Saturday, September 25, 2010

Been to a meetup lately? If not, why not?

I’d like to think I’m keeping pace with current Internet trends, but I keep discovering that I’m wrong. Take “meetups,” for example. They have been around for nine years; yet, I had never attended one until last night. Where had I been, I wondered, while my savvier peers were sitting around large tables, soaking up information, and networking like crazy?

Here are some of the things I learned (you probably know most of them already):

A meetup is

Just what it sounds like—a bunch of people who get together at a specified time and place to discuss a particular subject of interest to all of them. Wikipedia, which tends to be wordy, defines a meetup as “an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world.” Co-founded by Scott Heiferman, Matt Meeker, and Peter Kamali in 2001, meetups have become an international phenomenon. (Don’t you wish you had thought of it?)

How to find a meetup to attend

  • Go to, and enter your zip code or area of interest.
  • Learn about one that sounds thought-provoking, and register online.
  • Tag along with someone as a guest.
  • Start your own meetup group.

You will benefit from a meetup by

  • Learning more about a topic that interests you
  • Meeting new people with similar interests
  • Developing valuable contacts
  • Letting people know you are and what you do

What to do at a meetup
  • Observe the protocol before you start talking.
  • Have your “elevator speech” prepared.
  • Deliver it with confidence in a voice loud enough to be heard.
  • Distribute business cards, promo materials, direct-mail pieces, etc.
  • Participate in the discussion. Ask questions. Answer questions. Comment.

The meetup I attended is called “Tiny Business, Mighty Profits.” It was founded and conducted by Russ Henneberry, a dynamic marketing expert who knows a great deal about Web design, social networking, WordPress, and how to maintain the rapt attention of twenty-seven people for two hours without missing a beat.


Fred E. Miller said...

MeetUps are Great!

I have learned a lot. I've also made new friends and found business contacts by attending them.

I'll have to do one myself sometime on Public Speaking and Presentations.