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Foodie! Message Board › Foodie Group Update / Policy Change / Membership Dues

Foodie Group Update / Policy Change / Membership Dues

A former member
Post #: 7
Greetings Foodies,
Hope you are all off to great start to this brand new year and had a chance to participate in some our very popular foodie events. What a line up we had already...Chef Tasting at St. Jack, Chinese New Year Feasts, Apizza Scholls, Natural Selection, Boke Bowl and ... more to come!

With 800+ strong membership and 500 active members, it's obvious to me that we need to make some structural changes so that we can continue these high quality events going forward and maintain quality relationship between volunteer organizers and members.

These are the planned changes to meet the demand and create strategic relationship with our local foodie business communities.

- More organizers: We revamped organizer crew and now with 22 organizers I'm excited to offer more events in variety fashion and each speaking and reflecting to diversity of our organizers. I'm excited to see what they'll come up with in upcoming season. If you want to join our organizer crew, please contact me directly and let me hear from you.
- More theme events: We will be offering very specific event to bring more people out to our events and tailor to diversity of our group.
IE) Chef Tasting, Winery Tour, Brewery Tour, Singles Event (at different age group), Ladies/Guys Night Out, Outdoor Event/Hiking, New Member Social, Potluck, Cooking Lessons at couple of our sponsor restaurants, Volunteering Events at Food Bank and promotional events supporting local farming communities... I think you get the point. Please email me if you have more foodie event ideas.
- More sponsor events: As you know our group is supported by wonderful local foodie businesses - EAT (Edible Authentic Travel - Foodies' ultimate culinary adventure to Italy, China, Australia led by one of our own organizer crew, lovely Heidi Burnette ) and Portland Food Adventure (Top notch interactive dining experience at some of the most prominent restaurants around the town led by my fearless foodie, Chris Angelus)
We'll announce these wonderful events on our calendar and please check them out and enjoy the foodie discounts at these wonderful events.
http://edibleauthenti...­ (%10 off to Foodies)
http://portlandfoodad...­ ($20 off to first 6 lucky foodies)

And, some policy changes to encourage healthy member interactions and instill common courtesy and respect to our event organizers and other members.

- 'No show' is now a thing of the past - all member must show up to the event or cancel 24 hr prior to the event. If no show and no communication to the event host or organizer within 24 hours of the event. That person will be warned of membership eligibility and removed if not corrected in time. I have never removed any member from our group due to no show and I hope I don't have to exercise this right at all, but this policy will be enforced going forward. Foodies, please respect the rsvp and do all you can to keep your end of the bargain.
- Please read the description of the event and adhere to event policy set forth by the event host. *(Each event host has discretion to remove any person who disregards the policy)
- No more member suggested events. You can still suggest new event through our event organizer channel via email or in person conversation. This will guarantee that all of our future events will have proper sponsor, format and prior work to guarantee the events, more consistency is what I'm after.

Lastly, we will have one time group initiation fee of $5 per member starting immediately (enforced in March) to remain active in our group and continue participating to our upcoming events. This will cover deposits, securing large event venue, administrative costs and managing cost of our group. (There will be transparency regarding handling of this group fund and all the organizers will share the responsibility of managing and securing this group fund.) Please use Pay-Pal online payment method (preferred choice) on our main page to deliver the membership dues or you can pay in person at your next foodie event to our organizer team. (I'll host a monthly new member event for those who are new to the group and want to find out what all fuss is about :). So "new member only event" will be free event but any event afterward will require you to be a paid member to participate.

Hopefully, you're all on board with these changes and I believe these changes will enhance our membership experience and sustain our high quality events for the long term. As you all know, we are the biggest foodie meetup in town, most active and most fun one for that matter (IMHO). Personally, there is no other group who can connect you to all these wonderful restaurants and offer this variety of events. Yes, we rock and your contribution will keep us going strong years to come.

Thank you foodies and appreciate your support and contribution.

Organizer of Foodie!
Alexa M.
Portland, OR
Post #: 23
In a group I host for I've started asking folks for $1 until it adds up to enough to host the group for the year - that way those who are getting the most use from the group contribute proportionally, but no one could be seen as making an income from the group - as any more than 15 people or so pays the dues for a whole year.
It also isn't economically even feasible for some hit hard by corporate welfare's inevitable results of late, to participate in many groups if they cost that much, up front or otherwise - plenty enough participate at least occasionally for $1 to be enough.
I've personally declined groups that would appear to be making an income from hosting Meetups - this just isn't reasonable - once the dues are covered it is essentially paying to hang out with people/the organizer to host.
To assuage taking a ridiculous amount of responsibility for events I just don't take it on - I call the restaurant & ask them what the best plan is. I give the basics - website, a little description, & say if folks want more details maybe then can help out & add them!
I book for half of the folks showing up - which has proven to the the right bet on that front, & here's an idea - suggesting the group chip in & buy the organizer's a drink to show their gratitude for their time.
A former member
Post #: 8
Appreciate your comment and I'll consider your input. I'm not trying to drive a 'for profit' model here but I want to have more engagement and commitment with our group members. Sometimes, it requires upfront commitment to share that dialogue.
Ann V.
user 16258681
Group Organizer
Portland, OR
Post #: 2
I think annual fee of $5 is affordable to most people. $10 maybe steep for some of the members.
A former member
Post #: 9
Ann, I'll consider lowering the fee once I get more feedback. I've set the fee par with some other group in similar situation and talking to other organizers. I'll make it an official annoucement in a few days. Sounds like I've struck a cord with couple of our members and waiting to hear from them. Thanks for your input.
A former member
Post #: 2
Since most people are involved with a variety of groups $10 one time fee may be a bit much for some. I think $5 is fair.
Other than that, completely agree with the remaining points.
A former member
Post #: 10
Fair is fair. :) It's now $5 one time fee. Just to restate my intention (to be double clear), my goal is solely on commitment side not on monetary gain. I appreciate all your feedbacks and this change will be good for all of us.
user 14261851
Portland, OR
Post #: 2
Hi Kevin,

It was great finally meeting you at my event at Wildwood last Saturday night! Thanks for stopping by.

Like what we had discussed over dinner, I'm looking forward to hosting more themed events and would be happy to take that on. I'm trying to do that with The Sapphire Hotel Foodie! Meetup on the 18th, by trying to target a specific age group for singles to gather and meet. I'll try to come up with more in the near future! How can I post that I want equal number of women to equal number of men? Is that kosher (for single events)?

I think by having a one-time fee is fair, but I'm not sure how we, as event organizers, can successfully track that especially if not the same people come to our events every time.

"No shows": so even one 'no show' they are out (instead of the three that was mentioned before)? Organizers will report that person to you?

Thanks Kevin, you have a great group!

Kang-Foon (K on Meetup)
A former member
Post #: 11
Please talk to me regarding this matter in 1:1 email or organizer meetup, perhaps?. I want to leave this posting for more general topics.
I have some idea and you can be very specific on your posting about head count. Let's discuss these matters later and hopefully we'll work this out. Thanks for the feedback K.
Portland, OR
Post #: 6
Generally, these are good policies.
- $5 - reasonable in my opinion.
- no-show policy. How do we enforce this? Do we tell you who the person is, or can we remove them ourselves? Members might feel this policy is extreme and would probably want at least a one-time pass or warning before being booted out.

What about a cash-only policy? Of course, I wouldn't expect EVERYONE to bring cash all the time, but it makes for paying less of a hassle for the organizers and the wait staff.

At a few of the events I've been to, I've noticed people saying they were on the wait list but showed up anyway because "there's always people that don't show up." I hope not many organizers have had to encounter this. Needless to say, it's stressful for organizers when they make a reservation for a set number, and more show up.

Just a thought, you can always make a shared Google document to record member dues.
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