Should This Meetup Continue?

From: Ellen
Sent on: Sunday, September 15, 2013 3:02 PM

I'm not quite sure why I'm sending this since so many people never read e-mails, especially from Meetup.  And it may not be realistic to expect behavior of members to change.  But in one last effort to make this group work, here goes.

Most of you never met Steve.  A few weeks ago, he contacted me and offered assistance to help get this group going again.  I hadn't posted much since there aren't many events during the summer and frankly, I had interest due to all the No Shows.  I accepted his offer.  He posted many events, ranging from free concerts to Emory to interesting, outside-the-box events at places like Eddie's Attic and Smith's tavern.  Lots of you RSVP'd.  Looked like this group could prosper!

But clicking Yes to the RSVP doesn't translate to your actually showing up....or attempting to find the group and mingle if you did show up.  Steve posted a sitar concert at Emory last night.  Ten of you signed up....but no one actually showed up!  Steve was left attending the concert by himself...when he had assumed he would be attending it with ten new "friends!"

This isn't an anomaly.  The week before, 46 of you signed up for the Bach organ concert at Emory...and only about 10 showed up!  And this has been going on since the group began.

So Steve has stepped down as an organizer and has quit the group.  Organizing it again falls upon my shoulders.  And I'm wondering if I should continue to do so.

I think that similar groups elsewhere in the country have this problem.  People treat it as an event listing service. You hear about classical music and other events you would never have known about otherwise.   But the idea of Meetup is to actually get like-minded people together to enjoy an activity---not to RSVP and then not come because something better came along/you forgot/you didn't want to socialize with strangers.

You may not realize that organizers not only volunteer their time to post and host events.  We also pay $150 to do so; that's how the Meetup corporation makes its money.  All organizers get for it is the opportunity to try to bring people together and meet people who otherwise would never have come into their lives.  So when that doesn't happen, it gets discouraging for organizers.  That's why people step down as organizers and groups close.

When this group first began, I tried to organize a social event before or after a performance, like coffee/tea or dinner.  Almost everyone made it clear that they were just coming for a performance and did not want to do the social part.  I can accept that.  But for people not even to get together for a few minutes before a concert really makes this just an information service.  On the positive side, events get publicity, filling audiences and maybe selling some tickets.  But on the negative side, it's a lot of time, trouble, and expense to do so---so maybe it's time to fold this group.

I do realize that there were some mixed messages given.  For yesterday's concert, Steve did not post what time or where to meet.  But when I've given explicit instructions, people still don't show.  I'd rather relax than stand for twenty minutes holding up a Meetup sign when no one is going to show!

I've tried posting events I won't be attending and asking for event hosts.  All that's needed is to hold a Meetup sign and greet people---but with a few exceptions, no one wants to do that.

It would be sad for Atlanta to not have a classical music Meetup, but I think we may be haeded in that direction.

I welcome any suggestions and feedback.

 

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