We all have things we love to do in our spare time, but sometimes we lack the resources or social connections to be able to do them. Training for a marathon is often more fun with others – but what if none of your friends have a desire to get up at 5:00 AM to run with you? What if you just moved to a new town and don’t know anyone, but can’t live without playing baseball on summer nights? Meetup aims to solve these problems.
Meetup is a website that allows users to organize get-togethers with others who enjoy the same activities. Some common examples include sports teams, book clubs, and social groups. By signing up, you can find a group that suits the activity you’re looking for, or create your own group to bring others to you.
The philosophy at Meetup is “when we get together and do the things that matter to us, we’re at our best.” If you are passionate about something, or need a group of people to do what you love, you should consider signing up for Meetup today. In this article, we’ll explain how Meetup works, and teach you everything you need to know to help you decide if Meetup is for you.
Once you create a Meetup account, you can use the website to find "meetups" (groups) that interest you... or create your own if no one else already has. Simply browse meetups in your area; you can also search for meetups by category, date, location, or suggestions for you (once you begin using Meetup and it learns your preferences). Click on any meetup that interests you to learn more about it. You can find out who attends it, what they do, when they were founded, and what they’re all about. You can even see photos of their gatherings!
Once you find a meetup that interests you, you can join it. There are no restrictions to joining – all you have to do is confirm that you're joining, and then show up at the organized time! It’s also so simple to create your own meetup! Simply enter a bit of information about where you are and what you want to do, and then wait to see if others are interested as well. You can also send instant messages to other Meetup users to learn more about any meetup you may be interested in.
Meetup was founded in 2002 by Scott Heiferman and Matt Meeker, and is based in New York City. Heifernman cited the September 11th attacks in New York City as inspiration for him to make it easier for strangers to come together. Since then, Meetup has grown to over 28 million members who have organized over 260,000 meetup groups. In over 179 countries, 610,000 monthly meetups take place. Meetup also recently launched its app for mobile devices, so now it’s even easier to organize your meetups by taking Meetup with you on the go!
Meetup users do not need to pay a fee to sign up for the website, and the service itself is free to use for individual users. Meetup makes its money by charging group organizers a monthly fee to run their groups. It is then up to the group organizers to choose whether or not to charge group members fees, and how much. In general, group organizers do not use Meetup to make money; usually, they only charge group members small fees to keep the group running.
Meetup currently has two price plans available: $14.99/month (for a group with up to 50 members and 3 co-organizers) or $19.99/month (with no restrictions). To learn more about Meetup pricing, visit our article on when Meetup is free, and how much it can cost you.
Meetup is as safe as any social media website, so long as reasonable precautions are taken. However, because you only need an email address to sign up for Meetup, and the website has no identity verification, anyone could attend a meetup and pose a safety concern to Meetup users. However, this is not a common occurrence.
There are community guidelines and rules as to what constitutes an appropriate meetup. If a group member breaks these rules by becoming abusive, disrespectful, or dangerous, then other users can report them to Meetup via their website or email. Meetup will then remove the user from the group, or take appropriate actions necessary to make the Meetup group feel safe moving forward. To learn more about how these safety concerns may effect your experience using Meetup, check out our article where we review Meetup, where we will comment on these safety issues.
There are a few websites like Meetup that may spark your interest, or have something to offer you that Meetup doesn’t. Eventbrite allows users to create, promote, and register for events in their local area. Groupspaces allows you to organize group meetings just like Meetup. Smacktive is an app that focuses on finding people in your area quickly for spontaneous activities. MEETin is a volunteer-run organization that organizes fun and free outings in major cities around the world. Foursquare lets you learn about some of the best spots in your area, and read reviews from people who have actually gone there. Citysocializer lets you grow your social network by making face-to-face connections with other users, typically through night-time activities. And finally, Yik Yak is a social media app that focuses on helping you make local connections and learn more about your immediate area.
To learn more about Meetup’s competition, check out our article on the alternatives to Meetup.
That’s the run-down on Meetup! In the rest of our Meetup course, we’ll review Meetup, talk about the costs associated with Meetup, teach you how to sign up for Meetup, and most importantly, how to use it. Check out these articles so you can become a Meetup pro today!
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