations can now:

  • Launch Meetups in towns and cities around the world under a centralized account
  • Visualize Meetup activity on a single responsive webpage showcasing their growing communities as well as who’s hosting

Coming soon:

  • Analytics and reporting that help visualize key network metrics based on member engagement and activity
  • Tools that allow community professionals to communicate with local Meetup leaders and members to spread good news, provide support, and gather feedback
  • The ability to sort member information based on different behaviors or activity levels, and view individual member profiles

Along with targeted promotion within Meetup’s network of over 20 million members, we offer a decade’s worth of learning about what it takes for in-person communities to thrive.

Building community is our mission. We’re excited to help organizations with similar values develop a deeper level of engagement with customers, fans, and followers, forming meaningful connections to create real communities.

If you’re interested in how Meetup Pro can help you, contact us at partner@meetup.com or go to meetup.com/pro for more information.

Introducing Meetup’s Apple Watch app

Making Meetup easier and more fun to use on mobile devices has been our top priority for 2015.

Today we’re excited to introduce Meetup’s Apple Watch app, which has the most important information about your Meetups where and when you need it most: at a glance, on your wrist.


The app allows you to RSVP, see who’s attending, browse your Meetup groups and receive notifications. Tilt your wrist to:

  • Get notified of last minute Meetup time and location changes
  • Find out when a spot opens up on the waiting list
  • Use the map to find your way to your Meetup

Download Meetup for iOS on your iPhone here. If you have Apple Watch, the new Meetup app will automatically show up. You’ll find it featured by Apple on launch day.

Not an iOS user? Get the Android app with support for Android Wear here.