Photo by Jan Antonin Kolarm, unsplash.com
2020 was the year of massive changes thanks to covid-19. Schools were closed, offices sent their workers into the home office and almost all events got canceled. So did all the business relevant meetups and networking events. Nevertheless, meetups will have a strong comeback in 2021. So if you want to start a new meetup, right now is the perfect time to start preparing for it.
Organizing and running your own meetup is way easier than you think. All you need to do is follow all the following steps and you will soon be able to host your very own first events.
First of all, think!
Why do you want to host a meetup? And what is the main purpose of your meet up?
Once these vital points are clear in your mind, and then move ahead!
Decide on a niche considering on the main purpose of your meetup and your target audience.
Do your own research on your niche and look for those gaps in the niche you wish to start in.
Choose a theme for your group page, you may pick from numerous templates or can create your own theme.
Pick in the right keywords, this mainly depends on what your group is targeting on.
Then, choose a convenient date for your first meetup.
Create your group page on Meetup which will provide you with limited support. Provide a clear description under the “About Us” tab; explain what the group is for, your target audience and what will you learn from this meetup. Also, create a well-defined logo for your meetup group and upload the logo to a relevant image.
Listed below are a few smart tips that will help you host and grow a meetup in a successful way:
Schedule meetup on a regular basis.
Keep in mind that meetups actually brings people together. Include in plentiful different topics and change the format of each meet up to keep your thriving community energized and engaged.
Organize your meetup in a planned order
Check out the venue and avoid any last moment hitches, ensure everything is ready.
A quick email reminder to all the attendees must be sent first in the morning to check whether they are coming or not.
Keep an RSVP list with you and have a sign-in sheet to collect everyone’s contact information.
For the last minute preparations, call the venue to confirm. Make sure you have all types of equipment that you require microphones, speakers and screens. In case you are bringing your own supplies, it is essential to make sure the venue is informed well and it's better to confirm with them that you’ll reach there early for the setup.
Meetup size is no issue.
Sometimes meetups even start off with very few members only, but its’ ok. Usually, small groups facilitate more meaningful connections. Every member has his own voice, is heard and hence, more significant discussions happen.
Promoting your meet up is essential.
Pitch your meetup on social media platforms which helps you earn more potential members. It even provides wide exposure and results in significant growth of your meetup group members.
Initially, sponsorships make your meetup more enjoyable and professional, taking off the cost-burdens from your head. With sponsorships, your meetup becomes more serious and takes it to the next level.
As your meetup is over, now it’s’ your job to stay connected with all the new members that have joined in. You can connect with the group members through various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc and via your group’s meetup page. Also, you can use your own contacts, friends and LinkedIn connections too.
Generate several discussions in the group that you think were complicated in the meetup. All this helps in keeping your community buzzing and increases your audience engagement consistently.
Simple isn’t it! But this is a point that is quite often overlooked or given a miss. Note, that it is extremely important to click photos of your meet up and then upload them to your meet up page once it gets over. This way the potential members can get a feel about your meet up and facilitates them to decide if they would like to join in.
Collaborate with great venues
Collaboration with great venues helps ensure remarkable consistency of your meet up. Its’ up to you to whether to collaborate with a single venue or you can partner with different venues as well.
Above all, it depends on what type of meetup is organized and does your meetup work in that space or not. Sometimes organizing meetups at different venues give you an actual idea of what works and what not. Check whether any further improvements are necessary to organize and choose the right venue.
When you charge a certain nominal fee for your meet up it is likely that the members who show up will value your meet up. It is critical as the turn-up rates will be much higher. Also, it is easier to expect large numbers and people show up with higher appreciative mentality.
While in the initial stage, start the meetup group for free and then gradually initiate a nominal fee. This will allow you to get enough time to improve yourself and other glitches if any.
So, now your first meetup is done, start thinking of focusing on the next. Come up with innovative ideas, communicate with people and know their views on what their pain points are and what solutions they are looking for. You will get crucial topics to discuss on and if you provide solutions to them they will keep coming back to you for more.
Most importantly, to host and grow your meetup with great success, all you need is a commitment, patience, dedication and passion. And yes, it is highly beneficial if you surround yourself with like-minded people. This makes your task much lighter and enhances your chances of achieving your goals in a hassle-free manner.