Meet Scott Heiferman, Founder and CEO of Meetup!

  • September 18, 2013 · 7:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

Scott Heiferman, Founder and CEO of Meetup, is hosting a meet and greet to hear about your Meetups, talk about where Meetup's headed in the future and listen to your valuable feedback on how to make Meetup better for community builders!

Doors open at 7PM, and guests will need to show their ID at check in. We'll be serving pizza and beverages. 

Join us for a fun and informative evening!

Join or login to comment.

  • Mike F.

    I thought far too much time was wasted at the beginning by going around the room and having everybody summarize what their group was all about. It's not that I'm uninterested, but time was limited and we all came to hear Scott, not each other.

    Then again, maybe another 45 minutes of hearing Scott tell us how supporting organizers wasn't a priority wouldn't have been such a great thing. Scott made it crystal clear that the company's priority was the end user. I think that's fine, but organizers deserve a spot *somewhere* on the priority list, even if it's near the bottom. Right now I don't feel like we're on the list at all.

    2 · September 20, 2013

    • Peter

      I also got to talk one-on-one with Scott and told him until I was practically blue in the face about the reasons why using Meetup has become distinctly less enjoyable for both organizers and members since he eliminated separate RSVP comments and event reviews. But all he'd say was that Meetup collects a lot of data on how people use the site, and he made these changes because the data showed that more people would RSVP to more events this way. So if you miss having reviews of your meetups visible on your group's page, Scott doesn't even pretend to care.

      September 27, 2013

    • Tom B.

      Yes I concur. I like the reviews where they can be seen up front, (group's page) etc. 99% of my reviews are 5 stars plus; anyway.

      September 27, 2013

  • Tom B.

    But then; my adventures are really 'Kick Ass "fun !!
    Not for couch potatos.

    September 26, 2013

  • Tom B.

    See my thoughts below. 99% of the reviews I get are very positive.
    Many new bees have mentioned that they joined because of the comments & reviews.

    September 24, 2013

  • Gini Graham S.

    It seems to me if you have a great event with great reviews it will increase interest in going to future events of the same type or that are featured in the same meetup. On the other hand, if people have a bad experience and post bad reviews, it will decrease RSVPs in the future. So I think if you have good, well-attended events, you want reviews listed. On the other hand, maybe they don't want to include the reviews so people with unsuccessful events aren't discouraged from having more events and attendees aren't discouraged from coming. I would vote to include the reviews since useful information for attendees to know.

    September 24, 2013

  • James F.

    I was there but just left... I think first people need to chill. I think that overall meetup is very good, so we need to keep perspective.

    I will agree this was not what I expected. Scott has great intentions, but his honesty now helps me understand why organizers have taken a back seat. It is very evident that we need to find our own solutions and trust that people will find our meetup groups, because Meetup is focused on that exclusively. We need to unite as organizers, and web developers need to help us! I will do what I can for sure.

    This event was a bit of a surprise with the approach taken for sure.

    4 · September 18, 2013

    • Peter

      The idea of having Meetup organizers crowd-sourcing solutions to problems has ALREADY been tried, and I thought it worked very well, but Meetup HQ decided it was a failure and abandoned it. For many years, there were message boards on the website, grouped under a "Meetup Organizers' Forum" and "Help and technical assistance for using Meetup.com". Organizers from around the world shared their problems and talked with each other. It was great. But Meetup HQ shut them down 6 months ago and took them off the website. Here's the closure announcement:
      http://www.meetup.com...­
      We were given about 1 week's notice of the closure, which came at a time when the boards were actually busier than ever.
      Lana ran the Organizers Resource Group, a meetup group without meetups, that had links to discussion threads and posts on the boards, but now these links no longer work, so she's shutting down that group. It's a shame that we've lost so much wisdom.

      September 22, 2013

    • Peter

      An organizer who used to contribute a lot to the Meetup message boards started an UNOFFICIAL message board for Meetup organizers, here:
      http://www.discussmee...­
      Meetup staff have NO connection to that site.

      September 22, 2013

  • Peter

    This meetup was announced to this group 8 days before the event, which was a reasonable lead time. The blast email to all Bay Area organizers a couple days before was obviously not enough notice, but it's also the first time Meetup has ever done such a thing. I had low expectations because the location was unknown until the day before the event, but the venue turned out to be pretty good, and conveniently located. Thanks to Joe for getting this together starting with the first contact with Scott, and to Scott for coming out and actually facing questions. At events with Meetup HQ staff, they always talk about improvements that are in progress (e.g., Scott talked about member credit card payments), but they never ask us how impressed we are with recent changes they've already made to the site, which suggests that they know they're not going to get a positive response (example: just a week earlier, they removed the RSVP feed from the page you see when you log in to meetup.com).

    September 22, 2013

  • Gini Graham S.

    I agree that Meetup has to pay attention to the needs of the organizers, because if there were no organizers, there would be no meetup groups. Or if organizers begin dropping out or going to other platforms because Meetup isn't addressing their needs, there will ultimately be less end users.

    2 · September 21, 2013

  • Joel S H.

    Didn't attend, looked like a really disorganized event. A for effort, C for execution. Here's hoping for a better event next time!

    1 · September 20, 2013

    • Rennie

      Really? You started that sentence with Didn't attend and then say C for execution? You're rating something you didn't attend?

      4 · September 20, 2013

    • Joel S H.

      Yes, really.

      September 20, 2013

  • Steve

    Thanks to Joe and Scott for going the extra mile to extend the invitation to so many outside your group!
    Maybe not everyone is aware, this meet up was scheduled by SF Bay Meetup Organizers group. The original invite went out to all MEMBERS on Sept 10th. If you had never taken the time to join the group then you were not invited to the meet up. MU HQ sent out a special mail to ALL bay area organizers on Sept 17th, alerting non group members to the event. This was a rare email blast to support a very special event. So, those organizer who are not even members are now complaining of short notice. Join the group and say thanks to Joe for thinking of you! As Organizers, I'm sure you have learned that you can't please everyone in a group. Think what you like, but lighten up on Joe! He got the CEO to spend an evening talking to a room of folks. Try calling Zukerberg, or and asking him to have pizza with your group and see how far you get.

    6 · September 20, 2013

    • John

      I was on the waitlist the day before the event and figured my chances of getting off the waitlist were zero. HQ stepped in and I suspect were behind finding and paying for the venue. I could be wrong, only Joe knows for sure.

      September 20, 2013

    • Regina W.

      Thank you, Steve. I agree completely with what you said. The amount of griping is really silly when all involved in planning this event went out of their way to put this together and then decided to be nimble to include as many people as possible.

      2 · September 20, 2013

  • Espie

    I agree and appreciate the reachout. SOCIAL MEDIA changes constantly. Thank you for the effort

    September 20, 2013

  • Tom B.

    I like many of the suggestions below. They voiced my concerns . Got off the wait list too late to attend.

    September 20, 2013

  • Davis

    Still hoping someone will post a summary of the information provided at this meeting...

    1 · September 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Me too!!!

      September 20, 2013

  • Christopher

    I wish this group was more about community but one a blue moon having an event then limiting who can come only to get there and half those who RSVP didn't even show up. Why do you complain when people don't show up when they RSVP and organziers do the same whar example is being set? As far as Scott comments very disturbing to me when the organziers are the ones paying and we are not even in the priority. As a organzier I think we should be given some priority in reagrds to the groups we run. Meetup does advertise my group my sister and I get out and do that ourselfs as well as word of mouth of a members. Numbera don't mattter to me when you have 1700 or 2000 membera and only 10 people showing up. Not good at all.. Scott work on your speaking skills and have some consideration for those who spend their money that goes in your pocket.

    1 · September 19, 2013

    • Christopher

      I meant to say meetup does not advertise my group never can find it in the postings for groups.

      September 19, 2013

    • Lana

      They normally don't advertise you to join groups you're already in on the "People in this
      Meetup are also in:" section on the left-hand sidebar and your groups should show up at the top when you click on "Find a Meetup group". If they don't then that's strange :-/

      September 20, 2013

  • Paula O

    Or, for those of us without smartphones, to be able, after the meetup, to indicate the 'no-shows'. I have tried to do this, but have not found anywhere on the site a way to do this.

    September 18, 2013

    • Paula O

      Thank you. Is there an 'undo' button if the wrong person is marked as 'no show'?

      September 20, 2013

    • Lana

      No there isn't, but you can change the attendance marking by correcting it to either "attended" or "didn't attend" if you've mistakenly marked them as a no-show.

      September 20, 2013

  • Greta H

    Thanks for taking the time to meet with us.

    September 20, 2013

  • Rennie

    Another thing I'd love to see: an upgrade to the app so that I can take attendance at the event and have it transfer to the website.

    3 · September 18, 2013

    • Lana

      I use this one to check members in: http://www.samchadwic...­

      September 19, 2013

    • Lana

      @Paula, you can mark people as no-shows on your computer by going to the event page, clicking on "tools" above the # attended and selecting "edit attendance". From there, you can mark people as Attended, Didn't Attend, and No Show.

      September 19, 2013

  • Greta H

    A change I would like to see is the option to turn OFF the option to RSVP "NO" or at least turn off the email that is generated for each NO RSVP. With 250 in my group and 3-4 events per week, it is bad enough to get all the "YES" emails, let alone an email for each and every NO. With 10 going to an event, I KNOW that the other 240 people are NOT going and I do not need 240 "NO" emails.

    2 · September 17, 2013

    • Peter

      And Meetup, please don't turn off NO RSVPs entirely. In a close-knit group, one wants to know who can NOT make it. Also, some people write why they can't make it, which reminds me that we need to have that feature back where you could write a comment with your RSVP and it would appear on the website for all to see but would NOT be emailed to everyone.

      September 17, 2013

    • Lana

      You can also set up filter rules in your email account. I do this with RSVPs, comments, mailing lists, join requests, announcements, reminders, etc. and they go to different folders. It keeps my inbox clear of any Meetup emails

      September 19, 2013

  • Joan B.

    I was grateful to be in a buzzing roomful of meetup organizers and it was an honor to meet Scott, as founder. If meetup had used a professional facilitator or if Scott could find the time to get some coaching, what was probably a net negative event for many, possibly including Scott, could have been a net positive one. No need to let it devolve into a gripe session. And Scott said all of the right things. As well as some things that would have been better received said differently....not dishonestly, just more reflectively. Again, thank you for the awesome chance to be in the same room with meetup's founder and many meetup worker bees. We CAN make the world a better, more loving place. FYI regarding excellent professional coaching, Learnit.com works in NYC.

    3 · September 19, 2013

    • Annie

      Thanks for your thoughts, Joan, which reflect my own! Well said!

      September 19, 2013

  • Rennie

    I'm not trying to be an apologist, but this was initially scheduled for 50 people; enough ruckus was raised that Joe quickly found a new location and upped the RSVPs by 70. (As usual, there were only about 80 people in attendance.)
    I admit that I was a bit flummoxed by how upset folks were to find out that they weren't the center of the Meetup universe. Say this with me: 20 million members. I personally appreciate his honesty. I share the same difficulties mentioned; not enough control over the interface, not enough granularity on emails, need for more interoperability with sites like tumbler, twitter, Facebook, etc., BETTER CUSTOMER SUPPORT.
    But the CEO of a large corporation took the time out of his crazy schedule to have a frank discussion of our dreams and the problems his platform presents to achieving those dreams.
    Googledocs sucks (IMHO), and I'm still waiting for this type of meeting with Larry Page.
    Last point: The suggestion for open source problem-solving was brilliant.

    6 · September 19, 2013

  • Brandi Sue M.

    Thank you Scott and Joe for hosting this meetup. I feel more connected to meetup more than ever! Scott, thank you for turning a tragedy of the 911 and making lemonade by creating the idea of "Meetup" for more community and unity. So glad I came a long distance to make this invaluable event! :) Thank you Organizers for all your hard work. :)

    4 · September 19, 2013

  • John

    One size does not fit all groups. Would love to see a tiered approach - premium subscriptions with higher subscription fees that come with options tailored to the type of group, along with more support from HQ.

    September 17, 2013

    • John

      I got my answer to the above when Scott made if crystal clear during the Q&A that he doesn't believe in a tiered approach. HQ's focus is squarely on getting members to join lot's of groups and RSVP for lots of events. Organizers are not at all in that focus. Ever since Organizers were added to the platform (along with subscription fees), MeetUp has expected the organizers to sink or swim . . . and from HQ's point of view, it has worked very well. Those organizers who don't drown are very successful and the concept of "MeetUps Everywhere About Most Everything" thrives.

      1 · September 19, 2013

    • John

      MeetUp does not sell (or market) the platform as a product - it's all about the vision of MeetUp. The investors believe in the vision, and any returns on their investment are secondary to the mission.

      September 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Positives
    • Scott met with us.
    • Plenty of pizza and drinks.
    • Meetup.com moves forward.
    Things to work on
    • Learn public speaking or find a spokesperson.
    • Treat people like you want to be treated.
    • People, not software, make communities.

    5 · September 19, 2013

  • Gini Graham S.

    I believe you can edit attendance and then show no shows, unless they changed this with the recent changes to the meetup site. I have a policy of 2 strikes (no shows) and you're out (meaning you can't sign up for that event again.)

    September 18, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      That does work, and we use it. At first we started giving a title of NS1, NS2, etc, but now use the "edit attendance" figure to track.

      September 19, 2013

  • Joyce

    Great having the chance to talk with other organizers. Joe did a decent job organizing the session and trying to accommodate as many people as possible, given the last-mute nature of the meeting. And it was nice to have Scott in SF having such an open dialogue with us. Not sure what will come of the discussion. Hoped it would help strengthen partnership for success between HQ and Meetup organizers, but don't think that will happen. There were many good questions and comments from organizers, but not many useful comments or answers from Scott. Was he being deliberately vague? What was his purpose in meeting with us? Don't know. What's clear is that organizers have to fend for ourselves, and to seek help/support from other organizers. We need to start having our own sessions where we discuss the challenges/issues we have and work as a group to address them. Isn't that the original purpose of THIS meetup group?

    3 · September 19, 2013

    • Joyce

      *Oops, that should say "last-minute"!­

      September 19, 2013

  • Janardhan

    Good conversations. Enjoyed listening to the different perspectives of fellow organizers

    September 19, 2013

  • George

    the vision was good for a new organizer to understand.

    September 19, 2013

  • Haydn

    I was really happy to find out this group existed because it seems like it could be a great resource for organizers to get together, share their experiences, learn from each other, collaborate and so much more so I'm excited to see what the plans are for it (and to help shape those if possible). The event was a great first step for that and it was also good that we got to speak directly to the CEO to bring up concerns we had, recommend feature changes and also hear about what the company is working on (the message here could've been a bit more polished and neatly packaged so that's something to consider for the future). I hope that the concerns and recommendations we shared with the company will at least be taken seriously so that we can work in unison to continually improve Meetup for all involved.

    In spite of the initial logistical challenges, Joe and the other organizers managed to put on a solid event so thanks for putting it all together!

    3 · September 19, 2013

  • Connie B

    The open discussion format used for this meeting was not IMO very effective for a group this size. A little more structured and focused discussion would have better. Mr Heiferman needs to be a bit more prepared, work on his public speaking and people skills. He managed to alienate himself by basically saying that the needs and wants of Organizers are not really his concern. Either he just didn't articulate himself well or he really needs to rethink that position.

    4 · September 19, 2013

  • Tomaj

    This event was so poorly organized and communicated that I'm shocked. I decided NOT to go because of this, after all, if it was this poorly conceived, how bad would it be once there???

    1 · September 18, 2013

    • Rennie

      It was great! It was very well organized for something that was put together in a few days. Sorry you missed it!

      3 · September 18, 2013

  • Susan M. F.

    I am a long term organizer who pays to have a meetup and was not invited. My friend who just attends events on occasion, was invited. Never did I receive an email invitation as she did and my meetup mobile app never showed this invitation until today, the day of the event....and the event was closed......not ok with me at all. :-(

    2 · September 18, 2013

    • Tomaj

      This event was so poorly organized and communicated that I'm shocked. I decided NOT to go because of this, after all, if it was this poorly conceived, how bad would it be once there???

      September 18, 2013

  • Marcela

    Is this meet up Will take place again in another moment? Or it is like a unique - One chance of meeting up with him ?

    September 18, 2013

    • Joe

      This is a special event in coordination with Meetup HQ

      September 18, 2013

    • Cindy F.

      OK, so that means it may happen again...?

      September 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Work is not letting up, but my concerns were hugely addressed by the comment discussion!

    September 18, 2013

  • Jeremiah B.

    Forgot I had a prior engagement darnit.

    September 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    What is the schedule for the evening? Hopefully, I will be getting out of a meeting at 7:00 to arrive by 7:30.

    September 18, 2013

    • Joe

      Come as soon as you can :)

      September 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Out of town

    September 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    also, I liked it when you could comment with your RSVP. Now the RSVPs only show the persons first lines of their profile. To me as an Organizer, it is much more important to get a comment from someone RSVPing why or why not they are attending.

    Similar with the feedback from an event. It used to show in the attendee column on the right. I found that useful, as I could refer people to previous events and they could easily see who said what about the event. Rather than having to scroll down through a bunch of irrelevant comments about carpooling, meeting locations and such. I find that for the most part the "improvements" made to the event page have been detriments. I never understood why a good thing has to change, just for the sake of saying we changed it or "improved" it.

    7 · September 16, 2013

    • Paula O

      If it isn't broken, DON'T 'FIX' IT!

      2 · September 16, 2013

    • Peter

      The two changes that Christine mentions have had a strongly negative effect on the Meetup experience. When you could write a comment with your RSVP, to be posted beside your name & photo on the website, people would typically write encouraging things about how they were looking forward to it if they said Yes. Or if they had to change their RSVP to No, they'd explain why. These comments were intended to be seen by anyone who looked at the event page with all the other info, but were NOT intended to be emailed to everyone. So now hardly anyone ever writes such comments anymore. And the separate event reviews gave readers of a group's history a sense of what members thought of particular past meetups. It was great when the past event listing showed bits of a couple reviews of each event in the list. Now those are GONE. If you want to see reviews of an event, you have to look for them mixed in with the comment stream.

      1 · September 18, 2013

  • David George J.

    But I'm going to another MeetUp this night!

    September 18, 2013

  • Stan

    How about having 3 of these meetings, one in Silicon Valley, one in the East Bay and one in SF? And why not make it part of an existing event for 3 (lucky) Meetups, perhaps at a social mixer or a hike, where Members and Organizers can interact with you.

    If you have time on this trip, I can help organize events in 2 locations.

    5 · September 16, 2013

    • Stan

      I won't be attending because I have a conflicting event/Meetup and it's a school night. I didn't get a reply so I'll ask again. Is it possible to have the next two meetings in the Silicon Valley and East Bay?

      1 · September 18, 2013

  • Patty S.

    PLEASE get rid of the automated "Stay in touch" email sent after an event. I just got another one! It's so irritating. On a happier note, I love Meetup and think it's a fantastic tool.

    2 · September 17, 2013

  • Joe

    UPDATE: As a courtesy, Meetup wanted to further expand the event and invite organizers who were not in this group. Those of you who just joined this morning that's why you just heard about it. Also due to the high number of RSVPs we had to secure a larger venue and will do our best to accommodate everyone and publish the location tonight.

    2 · September 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you Joe, it's a good move for meetup to accommodate all of us organizers who wish to be there to meet Scott Heiferman and are willing to deal with SF @ 6:30.

      September 17, 2013

    • Kate S.

      Nice work....

      September 17, 2013

  • Mary P.

    I would love to attend Wednesday but I have a three way conference schedule at that time. I will try for the next one. Have fun!!!

    1 · September 17, 2013

  • Davis

    Will someone take notes and send a summary out for those of us who can't attend?

    1 · September 17, 2013

  • Joseph W.

    Just gave up my slot. Downtown SF is just too far, as I have another meeting till 6:30pm in the South Bay

    September 17, 2013

  • Tomaj

    Will the "New Venue" have room for the rest of us who are on the wait list???

    September 17, 2013

    • Raines C.

      it looks like the list has been cleared, with everybody so far in.

      September 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So, I hope this event will be open to all of us organizers who want to be there! I, along with others are still wait listed. I'm sure we all feel that we should be included in order to "Meet Scott Heiferman, Founder and CEO of Meetup!".
    Thank you for arranging this informative event.
    Devi Somers, organizer of Hiking Meditation Meetup

    September 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I can't make it and would LOVE to have the info conveyed (after the fact) via e-mail or video to those of us who can't be there. I imagine that would be pretty easy in this day and age. Would someone be willing to make this happen? :)

    1 · September 17, 2013

  • Christopher

    I would also like to be able to take an event from one group to the next with just a share button.

    2 · September 17, 2013

  • Christopher

    Do we have a location yet?

    September 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    HALLELUJAH! So glad to hear I'm not the only one who is sick and tired of getting NO rsvps. It's not just the emails, but when you go through so much effort to put on an event, it's also a bit demoralizing to hear so many no's. you can obviously still comment to say something, but I'd like to get rid of the no rsvp altogether.

    1 · September 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I used to dislike the no responses as well, but now i see them as a positive. It is a great way to gauge how many people would be interested if the same event was repeated. But I could do without getting an email for the no responses.

      1 · September 17, 2013

    • Krikkit

      I too find the NO responses helpful, but turn the notification email OFF!

      1 · September 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi, We love meet-up and have a great group! Thank you!

    One suggestion: We don't use the "Location" feature because it often leads our members to the wrong location (we hike in remote areas). Instead we add location info in the body of the event posting. But when we don't use the Location feature, all of my members get spammed with an email request to choose a location for the event. Please allow us to turn off this email spamming feature.

    3 · September 10, 2013

    • John

      Another example of one size does not fit. I run a sailing group, the location is sometimes in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Latitude/Longitude is more important than a street address - definitely a niche requirement, but one that would be useful for hiking groups. Since the map feature is actually a Google application, more education on how to use Google Maps within the confines of how Meet Up integrates it within the platform would be very appropriate. Another instance of Meet Up not having appropriate end user support.

      1 · September 17, 2013

    • Tom B.

      yes; I agree as my locations are not always accessible via mapquest, etc. They get taken to the wrong location. Don't always rely on GPS and always have a M.A.P. as a back up.

      September 17, 2013

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