Meetup Spotlight: I wanted to do that…Just not alone

justnotaloneI recently caught up with Shawn from the “I wanted to do that…Just not alone” Meetup in New York City, to find out how he keeps over 14,000 members happy after 4 years. His secret: “the key to keeping members active and engaged is consistency”.

To Shawn, being consistent means being attuned to your membership and understanding trends in your Meetup group.

Here are the three key attributes that make it work for his members:

Be welcoming: “People know when they come to our Meetups, they are going to find a friendly and engaging group of people. We work hard to create that atmosphere. Going to an unfamiliar place to meet new people can be intimidating. It’s easier when you trust that the organizer will be actively working to make sure people feel welcome.”

Keep your calendar busy: “There’s always something happening. People join Meetup because they want to do something!”

Leverage popular Meetups: “We have events that we’ve been running for years that you can expect to see twice a month, or more. Sometimes people find the thing they like, and they want to keep doing it, so we make sure it’s available for them. We actually have quite a few popular events, mostly because we run them consistently and make sure people know they can expect a good time”.

…some examples:

Democratic Dinner and a Movie: “Where members vote for which movie they’d like to see. Getting to know people over the dinner portion is the part of the evening I enjoy most.”

Museum Meetups: “People relax their guard when they’re talking about their impression of a particular piece of art or history, even if it’s just to say they like or dislike it. It’s the perfect situation to build connections.”

Water Fight in Central Park: “Each summer, there’s a huge water fight in Central Park. Hundreds of people come out- with water guns, buckets, and just about anything that can move water from one point to another- and soak each other. It’s the kind of fun that no description does justice to, and I make sure the group gets to participate each year.”

I asked Shawn if his members thank him, and he said: “Members do thank me pretty often. It’s always interesting to me, because I feel grateful for them. I usually just end up thanking them in return and letting them know that a huge part of what makes the group special are the people that come out to the Meetups.”


Andrea Murphy
Andrea works with the Community Team on outreach, education and engagement initiatives that celebrate, strengthen and broaden the community. Expect to hear from her if you're doing great things with your Meetup Group.