Stumped about what to do for your next event? One of the most common questions we get from organizers is how to host events that will intrigue new members and get them engaged.
Watch three Meetup Organizer mentors; Ceil The Deal, Alysia Allen, and David Good from the Meetup Organizer Community on Discord to hear best practices for hosting great events. Learn their time-tested tips for creating compelling event descriptions, attracting attendees, and making members excited to participate.
- Introduction To Panelists (2:04)
- New and Upcoming Features (5:07)
- Conversation with Organizers (8:58)
- Q&A (46:52)
- Ceil: Taking a photo of the location is so important. Keep in mind that whatever photo is posted on the Meetup page where you have your event that stays there. So future members who are interested in joining your group would actually see that people are joining and participating. One thing I also wanted to add is it’s important to eliminate any roadblock that your members might have. For example, write down the directions to the place, and make sure you put directions to parking. It’s also important to have something for people to look for to recognize that’s the Meetup group and know exactly where to go.
- Alysia: Mocha Girls Read has an Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter account. We also are on Goodreads and BookClubs.com. So we promote on all platforms as often as we can, we also have business cards and flyers that we leave at bookstores or coffee shops. I also love doing cross-promotion. All this time Ceil has been a part of my events and vice versa. We help each other and try our best to help our members find other groups too, and the ways we do that is by cross-promoting. It’s important to develop true authentic relationships with other organizers to trust each other for support.
- David: One of the attitudes I’ve always had in my groups is that as the leader, I’m really the least important member of the group. I would not have a group if not for all these wonderful people that show up to my groups and make my life better. I’m here to serve the people that come. The more I emphasize the people that come first, the bigger the group that will grow.
Top Q&A Questions:
- What are your thoughts about starting on time, and expectations of punctual value versus waiting for the numbers to arrive?
- David: Yeah, for my Zoom meetings I hold time for people arrive the during first 10 minutes. During that time, we screen people, say hello, and then I open breakout rooms for people to go into. I’ll even have some members who will arrive an hour later. For in-person events, I always give 10 minutes for people to arrive. My groups are social groups, so they’re really casual. For our meet and greet events at coffee shops or bars, people can arrive any time. I prefer for people to arrive on time, but we’ll wait before we sit down to give people a couple of extra minutes to arrive.
- If someone in your group sees that a certain member is attending events, and they don’t feel comfortable, how do you approach that situation? How do you maintain that sense of safety with particular members?
- Ceil: I’ve had this come up several times in the past. I did a lot of live events and some members were disruptive or loud, or just inappropriate. My approach is to discuss this with other members. I listen to the feedback from all the other members who are not happy with this one particular member. Get the facts before you make your own judgment, or before you make your own decision. The second thing that I do is contact the member myself and have a direct one-on-one gentle conversation in a non-accusatory manner. I come from a curiosity standpoint, “I’m just wondering why you were yelling at our last Meetup event?” They can let me know why because you never know, maybe that member had problems at home, and they were trying to vent using your Meetup group. The main thing is to make sure that the member understands that you have guidelines and your goal is to create a safe Meetup space for your group. If you have a co-organizer, you can also include them in the conversation so that you have another person who can back you up.
- What do you do when you have a lot more people who want to go to an event than you can handle?
- Alysia: Yeah, if your community is growing more rapidly than you’re prepared for, leadership teams are crucial. When your community is growing that’s a great time to leverage people to help you manage the more administrative parts of events. We had 40 to 60 attendees depending on the book which was intense so it was a team effort. There’s a person at the door greeting and handing out stickers and newsletters, there’s another person helping all the new people. It can’t be just you by yourself.
Panelists’s Group Links:
- Ceil The Deal
- Alysia Allen
- David Good
Last modified on August 2, 2022