The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Group on Meetup

Our best advice for every new organizer.

Meetup-group-photographers_start-a-meetup-group

If you’ve ever had an idea for getting people together in real life, you know it takes planning. When you start a group on Meetup we help with some of the logistics, but it’s up to the organizer of the group to set the group’s vision. From coming up with an idea for a group to becoming a successful organizer, here’s our best advice for starting a group on Meetup. 

Choose a direction

There are a few questions all organizers should think about before starting a Meetup group. 

  • What is your group going to focus on?
  • What do you want to accomplish by starting a group?
  • What do you want people to get out of your events?
  • Who do you hope to meet at your events?

Answering these questions will help you make decisions as you bring your group to life. Here are some tips for choosing your group’s direction.

Do

  • Have a basic understanding of why you’re starting a group. This can change over time.
  • Think about how you would describe your group’s purpose to someone.
  • Consider what your first event would be about.
  • Browse for groups on Meetup for inspiration.

Don’t

  • Feel like you’re making final decisions. Your ideas will evolve as you go.
  • Get discouraged choosing a purpose. Your group’s purpose can and should be simple.
  • Forget about yourself. Your group and your goals should align.

Put your ideas into words

Once you’ve decided on your group’s overall direction, you can think about how you’re going to share it with the world. Members will be looking for details about your group before they decide to join it. Here are the two basic elements you’ll need when you create your group.

Group name

Do

  • Keep it simple and clear. Feature the elements that are core to your group and what makes it unique (Seattle Grandmas Kayak Club). 
  • Be flexible. Your group may change over time or you may host different types of events, so broad names offer flexibility (Women Who Code NYC).
  • Make it unique. Your group name is the first thing potential members will read, make it memorable (Adventures, Activities, and Random Events).

Don’t

  • Agonize over picking the perfect name. Instead, focus on getting your group’s purpose across.
  • Use acronyms that are not easily understood.
  • Include dates or references to one-time events (New Years’ party).

Group description

Do

  • Write your description like you’re talking to a friend. It helps to say it out loud first and then type it.
  • Include the reasons why you started your group and your group’s mission.
  • Call out why people should join.
  • Give insight into the events you’ll host.

Don’t

  • Worry about making it perfect. A simple explanation goes a long way.
  • Overload members with information. A group description should be a quick and easy read.
  • Be afraid to use your personal voice. This is an opportunity to introduce yourself.

Create your group

You’ve done the planning, now it’s time to make your group a reality. Starting a group on Meetup is simple and we’ll walk you through the steps one by one. This is where you’ll plug in the information you worked on above and start a subscription.

Do

  • Remember to set your group’s location in the area where you will host your events.
  • Think of topics that describe your group and so we can share it with the right people.
  • Take your time on each step and double-check your spelling.

Don’t

  • Feel the need to go through the whole process all at once. You can save a draft.
  • Worry about making it perfect. You can continue customizing your group after you submit it.

Schedule an event and add personal touches

Now that you’ve created your group, you can start customizing it. You don’t have to wait for us to review the group to begin adding the personal touches that make it unique. When members come to your group page for the first time it should feel active and welcoming. Here are a few ideas to start with.

Schedule your first event

Do

  • Write a thoughtful event description. Include a clear agenda of what members can expect.
  • Add an event photo, even something generic. 
  • Introduce yourself in the event Comments section.

Don’t

  • Set your event date too soon. You should schedule your first event quickly, but give members a chance to join the group before the event date.
  • Try to do it all at once. You should be ambitious with your events, but you’ll also learn a lot as you go.

Use photos to your advantage

Do

  • Upload a clear photo of yourself for your profile. It’s an easy way to introduce yourself.
  • Choose a cover photo that represents your group. It’s okay to use “stock” photos which you can replace later. 
  • Use photos of people whenever possible.
  • Set a time to take photos with your group at your next event.

Don’t

  • Use a blurry photo or random images.
  • Use photos that you don’t have permission to use.

Welcome your new members

Do

  • Write a short bio in your organizer profile introducing yourself.
  • Post a comment in the Discussion section welcoming your new members.

Don’t

  • Be afraid of getting a little personal. Genuine messages resonate with people.
  • Agonize over how you frame your intro. Just be honest and yourself.

Promote your group

Do

  • Invite friends to your group by sharing your group’s link.
  • Share your group on social media. You can even include a line from your group description.
  • Share a link to your first event as well.

Don’t

  • Worry about promoting your group on Meetup, that’s where we come in. We help promote groups to interested people in your area.
  • Underestimate the power of word of mouth. Talk about your group and events with friends and colleagues and it will grow.

Last modified on February 20, 2020