Organizer Spotlight: Toronto Book and Brunch Club
Before she was a Meetup Organizer, Zuzana organized a book club with a group of family and friends. Instead of meeting at each others’ houses, Zuzana arranged for the group to meet at local brunch spots around Toronto. “I thought it would be fun to go around the city and try new spots,” she remembers. “Plus it alleviates the responsibility of someone having to cook for ten plus people.” The model was a hit, but after a while, she was disappointed to find the group’s attendance dropping off. “I was like, ‘you know what, screw them,’” she recalls with a giggle, “‘I’m just gonna take a leap of faith and start a group I think people will like.’” On January 6, 2013 Zuzana founded the Toronto Book and Brunch Club on Meetup. She christened her members ‘Brookies’.
“It kind of exploded,” she says of the Meetup’s beginning. The model she test drove with her first club proved successful the second time around – attendance was through the roof. “I always have 25 people,” Zuzana says. “I have to set attendance caps.”
The Meetup’s success is awesome for local restaurants too. “It’s good for new restaurant owners to get exposure,” says Zuzana. “I set up deals with restaurants for a $20 flat rate menu, and people just bring $20 cash.” She’s even set up special standing discounts with a few local restaurants. “They give us 5% off weekend brunch if you mention the ‘Brookies.’”
Today the Toronto Book and Brunch Club is over 380 bookworms strong, and the Brookies run the gamut. “It’s really diverse and fun – male and female, young and old,” says Zuzana. The Meetup’s vibe is decidedly social. Zuzana is happy to say that many members have become friends outside of the group. At the Meetups, she makes a point to keep the atmosphere light, and she credits much of her Meetup’s success to this laidback organizational approach. “Try to set a fun personality for the group” she says. “Don’t be so regimented and black and white – be flexible. Keep it fun, and just have a good time.”