Recording: The Fundamentals of Marketing Your Meetup Group

Grow your Meetup group with a personalized marketing strategy that will attract interested members to your community.


Join Samantha Li and Brian Hui (lead organizers of the Brooklyn Product Design Group) for a conversation on how promotion, brand messaging, and collaboration contributed to the rapid growth of their group. They’ll share their strategy for various forms of promotion, how they mastered recruiting guest speakers, and the importance of consistent audience engagement.

Main Takeaways

  • How did you figure out your brand and identity?
    • Brian: The number one thing that you can do for your group is really hammering down what makes you different and finding how you can bring value to your community.
      For us, it was finding that niche of having social and educational time is how we set ourselves apart. 
  • How do you use social media?
    • Brian: One of the big things is using a consistent social media handle. Having a consistent social media handle makes it easier for people to find you.
      We record all our talks and upload them to youtube and we always have an archive. 
    • Sam: Some of the recordings we’ve had were recorded on an iPhone and we stick it to the wall. Look around and find what materials you have and see how you can iterate. 
  • How do you identify potential partners?
    • Sam: There’s a whole bunch of Meetup groups across the board. Don’t think about it as you’re competing, but you’re here to uplift each other. For example, we’re going to host a happy hour, why not make it a mixer event so you can invite other leaders.

Top Q&A Questions

  • How often are you hosting online events?
    • Brian: About once a month. At the beginning of COVID, we were doing more like 2 a month. But we think that from an organizer perspective, this is volunteer-run, and we don’t want to burn out.
  • What are some ways you approach running a volunteer-organization as opposed to a for-profit group?
    • Brian: The most important thing is to have respect for people’s time. At the end of the day, we’re all volunteers. We’re all passionate, but respect people’s time.
  • Tips to drive more attendance?
    • Sam: We’ll get the skeleton draft and if we’re missing a speaker or two, we can do a soft launch of the event without announcing it. Especially for in-person events, we quickly run out of seats. This will help provide the people who follow us to get early access.
    • Brian: Once you start having events with positive feedback, you can leverage that to get people excited for future events.

Additional Q&A

Brian and Sam answered additional questions from the Q&A offline:

  • How can we promote our Meetup group besides word of mouth and social media?
    • The built-in email messaging system that Meetup has can be good to reach out to your group to send an occasional newsletter or information email. Partnering with community groups can be a good way to also promote your group. These can be other Meetup groups or just local organizations in your community. Admittedly, it might be more challenging these days with COVID-19 and associated video fatigue as events are all hosted online. We’d try to be careful about choosing who to collaborate with and make sure you have shared values or goals so that you can tap into the audience you want to attract.
  • Do you have any advice for using email to market your Meetup group to individuals who don’t use social media?
    • We haven’t done much email marketing but we can see translating social media tactics into email campaigns. For example, you can try featuring members of your community in the email (work they’ve done, their stories, etc.) or even help provide resources to your community in the email alongside any future events you may be hosting. This can help you keep the focus on your community and let them know that your group is here for them and supporting them.
  • Can you share creative ways to reinvigorate a dormant group?
    • We would treat reinvigorating a dormant group similarly to building a new group from scratch except you have the benefit of having a community that you can speak to right away. New leadership can mean new visions for the group. It’s important to know your audience and to see what the community wants. If you can get a few people who are existing members of this dormant group interested, you can build out the vision and identify the needs of your community together to further plan what kind of events you will host. Don’t worry if your initial meetups are small. Instead, focus on providing a great experience that satisfies the needs of the community and you can slowly scale up from there!

Resources Mentioned

  • Brooklyn Product Design Group
  • The productivity tool Notion
  • The platform used to gamify collecting feedback Kahoot! 
  • Use a “social media handle checker” (just look it up on any search engine) to find a consistent social media handle for your group.

Last modified on June 27, 2023