How to Host an Online Event on Meetup

A step-by-step guide for hosting online events.

Meetup was created for in-person events that bring people together offline. However, the unique challenges that came with the COVID-19 pandemic helped us understand the power that online events have to keep communities both safe and connected. Organizers have hosted nearly 5 million online events since they were introduced to Meetup’s platform in 2020. Join the movement and learn how to host your own:

How to choose an online event service

We recommend using video conferencing services like Google Hangouts, Zoom, or Jitsi. Learn more about a few popular video conferencing services.

Creating an online event on Meetup

Desktop and mobile web instructions

Check out the Help Center for the full written instructions.

  1. Create a new event draft.
  2. Designate that your event is “Online” at the beginning of the event title. 
  3. In the event description, invite members to join your event online by following the link listed in the event location.
  4. Click “Make this an online event.” Your event location will display your video conferencing link.
  5. Add a link to your online event in the field below. Your link must be related to a video conferencing service. Don’t include any additional text aside from the link.
  6. Complete any optional settings.
  7. Publish your event.

When creating a repeating online event, make sure your link can be used repeatedly so that members don’t try to join a meeting with an inactive link.

Best practices for online events

Watch Meetup organizer Sunil Bhaskaran’s webinar where he covers best practices for keeping your group engaged, healthy, and growing by hosting online events. Also, watch this recording for a walkthrough on how to set up online events.

Safety first! To avoid uninvited guests or disruptions, follow our security guidelines for online events. Be sure to require a passcode for the event and restrict participant screen sharing. You can also edit security options while in a meeting.

Set the stage for a great gathering. Start a conversation in the event chat to get your members talking. You drop an ice-breaker like “Share one thing you’re looking forward to during this event.” and build anticipation for your event.

In addition, follow Meetup CEO David Siegel’s advice for keeping members engaged during online events:

  • Check-in with every participant and encourage them to share their thoughts.
  • Turn on your video cameras. Seeing each other’s faces helps us to connect.
  • Encourage people to meet in a quiet place where everyone can be heard. 
  • Remember to mute your microphone when not speaking.

Communities thrive on Meetup, both in-person and online. Whether you host hybrid or online-only events, knowing how to set up and host a fantastic virtual meet and greet event will set your group up for success. 

Last modified on August 30, 2023