Every community has people who share common values, interests and passions. With our busy lives and hectic schedules, it can be challenging to find others with common interests.
I can walk downtown with a megaphone and shout, “Is anyone out here interested in content marketing?” But most people would consider me crazy. And those who do share an interest in content marketing might not want to spend time with me!
That’s what makes Meetup great.
Meetup helps me find Bay Area professionals who share a common interest in content marketing. Since 2015, I’ve run the Bay Area Content Marketing Meetup. We had 12 Meetups in the past year and have 141 members. The space for our Meetup is generously provided by my employer, DNN Software.
There’s a Meetup for Everyone
Naomi Tucker has been doing even planning for 20 years. She is Senior Strategic Account Manager at Meetings & Incentives Worldwide, Inc. Naomi has worked in numerous roles in the event industry, including hotel professional, corporate planner, project manager and account manager.
Years ago, Naomi and I connected on Twitter (find us at @Naotuck and @dshiao). Recently, we discovered that we share a common interest: organizing Meetups. Naomi has a family and young children, so building relationships with other moms was important for her to create a productive network of support. Naomi, who lives in Appleton, Wisconsin, manages The Appleton Area Moms on the Go Meetup.
Naomi joined this group a few years ago and found mothers (and their kids) whom her own children have grown up with. After a few years being a member, Naomi found herself in the lead organizer role. The group has been around since 2008, charges annual dues of $15 and has done 744 Meetups!
Separately, Naomi is thinking about starting a new Meetup group for people interested in music.
The Best Thing About Meetup
For Naomi, the best thing about Meetup are two things: the ability to find other moms in the Appleton area, and the organizer tools.
The Appleton Area Moms Meetup has 24 members. Other moms in the area might find the group and have an interest in joining. New members must be approved by Naomi and her fellow organizers. Here are the guidelines they list on the Meetup page: “If you’re interested in joining our group, we’d love to meet you at an event, and have a chance to get to know one another to see if this group is a good fit.”
For me, the number one benefit of Meetup is its ability to find other content marketers in the Bay Area. 10% of our group came from people I know and invited. The other 90% are members who discovered our group on Meetup.com or in the Meetup app.
Based on a recommendation from a member, I re-named our group from “San Mateo B2B Bloggers.” The goal with the new name was to broaden the reach of our group, both geographically and topically. We’re now attracting new members who otherwise would not have joined.
Naomi and I Chat About Meetups
I interviewed Naomi, and we had a conversation about our respective Meetups. Listen to the interview:
Meetup Organizer Tips with Naomi Tucker and Dennis Shiao
In this interview, organizers Naomi Tucker and Dennis Shiao talk about their experiences managing Meetups. Naomi…
What We’d Each Like to See from Meetup
Naomi would like to see Meetup tools or applications to bring people with shared interests together online. While local and face-to-face gatherings are wonderful, there’s nothing stopping us from using online tools to connect with others across the globe.
For instance, just as Naomi and I connected to compare notes about organizing Meetups, Naomi would love to see options for Meetup organizers to gather for live video chats or hangouts.
With my Marketing hat on, I’d love to see Meetup provide me with tools to better promote my group to members who fit the right profile (e.g. members who live in the Bay Area with an interest in content marketing).
Today, these people need to search for and find my Meetup. I’d love to be able to say, “here’s what my ideal member looks like” and have Meetup facilitate promotion or outreach to them. I’d also love to see Meetup connect me with members who live elsewhere, but are in town for a business meeting or visit.
Those folks could attend a scheduled Meetup (i.e. if the timing works out right), or be a presenter when a future trip brings them to town.
Thanks for providing a great service, Meetup! The Appleton Moms will continue to gather with their kids each week and the Bay Area content marketers will continue to see interesting presentations each month. Keep up the good work!