According to Inc., “Websites like Meetup have created an entire sub-industry for events. While most are small local gatherings that don't generate revenue for any particular brand, some are growing in size and significance. One notable example is an event series called Word Camp that frequently meets all around the United States to bring together WordPress developers to share ideas and solutions for their clients.”
That’s right Inc. is saying the DIY events and Meetups are disrupting events industry. And that’s not all they are disrupting. Back in 2012, we first pointed to the WordPress Meetup in a post on The New Competition for Our Association Chapters. Then we noted that thousands of organizations were recognizing people wanted both virtual and face-to-face connections and they responded by harnessing the power of social tools (many which are free or low-cost like Meetup.com) to facilitate this. Each becomes a story that further shows our members there is an easier, less expensive, less hassle, less time-consuming, fun way to get the face-to-face connection. And if you aren’t offering the same, they will look outside or minimally just say “no thanks” to the burdening obligation of your chapter. Some will even say, hey I can use Meetup.
In 2015, we noted again that Meetup.com was one of the many competitors for chapters noting that part of the attraction was that Meetup.com supported the leader comes through simple community guidelines, accessible, user-friendly portal and tools like how to step down as organizer. They have constantly evolved and, as a satisfied group coordinator for a local association meetup, they aren’t getting older, they’re getting better. (In the DC metro area and in associations? Join Association Networking Group (ANEX)).
In 2017, Meetup has 30.30 million members in 182 countries, participating in 272,203 groups. According to their site, as you read this 4,930 meetups are happening. Hmmm, and your chapters?
What can we learn from Meetup? The secret sauce is ease of use. Super simple to organize a local group or find one already meeting to join. The take-away for associations include how they support leaders, approach pricing and create opportunities.
Do you have a "meetup-solution" for your chapters or do you use Meetup?