Meetup Spotlight: Desi Empty Nesters

There are a lot of amazing Meetups out there that unite hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of people into large, vibrant communities.

But the Meetup ecosystem is also filled with smaller, more intimate groups that bring together a very specific subsection of a local community. Take the Desi Empty Nesters – NW Austin Meetup, for instance.

With a small but powerful membership of 28 people, the Desi Empty Nesters have become a dedicated and tight-knit family, where more often than not, at least half of all members attend each and every Meetup event.

We reached out to the Meetup’s organizer, Abha Sethi, to find out more about her Meetup experience. Says Abha, “I started this Meetup because my husband and I wanted to meet other couples in the Austin area who had similar backgrounds and were in the same stage of life.”

Abha has found a formula for her success: “I plan out activities that my husband and I would like to do, and talk it over with about 2 other couples.  Once I know that we will have at least 3 couples interested, I post it on the website. This way, no matter how many people can attend, we still have fun!”

They practiced their painting (and sampled some wine) on Valentine’s Day:


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Play with your Meetups

Do you consider yourself an athlete? Or perhaps you’re just a human who enjoys breathing, like me.

Meetup has sports for all levels of energy and enthusiasm, even imaginary sports.

Check out the new, modified and “improved” sports being played by Meetup members all over the world, and maybe in your backyard.

Bubble Soccer

Bubble soccer is exactly like soccer, except that you’re encased in a bubble. Seriously.


This is a picture from the Bubble Soccer Korea Meetup in Seoul, South Korea. Pretty neat, huh?

Bubble soccer is all over the world! Check it out in your community, especially if you’re into soccer and/or bouncing into people.


According to Wikipedia, in broomball “there are two teams, each consisting of six players: a goaltender and five others. The object of the game is to score more goals than the opponent.”

Thank you, Wikipedia. But it’s more than just that.

Broomball is basically the same as hockey, except you play with a broom instead of a hockey stick. And you wear sneakers instead of iceskates.

I’ve played this before and it’s awesome. Don’t take it from me, though. Check out the Omaha Broomball Club doing their thing:



If you’ve never heard of quidditch, then I assume you’re not a wizard. Or at least you think you’re not a wizard.

Fear not, there’s plenty of time to become one, and what better place to start than playing quidditch.

Based on the sport in the Harry Potter series of books, quidditch is a now a popular, full-contact sport played all over the U.S. (You can find the official rules here, mudblood.)


Check out these members of the Honolulu Quidditch Team flashing their skills.


Contrary to what you might think, pickleball is not the practice of placing tennis balls in a vinegar brine.

Rather, it’s a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. According to the Chapel Hill Pickleball Enthusiasts Meetup, it’s also “the fastest growing sport” in the U.S.


Photo from the World’s First Kitchen Tournament.

Here’s a quote from their Meetup group homepage: “Pickleball is FUN to play and EASY to learn. The game combines fitness with friendship. Humor and laughter are common. And the spirit of the game is positive and supportive. An average doubles game lasts about 15 minutes.”

Whoa! I can’t even dill with how fun that sounds.

Ok, no more pickle puns. I don’t want to be accused of dilling with this immaturely.

Runaround ping pong

Last but not least, I bring you this picture from my native New York City, of people running around a ping pong table.


As the New York Runaround Ping Pong Meetup says, this sport is for:

  • Anyone who likes to laugh. In a group of strangers and friends.
  • Anyone who likes fresh air and parks.
  • Anyone who likes helping others.
  • Anyone who is a human and enjoys breathing

Alright, I admit: I added the last bullet point there, but you get the picture.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and play with your Meetups or invent a new one.

Wizards, the same applies for you.

Meetup’s Hidden Features

The Community Team fields feature suggestions from organizers regularly, but it’s not unusual to receive a feature request for a tool we already have on site.

Some features are less often utilized and therefore a little harder to find, or only available on certain platforms.

For example, did you know you can check members into your Meetups on the Android app and via Mobile Web? Now you can.

Read on to discover a few hidden organizer tools you’ll find on the desktop site, which are helpful when it comes to learning more about your members, sharing documents, and promoting your Meetups.


Polls allow you to collect anonymous feedback to plan great Meetups and learn more about your members. Members can vote on the best weekend for a hiking trek, help you select reading material for a book club, choose between activities or even vote up the perfect venue for a party.

You can also ask high level questions for even more insight, like what makes your Meetups most valuable to your members.

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You’ll find the Polls feature under the More tab from your Meetup group’s homepage.

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File sharing

Let’s say you’re at a Cooking & Recipes Meetup when one thing leads to another and suddenly you’re claiming your grandmother’s banana bread is the best thing since sliced bread.

You can upload the recipe directly to your Meetup group so members can judge for themselves.

The Files page allows members to share documents and files with one another like music or even writing materials. Organizers can upload relevant membership documentation and send a link for each individual file to their members. They can also limit access to those files by making them only available to members of the Meetup group, or only to the leadership team.

Also located under More.

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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.

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.


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:

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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.


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.


Photo credit: Claude

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.


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.


 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:

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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.

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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.



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.