Now that you know what Meetup is, and have signed up for and account, you’re probably wondering how to start using it. In this tutorial, we’ll explain all of the functions of Meetup with our step-by-step illustrated guides. Once you're a Meetup pro, you won’t miss a single opportunity to connect with those in your area who are doing all the fun things you want to do too!
Searching for Meetup groups
On the Meetup homepage, start by logging into your Meetup account. Then, you can access Meetup groups in your area by clicking the Groups button in the top-right corner of the page.
If you are looking for something specific, use any of the functions below to find what you are looking for.
Searching by group name or keyword
Click in the search box (labelled "All Meetups" by default) and type in the name of the group you are looking for. Then, press “Enter” or "Return" on your keyboard.
Meetup will return suggested groups that you can choose from, as many Meetup groups have common words within their names.
Searching by keyword
You can also search by a keyword by clicking inside the search box and typing a particular keyword. All groups with this word in their name, or who have selected this as one of the interests of their group, will appear in your results.
Searching by category or interests
To search by category, click the magnifying glass at the end of the search box instead of clicking in the search box directly. A drop-down menu will appear with a list of categories and interests for you to choose from. Click any one, and results will appear for groups that fit within those categories.
Sorting your search results
When your search results appear, you may want to sort them to make it easier to view them. Click the word beside “Sort By”, which appears at the top-right corner of your search results, to make a drop-down menu appear. Then, click Recommended, Most Active, Newest, Most Members, or Closest to sort your search results according to any of these parameters.
Joining a Meetup group
To join a new Meetup group, sign into your Meetup account and search for a group that you'd like to join. Click on its name to view its details page, where you should then click the red Join Us! button. Then, all you have to do is wait for email or notification confirmation that you have been accepted into the group.
How to RSVP to a meetup
Once you have joined a group, you are able to RSVP to events that the group puts on. Make sure to always do this rather than just showing up, as some groups have a limited number of spaces per event. Plus, the event organizer needs to know how many people will be attending in order to make sure they have enough room, supplies, etc. In addition, your fees may be dependent on how many events you actually attend, which can only be kept track of by RSVPing on the Meetup website.
Click on any one of your groups and browse through their upcoming events. Under the date on the right side of each event description, you can click RSVP.
On the next page, you can click Yes in the top-right corner if you will be attending the event, or click No if you will be giving this event a pass. This will add you to the list of attendees (or not), and help the organizer plan the event.
The meetup will also then be added to your calendar, which you can learn about below.
Using the calendar
On the Meetup home page, click Calendar in the top-right corner to use the calendar function.
This will show you upcoming meetings from various groups, which you can filter by clicking All Meetups (the scheduled meetups in your area), My Meetups (the scheduled meetups of the groups you belong to), My Meetups & Suggestions (the scheduled meetups of the groups you belong to and the meetups of groups you may like, based on the interests you have indicated on your profile), or I’m Going (Meetups you’ve RSVP'd to).
You can also click a date on the small image of a calendar to view the schedule for that date… even if it's months in the future!
To synchronize the meetups you have RSVP'd to with your personal Google, Outlook, iCall, or RSS feed calendar, click Export To… under the image of a calendar. Then, select the service that you would like to syncrhonize your Meetup calendar with. From there, follow the instructions, which will vary based on which service you have chosen.
Accessing and sending Meetup messages
To send a Meetup message, visit any Meetup group page and click Contact under the profile picture of the organizers. You can also click on the name of any user in the list of members of any group, and then click Message.
This will create a pop-up window that will allow you to instantly message any user on the Meetup website. The recipient will already be filled out, so just type your message and then click the red Send button.
If you've already contacted other people on Meetup, you can send further messages to them by clicking the Messages icon in the top-right corner of any screen (it looks like a square speech bubble).
From there, you can click on any existing conversation to write a further message in it, using the process described above. You can also click the speech bubble icon to write a new message, but you can only search for Meetup users to add as recipients whom you've already found and contacted manually. This prevents spam and many unwanted messages.
Paying fees using Meetup
To access your membership fees and keep track of what you have paid, click the Account icon (it looks like a silhouette mugshot by default, but may contain your profile picture) in the top-right corner of most pages on Meetup. A drop-down menu will appear, from which you should select Settings.
To keep track of your payment methods, or alter credit cards you have added, click Payment Methods in the menu on the left-hand side of the "Settings" page.
To keep track of how much you owe in membership dues, click Member Dues. To see how much you’ve paid for specific events you’ve attended, click Meetup Events. To keep track of donations you’ve made, click Contributions.
To access your notifications on Meetup, click the Notifications icon (it looks like a bell) icon in the top-right corner of most pages on Meetup. A drop-down menu will appear with all of your recent notifications, and you can click on any one to view the information page for the group it came from.
To change your notification preferences, click the Account icon and then click Settings. Then, click Email Updates in the left-hand menu, and then click Turn Off or Turn On. This will either stop or resume your notifications from Meetup being sent to you by email.
Change or add to your Meetup profile
To change your Meetup profile, click the Account icon in the top-right corner of most any page on Meetup, and then select Profile from the drop-down menu that appears. Here, you can click Add A Bio and type in a short description of who you are, what you do, and what you like. You can also click Edit under “Interests” and then click on Meetup’s categories of interests to select or deselect them. This allows Meetup to notify you if a group that meets your interests exists in your area.
You can also add a profile picture here by clicking Change Your Photo. Then, navigate through the explorer windows that appear until you find a picture of yourself that you like, click it to select it, and then click Open. In the future, you can click the same link to change your photo again, if you want.
Adding all of this information about yourself will make group organizers more likely to accept you into groups, and make other users more comfortable joining groups that you are a part of.
Change your settings
To change your Meetup settings, click the Account icon in the top-right corner of most any page on Meetup, and then click Settings when the drop-down menu appears. From here, you can click General, Email Updates, Mobile Notifications, Privacy, Social Media, Organizer Subscription, Payment Methods, Payments Made, or Apps in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen to change the category of settings that you want to edit.
To change any information, click Edit beside the text you want to change. You can click any drop-down menu to choose from various options. You can also click any check box to enable or disable its corresponding setting; if the check mark is showing, it is enabled, and if the box is empty, it has been disabled.
The Meetup app
Meetup has recently developed a new app for you use, available for download on the Play Store (for Google devices) or the App Store (for Apple devices). To download the Meetup app:
Open the application store for your Google (Play Store) or Apple (App Store) device by tapping on it.
Tap the in the search box and type in “Meetup,” then tap the corresponding search result (it will have a red “m” logo, like as shown here).
Tap Install (Android) or Get and then Install (Apple).
Wait for Meetup to download, and then tap Open.
Now you can take Meetup with you on the go!
How to create a Meetup group
1. Click the “Create a Meetup” button.
To create your own Meetup group, click Create a Meetup in the top-left corner of any Meetup page (it never disappears, no matter where you navigate to on the website!).
2. Verify or choose the hometown for your group.
Verify that the general location for your Meetup group is the correct one. If it isn't, click Change Location, and then type in the name of a city or town. Then click on one of the suggestions to select it as your Meetup group's hometown. When you're done, click Next.
3. Select "interests" to indicate the kinds of people your Meetup will cater to.
You will next need to select "interests" that pertain to your group so that other Meetup users can decide whether or not they might like to join it. You can click in the search box and type in a specific term that you're looking for. You can also click Show More to make more options available to you. The most popularly-selected options appear first. Click on an interest to select it or deselect it; selected interest will be bolded and have a red heart next to them. You can select as many interests as you like, as long as you feel that they are relevant to what your Meetup will do. When you're finished, click Next.
4. Name your Meetup and explain what its purpose will be.
On the next page, click in the box labelled "What Will Your Meetup's Name Be?" and type in the name of your group. Meetup will make suggestions based on the interests that you previously indicated; you can click one of these suggestions to use it, or make your own custom title. Next, click in the box labelled "Describe Who Should Join, and What Your Meetup Will Do" and type in a more specific overview of what your group is about. Be sure to indicate the types of people who would enjoy your group, and what your Meetup will do during its meetings.
When you've given your Meetup a name and written a detailed description of it (that's at least 50 characters long), click Next.
5. Confirm your details and agree to the Meetup terms to create your Meetup group.
During this final step, click Agree & Continue to create your group. Before confirming, you can scroll through the page to verify the information you have entered at any of the previous steps.
From there, you will need to follow instructions specific to your group (and what it will do once you begin meeting). When you're done with that, click the button beside the Meetup group subscription plan that meets your needs. Then, click in each of the boxes on the right side of the screen (which we've highlighted in the screenshot below) and enter your credit card information, including:
- Your name, as it appears on your credit card
- Your credit card number
- Your credit card verification code (click on the card silhouettes for help finding this number)
- The month that your credit card expires (select from a drop-down menu)
- The year that your credit card expires (select from a drop-down menu)
- Your regional mailing code
When you’re finished, click Complete Payment.
Remember that joining an existing group, if you can find one, is usually a better option. It will not cost you management fees, and it will already have a pre-established membership of people willing to attend events. However, if you can't find a group that caters to your specific interests, chances are good that other people are wishing that a group like that existed! So you might want to take a chance and start a Meetup!
That’s how you use Meetup. You might wantn to consider reading our article on how much Meetup may cost you to learn about potential fees that you may incur by using Meetup.