Want to be that awesome person on meetup who gets first invitations/dibs on the latest and coolest events?
Here's a list of 5 key points for good etiquette on how to be that person!-1- Join the discussion, Update your profile
Organizers would like to know how you feel about the event that is coming up; feel free to participate in the conversation. Ask questions if you have any or answer a question to someone who may be attending for their first time. If it is your first event, don't be afraid to introduce yourself, we're here to meet people after all. Most events I attend, if I drive I would offer fellow attendees a ride from the nearest skytrain station. If the event has a twitter channel, send out a few tweets about it! Not only organizers get an email that you tweeted about them, they would highly appreciate that you're helping them promote their event, generating activity on the discussion page and also helping others get to the event.
Having an updated profile has its benefits too, if you want to be invited to events organizers would like to know your interests and hobbies so if they do send you personal invites they will know they are not sending invites to events you're not interested in. Organizers usually send first dibs to people they know or they're familiar with and having a blank profile doesn't help in this field.-2- Don't be a no show, change your RSVP!
One of the worst thing a person could do is to hog up a seat through RSVP and not show up leaving an empty chair that could've been filled up by an eager wait listed person. If you still don't know whether you can go for sure 24-48 hrs before, it is better to change your RSVP to no and let someone who is 100% sure of attending; it is likely the event will come back again at a later date. If you cannot wait, organize the next one yourself! My Meetup group, Extremely Shy, usually emails members a day before the event a reminder so you have an opportunity to update your RSVP if you cannot come.
If something happens last minute and you cannot come, let the organizer host know. Don't be a no show! Not calling ahead in the case of a no show is very rude, not only because it frustrates the organizers who are wondering did they buy too much food or bought way too many tickets, it also makes other attendees frustrated as they're await for your arrival. No shows are frowned upon in our group and each infraction of no show will tarnish your reputation and may prevent you from attending future events. -3- Don't arrive late
Coming late to an event has lots of disadvantages, full parking, stress, figuring out where the group has moved on to and the list goes on. Plan ahead with a transportation plan so you can arrive early and remain calm. Some events may have a "Do Not Disturb" policy and may not allow you to enter until intermission while others may not let late people enter in at all because a key card is required to enter the facility.
Coming early has plenty of advantages from mingling opportunities to choosing a good seat at the table (You wouldn't want to sit in front of a loud speaker at a dinning event!), easy parking and buffer time to prepare for possible accidents or to get lost if the meeting location is difficult to find.
If you are going to be late despite all effort done, let the organizers know as soon as you can so they can accommodate your late arrival and send someone to get the door for you.-4- Give an evaluation/feedback on event
Was the event great? Was the food too salty? Were the people nice? The organizers would never know if you don't give them your feedback. Tell them how the event went, what you liked about the event. At Toastmasters we give feedback on everything from speeches to the MC's facilitation to the organization of the meeting and room. One of the common structures for feedback is the sandwich technique where you start off by commenting on something that was great, something you enjoyed. Then Talk about what can be improved upon for next time. And end off with another great item you enjoyed.
If the event has a twitter channel or a discussion page, feel free to share with others your experiences and join the post event discussion with fellow attendees. Comment on a few points form the keynote that inspired you or comment on who you met. Event organizers would love it for you to tell others how much you got out of their event. It is also important and common courtesy to keep all negative comments between yourself and the organizer, send them an email if something didn't go that well and provide some suggestions on how they could improve. If there was an obvious error at the event (food came late), pointing out the obvious is not likely going to add value to the organizers as they probably have received couple hundreds of emails pointing out the obvious, instead give them some suggestions, offer a hand next time maybe.
If you had a great event, feel free to tweet about it with our handle @shy604 or #shy604-5- Thank your organizers and hosts
Know that none of the organizers get paid for putting up events, they volunteer their time and efforts, putting in many hours organizing and booking events, negotiate with businesses so they can bring you the wonderful meetup experiences everyone will enjoy for free. For the first year of our group existence, our group owner pays the meetup annual cost of $144 out of his own pocket so we can enjoy our events for free without having to pay a meetup fee like other groups (I know some groups charge a $5 fee per person for a free event). This is what our group is about making events affordable and free for everyone. Next time you see the owner Ian or other organizers, go give them a hi five or a word of thanks. A kind word can brighten up a day as effectively as a smile.
Do likewise for the venue hosts too, whether it is at a restaurant, rock climbing gym belaying guy or bike rental guy; most of them are just minimum wage worker facing angry customers all day long. Thank them for providing you with service (good or bad) and you may never know how far it can go when you come back next time.
At Extremely Shy Meetup each organizers have their own genre of events (eg. Ed organizes free and affordable events, Peter organizes weekly boardgames, Ivy organizes fancy dinners etc...). Asking an organizer to add you to their mailing list will give you first shout outs when the organizers organize their genre of events. Another way to get first invitations is to follow their twitter page or social media pages so you get updates sent to your email. Extremely shy is on twitter: @shy604
Follow these five steps and you can be quite popular amongst event planners, they will give you early invitations or special VIP status to their events.
Extremely Shy Meetup
Read more of Edward's meetup social etiquette here
Edward's website: http://edwardyuen88.wix.com/index