The Madison Area Vegetarian Meetup Group Message Board Meetup › Do we want people to use our meetup space for their own marketing purposes?

Do we want people to use our meetup space for their own marketing purposes?

Stephen L
StephenEL
Madison, WI
Post #: 7
Hi Y'all,

I am not all together comfortable allowing folks to join the group in order to post their marketing. I am talking about the recent offer posted here and on the Vegan Drinks meetup space: "Madison Vegans - Want to try out FREE Vegan Recipe Kits?" The person posting this just joined several vegetarian groups around the country in order to post the offers.

Here is why I am troubled:


  • I feel, members should be folks that want to attend events or keep tabs on the group and should not be folks that simply want to use our resource for their own gain.
  • People wanting to do marketing, should pay or donate product to the group to become a sponsor.
  • We don't know if this is legit. This offer sounds almost too good to be true. " I will send you the recipe kit, additional cash to purchase fresh ingredients..." OK, are they going to next ask for bank account info so they can send the cash? Or send a disk or thumb drive with the recipes that installs malware or direct us to a website that tries to install malware?
  • This person and this offer may be fine, but this may become a trend and other offers might start appearing from unscrupulous individuals, putting our local members at risk. We could become a venue or channel for criminals to operate.
  • I think there should be some set of rules or guidelines for posting marketing messages. Offers posted here automatically gain a certain level of implied credibility. Because of this, offers really need to be vetted if they are to be posted here.


To be clear, I am not trying to say this person is a criminal--simply, we make ourselves vulnerable to real criminals by allowing this.

I am very interested in what other members feel about this.

Stephen
FillMyRecipe
user 161877302
Madison, WI
Post #: 8
Hi Stephen,

You bring up some valid points. If I were you, I would most probably think the same! I attended the meetup dinner on Saturday at Banzo and was talking about the various vegan dinners I prepare, and the fact that I was trying to provide options to those who are vegetarian and vegan ( there is only so much salad you can eat!). And, yes, the offer to try out recipes free of cost does sound incredible, but that is something I wanted to offer those who attended the meetup. One of the other members suggested I post on the meetup discussions as well, hence I posted it out there.

I will be sending cash along with the recipe kits, no DVDs, or anything, so there is no risk of sharing banking information or malware. The recipe kits contain recipes and pure spices and are put together in licensed facilities. They are sold in 6 grocery stores in Madison, including Whole foods, Metcalfes, and Hy-vee. However, if people would rather not try out new vegan recipes, I respect that.

I noticed that there were other posts promoting restaurants, cook books, and produce farms. So I apologize if my post came across as a marketing gimmick, it truly is not. My intent is to help members find vegan options.

Regards,
Sara
Stephen L
StephenEL
Madison, WI
Post #: 8
Hi Sara,

I did not attend Banzo and so I missed the pleasure of meeting you. When I saw that you had joined vegetarian meetup groups in several cities in different parts of the country, I made the assumption that you were not physically located in Wisconsin--which in my mind would be a concern. Obviously, you may have lived in these other cities and your membership to those groups may have been a natural consequence of living there. As I said, I made an assumption that your membership in these other cities was for marketing.

I really want to be clear that my concerns are not intended to be an critique of your character. I, myself, as a self employed individual, have a lot of respect for entrepreneurs and the challenges they face trying to get the word out about their new ideas and products. I am concerned about the potential for abuse. I am not sure to what degree, Dave monitors these discussions. That would be good to know and I will be sure to discuss this with him at our next meetup.

Good luck to you,

Stephen
Dave
dvandelay
Group Organizer
Middleton, WI
Post #: 183
As long as the content is relevant to the group I've allowed posting. (I did move the thread to a different category, as it was under the official Meetup category before.)
FillMyRecipe
user 161877302
Madison, WI
Post #: 9
Thank you, Stephen and Dave. Looking forward to meeting you at an upcoming meetup.
Sara
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