Before you get started researching locations or asking for venue recommendations from others, think about what your Meetup Group needs in a space.
You'll be in good shape if you know the answers to these three questions:
How many people are coming? Sometimes it's a little tough to know for sure how many people will actually be at the Meetup, but if you don't know, make a guess. Venue managers will want to know a ballpark number, and it helps focus your search. If you know you'll need space for at least 20 people, you'll be able to rule out the cafe that only has seating for 12 early on.
What are we going to do at the Meetup? Quiet, thoughtful conversation about current events? Then you'll probably want a location where the noise level is going to be low. Is someone breaking out the PowerPoint? Then you'll need a space with some A/V equipment. Knowing you need something early on will make it easier to find later.
Will there be any special guests? If your Meetup will involve children, pets or special equipment, you'll need to take that into account when choosing a location.
That's it! Your answer to these questions will help you know what to say to venue managers, or to anyone you might ask for help finding a location.
"We're looking for a quiet indoor space for about twenty ukulele players."
"We need an internet connection and a projector of some kind."
"It'll be about 10 Dads and 14 kiddos -- we're looking for a playground with some picnic tables."
Now that you know what you're looking for, check here for help on finding that perfect location