No one ever said building stuff was easy (except maybe this guy). It takes passion, dedication and commitment, but here’s the good news: you’ve already got all that (you’re here, aren’t you?). The only thing you need to do now is surround yourself with more people like you.
For every interest that exists, whether it’s fun, adventurous, quiet, inspiring, nerdy, beautiful, sad, serious or just plain weird, there are tons of people everywhere looking to participate.
Here’s some advice about how to start a successful Meetup, build a thriving community and find your people:
Hack #1: Meetup regularly, and mix things up
Make sure you have enough Meetups scheduled to stay on your members’ radar, but also vary the format and topics of each Meetup to keep your community engaged and excited.
Hack #2: Treat members as true members, not just audience members.
Think of the best kinds of Meetups as circles of people talking, rather than rows of people listening. Don’t get us wrong, we love interviews, speakers and panels of all kinds, but we love it even more when people interact with one another and get to know each other. Things like welcoming members, thanking them for coming, giving them responsibility, or providing them opportunities to host or organize future Meetups is a great way to keep people interested and engaged. Which leads us to our next point…
Hack #3: Build a leadership team
Single leaders are great, but a few are even better. A community that distributes power and responsibility to its members is stronger than one that doesn’t.
A lot of organizers are daunted by the need to always think of new activities. Adding interested members to the leadership team brings in new ideas and distributes the workload.
Hack #4: Don’t worry about size
Meetups come in all sizes. Even 1,000-member Meetup groups start off with a single person. Small groups allow every member to have a voice, be heard, and form more meaningful connections.
Pro tip: With consistency, commitment, and time, your Meetup will continue to grow. When it does, a good tip for boosting demand for your Meetups is to allow membership to grow as big as possible, while limiting RSVP numbers per Meetup event.
Hack #5: Charge
Charging members for Meetups helps in a two ways: First, it makes it more likely that members will show up. Second, it can provide the organizer with resources to improve the experience (refreshments, space rental, etc.).
Hack #6: Promote your Meetup
Meetup offers you the platform, the tools, and we’ll even announce your group Meetup group to existing members who share similar interests, but the organizers who take the extra steps to promote their Meetups are the ones who find the most success.
Pro tip: Pitch your group to local journalists to earn some extra exposure. Here are some tips on how to do that.
Every day, hundreds of people start Meetups to meet new people, pursue their passions and change their lives.
You could be one of them.