What is a meetup and why should I care?

Photo of Oleg Podsechin
Oleg Podsechin
September 9, 2016
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In this series of posts I’ll share some of the lessons I learned running meetups.

According to Dictionary.com, a meetup is:

A meeting, especially a regular meeting of people who share a particular interest & have connected with each other through a social-networking website.

More importantly, it is also the community of people attending these meetings. If you haven’t attended a meetup, you’re missing out. Stop reading right now, start Googling and go see for yourself! If you’ve attended meetups and want to find out what it takes to run one, read on.

In order to get a meetup off the ground, you need two things: a topic and an organizer. This may seem obvious, but the topic needs to be broad enough to attract speakers & specific enough to build a community around it. For example, JavaScript is a good topic since it has wide appeal. Some niche JavaScript library is a bad one. I’ll focus on technology and startup meetups, since they have traits that set them apart, are more relevant to readers of this blog and are the ones I know best.

Next comes the question of the organizer, that is you. Why would you want to run a meetup? By far the best reason is to have a keen interest in the topic and the desire to connect with like-minded people. You may also have a commercial agenda, such as wanting to promote some technology, company or yourself as an expert in the field. That’s fine and not something you should hide, but if that is the only reason for starting a meetup, I’d be wary. Running a meetup is like running a marathon, not a sprint. To get you through it, you’ll need passion for the topic and genuine desire to connect with members of your community.

That’s it for now! Next time we will go into more detail and talk about what you need to put together your first event. Follow us here or like our page on Facebook to be the first to know when the next post is out.

Update: you can find the next post in the series here.

Looking for a tool to run your meetup?

Try Meetabit