Pardon the turkey – it’s world vegan month

November has thirty solid days of celebrations revolving around bravery, consumption, and facial hair.

Did you know it’s also World Vegan Month?

This Thanksgiving, as millions tune in to watch the pardoning of a single turkey, let’s learn how to live a poultry free life through the holidays (and beyond) with the Vegan Gents.


Danny and Manny are a plant based cook and fitness instructor duo who host the Tampa Vegan and Plant-based Meetup to empower local vegans and vegan-curious to learn how to make delicious, healthy meals.

How they got started: “We were having a hard time finding a group that fit these standards: veganism, compassion, modernism…but most importantly, open-mindedness.”

How it works: “We offer more than a place to get together, we offer a place to have a healthy discussion and educate one another. A place where both vegans and vegan-curious can come together to learn, share and EAT, of course. We enjoy a hands-on approach. We believe that seeing, smelling and tasting play a major role in retaining information, so we try our best to incorporate all three senses into each Meetup.”

How they celebrate Thanksgiving: “Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays. Being vegan only elevated our levels of creativity, forcing us to find new and inventive methods to make the feast happen. We start the day off with croissants and cheese (vegan, of course) served with mimosas, sparkling water and homemade jam. Then we turn on the stove and let the cooking begin. Danny and I are blessed to have a great support system of family members and friends with which to share this lifestyle, along with the great people we’ve met on our Meetup adventures.”

Danny and Manny, we’re so thankful for you. Is it too late to claim a seat at your table?

Meetup Spotlight: People’s Climate Movement Barcelona

As the capital of the Catalonia region, and the second largest city in Spain, Barcelona thrives as one of the world’s most captivating cities.

Between its vibrant architecture, its flavorful cuisine, and its dynamic culture, it’s no wonder that this Mediterranean city is home to over 50% of all Meetup groups in Spain.


We recently had the opportunity to interview Yve Ramirez, co-organizer and founding member of the People’s Climate Movement Barcelona Meetup group which is a stand out within the Community & Environment category.

As its description states, it’s an “inclusive, horizontal, peaceful, creative & positive grassroots movement, coordinated by 350 BCN, a local action group from” Their meetings range from movie screenings, to marches, to workshops on sustainability and Twitter discussions on the importance of climate action.

Meetup: Tell me about the mission of the People’s Climate Movement Barcelona.

Yve: Sure! This Meetup group is a part of, a global grassroots movement in over 188 countries. Our chapter is looking to propel a movement against climate change, starting with Barcelona, and working with our global partners to spread the mission around the planet. Through the Meetup group, we’ve been able to promote our activities and actions further than our usual membership. Our message relates to the reduction of CO2 emissions, and most importantly, the need for citizen actions in all levels to achieve a change in our global economic and social model.

Meetup: How long have you been the co-organizer of the People’s Climate Movement Barcelona Meetup group?

Yve: We created the group on November 8th, 2014 and I’ve been the co-organizer of the group ever since. So far, we’ve hosted 14 different Meetups, which may not seem like much, but we put a lot of effort into hosting events that are impactful and educational, which can often take a lot of planning.

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Spooky Meetups

We know. It’s almost Halloween, and you’re too excited. You’re consuming science fiction novels at an alarming rate. You’re flying through The Walking Dead on Netflix. You’ve been prepping for your office costume contest for months, and this year, you’re going to win.

At Meetup, we think you shouldn’t wait a moment longer–every day can be as eerie as October 31st. Whether you’re ghost hunting in deserted cemeteries and haunted houses, stargazing in the hopes of spotting a UFO, getting creative by writing a scary story, or kicking back and watching a horror movie, take a look at how the Meetup community indulges in their spookiest hobbies:

The Colorado Ghost Hunting Meetup group host paranormal investigations regularly for amateurs and professionals, providing ample opportunities for members to get started or hone their craft. They recently met up for the 4th Annual Spirits of Colorado Paranormal Convention — the largest convention of its kind in Colorado. There were “over twenty paranormal events to choose from including classes, forums, ghost hunts, workshops, psychic readings, plus a midnight seance & slumber party for those brave enough to stay the night!” Sweet dreams are made of this for some Meetuppers:


The Brooklyn Paranormal Society Meetup, and it’s merry band of Boo-zers, has explored Greenwood Cemetery, Fort Greene Park, and Prospect Park on foot. Their mission: “The Brooklyn Paranormal Society was founded in 2015 by inexperienced investigators with a common vision of finding ghosts while inebriated.” This November they will venture out to Mount Misery in Long Island to investigate spooky action at a site where not one but two hospitals burnt down in the past 300 years. Eek.


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Green Meetups

Looking for ways to live a greener, more Earth-friendly life?

Whether you want to grow a sustainable garden, swap clothes with your neighbors, or find a community of fellow entrepreneurs ready to change the world, we’ve highlighted a few Meetups doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint and live a healthier, happier life on our beautiful planet.

The Maine Trash Runners


How they’re saving our planet: They’re making Maine a little cleaner and getting exercise too!

What they say:

Ever notice how much trash there is when you’re out on your morning walk, jog, run, bike ride, hike, skip, etc.? Well, there is A LOT! That’s where the Maine Trash Runners come in. We come from all walks of life and all different backgrounds, but we have a shared passion for taking care of our environment. And it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you think you may be, its all about getting some exercise, picking up some trash, and having a fun while doing it.”

Makes me want to put on my running shoes and clean up the trash in my Brooklyn neighborhood. Now if only I can find where I put them…

Dallas Sustainable Living & Organic Gardening


How they’re saving our planet: They offer workshops on everything from how to become a farmer to creating an urban co-housing community.

What they say:

“Meet other local people who are making their lives more sustainable–whether in leaps or tiny steps. We are interested in many areas of sustainable living: organic gardening, permaculture, starting a green community, homesteading, lobbying our political leaders to create a more sustainable environment, climate change, peak 0il, and preparedness.

Most of us are urban or exurban dwellers who are trying to create a positive impact on our environment and develop varied degrees of self sufficiency. Some of us are also interested in creating/moving to a sustainable eco-community.”

Here’s a Meetup that inspired me to finally plant those squash seeds I bought: Front Yard Herb Spiral Workshop.

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How to Grow a User Group

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 10.38.28 AMReblogged with permission from Ray Hightower, Organizer of the Chicago Ruby Meetup. The article was originally published on the blog. 

The current team of ChicagoRuby organizers assumed leadership in August 2007. Back then, typical monthly attendance was about five people and the group’s Meetup database contained 78 members. The previous organizer was swamped with work at his day job, so he handed the baton to a new crew.

Today, the new crew has grown ChicagoRuby to over 3,500 members. The group hosts six meetups every month, and the downtown meetings consistently max out the 100-person RSVP limit. Bonus: ChicagoRuby hosts two conferences, WindyCityRails in Chicago and RubyCaribe on the Caribbean island of Barbados.

How does ChicagoRuby do it? Through consistency, teamwork, iteration, and learning from mistakes.

Be Consistent With Meetings

Consistency is very difficult in the beginning, especially on that night when only three people show up for the meeting. I have hosted a 3-person ChicagoRuby meeting before. Consistency is hard, and it is also the most important factor in user group success.

People trust consistency. Consistent meetings grow groups.

Members of ChicagoRuby know that we meet on the first Tuesday of every month downtown, the third Saturday of every month in Elmhurst, and one evening per month for the hack night. Members can plan their schedules months in advance because the ChicagoRuby calendar is consistent. Consistency builds trust.

ChicagoRuby cancelled one meeting in January 2011 due to a killer snow storm in Chicago. We were forced to cancel because the property manager shut the entire building down. We’re a little bit stubborn about consistency. And that’s how we build trust.

Yes, there will be times when the organizer is too exhausted to run an upcoming meeting. That’s why it’s important to share the work by building a team.

Build the Team

ChicagoRuby believes in sharing the work amongst multiple organizers. The group is stronger with several brains at the helm. Today we have twelve organizers. Working as a team enables us to benefit from each other’s strengths. Some organizers have strong design skills, others are strong developers. And some are good at asking members for help.

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Spotlight: The Tokyo Spontaneous Hangout Meetup

There are close to 1,800 Meetup groups in Japan with Language, Ethnic Identity and Socializing as the most common categories.

On October 1st, we launched Japanese on all of our platforms.

やろしく!We’re looking forward to seeing what kinds of new Meetups start up. 

Today we’d love to share one very popular Meetup group called The Tokyo Spontaneous Hangout, which was started in 2011 by Aki and currently has over 8,600 members.


Spontaneous…friendship combustion! Look at sparks fly at a recent BBQ Meetup in Yumenoshima Park at the bank of Tokyo Bay.

We reached out to the current organizer Allon. When asked about the focus of the Meetup, he said it’s to “offer a great variety of types of events and venues and in doing so offer a wide variety of activities and opportunities for members to join and hopefully enjoy.”

They are a very active Meetup group hosting approximately 30 Meetups per month. He also makes it a point to garner member interest and engagement by taking suggestions from members.

His personal favorites are outdoor picnics: “Every Meetup feels like I’m going out and having a good time through meeting regular and new members so generally they’re all fun but, being very fond of nature and the outdoors, my favorites are the picnics, night picnics and BBQ’s.”


Gearing up for a day of Parkour


Enjoying a sake brewery tour and tasting


Picnicking and playing cards at Yoyogi Park

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Celebrating Fall with Meetup

Get your sweaters out and your hot apple cider ready.

Fall officially began on September 23rd, and Meetups are already celebrating the shifting seasons in style.


Photo from the Portland French Bulldog Meetup group

Check out these autumnal Meetups for inspiration:

Summer Send-off

Having an official end-of-summer Meetup is a great way to recognize the changing seasons, especially if your Meetup group is outdoors-based. Get out there and enjoy the warm temperatures one last time before it starts getting really chilly.


Last year, the Nashville Kayak Lessons Meetup group hosted a Summer Send-off Meetup, complete with a final kayak trip and bonfire.

Apple Picking

Harvesting fresh fruit while making new friends is a fantastic way to usher in the season. Get ’em while they last.


The Fit and Fun and Active Singles Meetup group went apple picking in New York State last year. 

Pumpkin Picking

If you’re looking for a family-friendly Meetup, why not take a trip to the pumpkin patch?

Many pumpkin picking locations offer additional family activities like hayrides, petting zoos, and corn mazes.  


There’s something fun for everyone, even the dapper Frenchies pictured above from the Portland French Bulldog Meetup group.

Haunted Houses

If you’d like to do something a little scarier, visit a haunted house in your area alone, or join a local Ghost Hunting Meetup and learn how to investigate paranormal activity with enthusiasts.  


Photo from last July’s Meek Mansion Meetup with the Bay Area Ghost Hunters

Don’t miss their upcoming Meetup: a guided tour of the Meek Mansion in Hayward, which is known for its paranormal activity. For newbies, they also offer a Paranormal Investigation Class

There are other ways to get in the spirit too. Crafty Girls Night In members made their own haunted houses, and the Poughkeepsie Girls Gettin’ Together found their own Headless Horsemen attraction to follow.

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Photo from last night’s Data-wiping for Good Meetup, where members got together to prepare 40+ laptops donated to their fledging coding school and the computer lab at Buch for refugee students.

From their Meetup group description: “We believe that every human being has the right to live up to their potential and to improve themselves. Our aim is to help refugees to build and expand their qualification as software developers and provide them the opportunity to work with startups and tech companies. We do this by creating a coding school. This Meetup group is to engage and organise volunteering to create a supporting community for Refugees on Rails.”

Q: Why are you called Refugees on Rails?

A: We are inspired by the Ruby on Rails open-source web framework that’s “optimized for programmer happiness and sustainable productivity”. We also want to signal movement and progress, because that is what we aspire to.

Q: What is your vision?

A: To change the perception of refugees. We wish that countries will see refugees as a blessing and as assets and hence start arguing about which country is allowed to welcome more.

Q: What is your mission?

A: A European network of tech labs for refugees teaching hundreds of people how to code. Our aim is to help refugees to self-organize and find jobs in the tech industry. We aspire to create a franchise to support the operation of these programs on a global scale.

Q: What are your core values?

A: We believe in the inherent dignity of all human beings. We believe diversity drives business innovation and human progress. We believe in co-creation and we think this is really great.

Q: How can I help?

A: Right now, by donating your laptop. We would also love your help to spread the word amongst your friends about the project.



Spotlight: Meetups in Paris

Paris is known as the city of l’amour, but it’s also home to over 1,700 Meetup groups, from French language classes to meditation picnics and comedy nights.

I took a closer look at what’s happening in Paris for you, so if you’re lucky enough to find yourself there, you can easily find a Meetup to restore your joie de vivre.

Let’s take a tour of Paris, shall we? Allons-y!

What better way to start off your morning than by brushing up on your French language skills? Geneviève, organizer of Parlons Français au café, holds a French conversation course every Thursday morning, so you can learn to speak French like a local in no time. C’est magnifique!


Once you’ve mastered your French accent, you can unwind and reconnect with your core at the BodyMindGreenYoga Meetup. They host yoga and meditation picnics every Saturday, so you’ll leave feeling relaxed and energized for the rest of your day.


If learning about French culture and history is right up your alley,  La Vie Parisienne Meetup hosts guided walks through Paris. Members rave about how much fun they have taking in the sites with a true local history buff. How can you say non to that?


For a few laughs and great company, check out Sebastian’s Paris Standup Comedy (in English) Meetup group. One member writes, “Haven’t laughed so hard in ages. Amber and Sebastian had me in tears. A must-see for anyone hankering for a hilarious anglo-saxon perspective on life in Paris.” 


And if you’re looking to get a sense of Paris’s bustling nightlife, try the Paris Bar Crawl Meetup. Nicolas hosts a bar crawl every Thursday, Friday, AND Saturday.


There’s a Meetup for just about everything in Paris.

If you join one of these awesome Meetup groups, make sure you tell them Ann from Meetup HQ sent you. À bientôt, j’espère!


Growing the largest per-capita Docker Meetup outside of the US

Reblogged with permission from Mark Coleman, the CEO of Implicit-Explicit and Co-Organizer of Docker Randstad. The article was originally published on the Implicit-Explicit blog.


Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 1.17.33 PM

At Implicit-Explicit it’s our business to catch trends early. Following the Lean Startup scriptures, we organized the very first Docker Amsterdam Meetup in Mark Coleman’s (CEO at Implicit-Explicit) living room!

Despite the fact that nobody knew exactly what to do with Docker at the time, we ended up having to run the event over two evenings as the aforementioned living room wasn’t big enough!

Your turn

Those days are long gone. Now we’re the largest per capita Docker Meetup outside of the US and the 7th largest on Earth. That’s right. And you are just five tips away from achieving the very same.

Tip #1: Big names mean big crowds

Popular speakers have tight schedules and naturally want to go to events where they will have more impact. Now how to get those big names? Right! Good question… How do you get big names when you’ve just started? You’re just one Meetup group among many. Sending an e-mail is bound to land you in the spam folder, right? Calling? Fireworks? What?!

First we tried poaching: whenever there was a conference in town, or relevant speakers at a related Meetup group, we’d steal them. This takes a bit of persistence but if they’re in town anyway, your chances are greatly improved. Second we partnered. For us co-hosting together with Container Solutions was a smart move. Their network is large and still growing. Not to mention they provide many good Meetup speakers. Lastly, be on the look out for rising stars. Things change real fast in tech and this week’s nobody is next week’s big name. Know who these people are and pounce on them…fast.

Being able to get Bigger Names at Docker Amsterdam turned out to be the number one driver of growth. If anything, make sure you put your resources, time and efforts there.

Tip #2: Bring learning, be fun

Have you heard the one about the woman who goes to a Meetup, meets loads of new interesting people, has a great time and then refers that Meetup to everyone she knows? If our experiences are anything to go by; probably not. At Docker Amsterdam we do games, we throw around t-shirts, drink craft beers and get people to hug each other. (They are allowed to just shake hands if they’re shy…)

We do this because many Meetups are static. Too static. Speakers speak, people clap like they’re at a golf tournament and then everyone goes home. For selfish reasons we couldn’t do that. We are in the habit of transferring our considerable amounts of energy to others. So, Mark shamelessly decided to provide comedy relief in the pauses before, between and after speakers. The word soon got around. He has hosted DockerCon Europe ‘14 and will be hosting DockerCon SF ’15. Both amazing opportunities to spread the word further, wouldn’t you say?

Find someone who will do this for your Meetup group. Better yet, think hard about what makes people engage more. What makes them feel welcomed, appreciated and what will have them leave with a smile on their faces.

Tip #3: Ad hoc is a good thing

And then we thought it was necessary to have the Meetup on a fixed day each month. Very much against our own nature. We foolishly thought this was how it was supposed to be. But sure enough, routine rots. See it like this. When you’ve just found out that there’s a really good speaker in town, what do you do? Or someone from the community just got accepted for ycombinator? Do you respond with: “Oh, gosh, we don’t have a Meetup scheduled…shame…” Or do you rise to the occasion and start mobilizing the network to meetup, “anytime now!” Much to our surprise we found this really, really works. As long as the speaker is relevant you can even “have a Meetup tomorrow night! In a cafe with space for 20 people and cram 40 in anyway.”

This approach helps to keep things real and crisp. A tell-tale sign might be that these days we rarely get below 70 attendees and regularly hit 100+ before the abstracts, bios and location are even posted. So when you think regularity is good, remember that it’s actually exactly as it sounds, boring. We let opportunity and content drive the Meetup dates.

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