Survey Says: The Top Five Most Important things for Organizers
Every year, we survey Meetup Organizers about what’s most important to them, and how we can help them build stronger communities in their neighborhoods. Here are the Top Five things that were most important to Organizers in 2012:
5: Expressing my Meetup Group’s purpose and mission
! Alliance for a NEW HUMANITY Meetup Group
Organizers want to make sure the purpose of their Meetup Group is clear so they’ll find the right members and accomplish their goals. “I want to tailor a group to a specific interest or purpose and be able to facilitate it the way I want.” - Organizer of a culture Meetup Group in Washington
4: Getting more members to join my Meetup Group
London Pugs Meetup Group
No matter the size of a Meetup Group, Organizers always welcome more members. “I’d like to get a core group of members that meet on a regular, repeat basis.” - Organizer of a support Meetup Group in North Carolina
3: Getting feedback from my members
Organizers want their Meetups to meet member expectations. “I would like to get more feedback from them as to what topics they are interested in so that I can provide the subject matter that will motivate them to attend.” - Organizer of a spirituality Meetup Group in Ontario
2: Encouraging members to be more active
Minnesota Hip Chicks Meetup Group
The best members are those who show up and get involved. “Ways to get members to be more active is very important.” - Organizer of a women’s business Meetup Group in Ohio
1: Having my Meetup Group be a long-lasting organization
Canada Outdoor World Seekers Meetup Group
Organizers want to create lasting friendships and communities. “Meeting new people, building something (hopefully) lasting that can continue after you have left town.” - Organizer of a health Meetup Group in New Zealand.
We contact a random sample of Organizers each Fall to better understand your needs, attitudes and satisfaction with Meetup. If you didn’t get an invitation last October, keep an eye on your inbox this year.
Thanks to everyone who contributed their feedback!
What is Meetup’s economic impact?
We know that tons of Meetups happen every day in bars, cafes, restaurants, and theaters. Then there’s the play dates, running meets, parties, workshops, conferences, and everything in between.
Ever wonder how much Meetup members are spending on Meetup-related activity every year? Meetup’s strategy team did, so we took a couple of hours from our day-to-day research projects to answer the question.
Our goal: Get a rough estimate of the economic impact of the 2+ million RSVPs and 330,000+ Meetups that happen in a given month.
To tackle this Fermi problem, we split into two teams with different strategies for answering the question.
Strategy #1: Measure the stuff we’ve got data for. Sample the rest. Extrapolate.
This team consisted of our Lead User Experience Researcher, Anna, and our Data Analyst, Chris.
Chris ran through our data on actual transactions recorded on Meetup’s systems for recent RSVPs.
Meanwhile, Anna sampled a few hundred recent Meetups to try to get a sense of the average amount of money a single attendee would wind up spending. The range was very wide, from nothing at all to hundreds of dollars.
Results: About $14 million a month spent by Meetup members overall, with an average of about $9 per RSVP across all the events sampled.
Strategy #2: Make some assumptions about our data and see where that takes us, with a dash of language processing fun.
This team consisted of our Data Analyst Randy, and a big pot of tea.
Let’s assume that when members go to bars, restaurants, and golf courses, the words in the name of a place give us a hint as to what they’re doing and how much they might be spending.
When we associate the words from the name of the Meetup location with the median prices charged by various Meetup Groups going to those places, you get a rough price list that’s surprisingly believable. For example:
- “bar” - $10.00 per RSVP
- “cafe” - $8.75
- “campground” - $18.50
- “cinema” - $9.00
- “club” - $15.00
- “coffee” - $5.00
- “grill” - $10.67
- “massage” - $15.00
- “restaurant” - $12.14
- “tasting” - $29.11
- “theatre” - $16.79
- “yacht” - $26.69
- “ymca” -$20.00
We used six months of Meetup data, February 2012 to July 2012.
We controlled the data so that no one Meetup Group could dictate the median price of a word, and we only considered prices in US$, to keep things simple.
Then, we quickly combed through the list of most popular words by hand, keeping only meaningful words. (Sorry, “the”—we don’t believe you cost $13.86.) In the end, we came up with a list of 141 words and prices.
Next, we looked at all the Meetups that happened in July. As we went through each Meetup, we used the first rule that applied from this list:
- Organizer listed a fee and accepted payments via Meetup’s ticketing system: assume 100% of RSVPers paid.
- Organizer listed a fee but accepted cash at the location: assume 66%* of RSVPers paid.
- No listed fee: check the name of the venue. Assume 66% of RSVPers paid the price of the most expensive word that matches.
- No listed fee, but there are dollar signs in the Meetup description: assume 66% of RSVPers paid the average $$ value written in the text.
- Everything else: assume it’s free.
* Anecdotal evidence gathered by being an Organizer and talking to other Organizers suggests that it’s common to see about a third of ‘Yes’ RSVPs no-show to Meetups that don’t have attendance policies.
Of course, rule #4 probably over counts economic activity for a Meetup. You can talk about money in all sorts of ways that don’t involve spending it. We also know that rules #3 and #5 under count activity. There’s no way to cover every possible variation on restaurant and bar names across the world with just 141 words. Plus, it must cost at least some small amount to travel to a Meetup. But for our purposes, we’ll assume that the errors cancel each other to some degree. We’ll be closer to the truth by including rules #3-#5 than we will by excluding them.
Results: About $13 Million for the month of July, a bit over $6 per RSVP.
That’s quite close to the number Team #1 found. (With this method, no-shows were more explicitly accounted for, which drops the average.)
Allowing for errors and seasonal differences, it all adds up to a pretty impressive number:
The current economic impact of Meetups is roughly $100-150 million a year.
Not too shabby. And considering that Meetups have been growing like crazy this year, that number’s sure to go up in years to come.
Randy is a Data Analyst at Meetup.
It’s that time again! The top Food & Drink Meetups from the past 30 days are here to show us what they’re made of. Before we get to the main course, take note of these great food-friendly ideas we found among the cream of the crop:
- Food is always photogenic. If your Meetup Group does cool things with food, like learn how to make cheese or limoncello, be sure to document the experience and share it like the L.A. Foodies Meetup Group.
- Get off the beaten culinary path. If there’s one thing foodies love, it’s eating new cuisines at undiscovered places. Consider making a point of avoiding mainstream chain restaurants like Seattle True Foodies—your Meetup may become the hottest ticket in town.
- Get the gang together. Forget the reservations, the waiting lists, the limited seating. Try throwing an event that all of your Members can attend, like the NYC Vegetarian/Vegan’s Picnic in Central Park.
Top Food & Drink Meetups by RSVP, July 2012:
- L.A. Foodies - Los Angeles - 544
- Seattle True Foodies - Seattle - 456
- London Vegan Meetup - London - 421
- Dallas Ethnic Restaurants - Irving - 406
- Las Vegas Raw Food Meetup - Las Vegas - 395
- VEGphoenix! - Phoenix - 368
- “Denver and Beyond” Vegan Meetup - Denver - 354
- Charlotte Wine Club - Charlotte - 345
- L.A. Asian Foodies - Los Angeles - 326
- The New York City Vegetarian & Vegan Meetup - New York - 307
You can see where your Food & Drink Meetup Group ranks on the full list here.
If you’re the Organizer of a Food & Drink Meetup Group, why don’t you schedule a Meetup?
And if you’re looking to get involved with all the fun as a member, be sure to RSVP for an Food & Drink Meetup near you.
Hollynn dishes on dining out as Meetup’s Food & Drink Community Specialist.
Get the full scoop on Food & Drink Meetups here.
Parenting Meetups: March Trends
In the past 30 days, Parenting Meetup Groups have racked up some serious RSVPs. This month, our front runners are two super active New Jersey-based Meetups — the North Jersey Moms Meetup Group and The Jersey City Moms Meetup. They’re both sitting at the top, nearly side-by-side, with a difference of only about 200 RSVPs. Keep it up, Garden State!
- The Jersey City Moms Meetup - 1215 - Jersey City
- North Jersey Moms Meetup Group - 991 - Cliffside Park
- The South Charlotte Playgroup - 691 - Charlotte
- Coastal Counties Playgroup - 653 - Howell
- Jax Stroller Strength - 597 - Jacksonville
- The Babies and Mommies of Doylestown - 556 - Doylestown
- FUN Single Parents of Orange County! - 479 - Irvine
- Chula Vista East Moms Group - 452 - Chula Vista
- The San Fernando Valley New and Expecting Parents MeetUp - 439 - Encino
- The Mommy Network of the Simi Valley/Moorpark Area - 438 - Simi Valley
Katie is on Meetup’s Community team.
Parenting Meetups: 1K Club
Meetup is filled with some pretty amazing Parenting groups, ranging in size from just a few dedicated parents, to hundreds and hundreds of moms and dads. Today we’re celebrating Meetups that hit some awesome milestones—crossing either 1,000 RSVPs or 1,000 members in the past 30 days.
Before we share the latest members of the 1K Club, a special shout-out goes to the The Panama City Playgroup, Kent County Moms Group, and the East Broward Moms Meetup Group who, in the past 30 days, crossed a whopping 10,000 RSVPs!
- The Portland Single Parents Meetup Group - Portland
- Plum Moms Club Flagstaff - Flagstaff
- PoCoMo Fitness Moms Meetup Group - Coquitlam
- SYV Moms - Santa Ynez
- Dutchess County Stroller Strides - Poughkeepsie
- Transracially Adoptive Families (TAF) - Denver
- Stroller Strides of Northern NJ - Paramus
- Spartanburg Parents Meetup Group - Duncan
- Cub Scout Pack 142 - Tustin Memorial Academy - Tustin
- Central Jersey Single Parents Meetup Group - Somerville
- Adventure Parents Ages 5-12 - Clearwater
- Flour City Sprouts - Pittsford
- G.J. Moms and Tots - Grand Junction
- La Grange Moms with Toddlers & Little Ones Too - La Grange
- SAHMs of Howard County - Columbia
- Short Pump/Glen Allen Moms Group - Glen Allen
- Walnut Creek Homeschoolers - Walnut Creek
- WOODBRIDGE MOMMIES & 2010/2011 BABIES - Woodbridge
- Mamma Mia!! Busy Moms of Ft. Smith - Fort Smith
- Fitness for Mom, Fun for Baby & Kids-Fontana Stroller Stride - Fontana
- Aloha Moms, Hawaii Moms Group - Ewa Beach
- Midland MOMS Club - Midland
- Delta Alpha Gamma - The Sorority for Mommies - Fort Mill
- The Hoboken Moms Meetup Group - Hoboken
- CoquitlamMommy.ca - Play, Share Connect! - Coquitlam
- Quincy Area Moms of Infants and Tots - Quincy
- Small Fries - Little Rock
- 2011 Babies of North County Inland! - San Diego
- Tiny Toes in North Orlando - Orlando
- The MOMS ClubÂ® of North Attleborough - North Attleboro
- Tiny Tots of Cedar Park - Cedar Park
- Rockin’ People & Cool Kiddo’s Play-Group - Kennesaw
- MoM’s on the Move - Sykesville
- CHEERS (for Pregnant & New Moms!) - Chicago
Katie is on Meetup’s Community team.
Literature Meetups: Trends
The Literature category on Meetup includes Groups based around reading and/or writing, including Book Clubs, Philosophical Discussions, and Writing Circles. Take a look at the numbers racked up by these Literature Meetup Groups! It gives all of us lit nerds faith that the written word is still holding its own in a reality TV world.
The first three Meetups come in at 5818, 5719, and 5279 all-time RSVPs, respectively. A super close race! Below are the top ten, and you can check out the full worldwide ranking of Literature Meetups too.
- The Nashville Writers Meetup - 5818 - Nashville
- The Raleigh Write to Publish Meetup Group - 5719 - Raleigh
- The Arlington Writers Meetup Group - 5279 - Arlington
- The Las Vegas Writers Group - 4208 - Las Vegas
- The Orange County Writers Network: Poets and Dreamers - 3967 - Irvine
- MinnSpec — Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers - 3558 - Minneapolis
- Central Phoenix Writing Workshop - 3509 - Phoenix
- Coffee House Writer’s Group - 3180 - San Dimas
- The Philadelphia Writers Meetup Group - 3106 - Philadelphia
- Sit Down, Shut Up, and Write! - 3082 - Austin
Click here to see the global leaderboard of every Literature Meetup!
One cool thing to note is that two of the groups on the list, MinnSpec and The Dead Horse Society, are dedicated to speculative fiction — fantastical genres including sci-fi, fantasy, and utopian/dystopian themes. (We actually covered the recent boom in Hunger Games Meetups this past month.)
Tamara is on Meetup’s Community team.
One million joins: 3 lessons that led to Meetup’s biggest month ever.
If you joined a Meetup in January, you broke a record. People joined a Meetup over one million times in January.
When people see this graph they immediately ask what caused the jump. So we figured we’d share what we’ve learned.
Lesson #1: Unleash the network
State of the Meetup Tech Union
After a record 1 million Meetup Group joins in January, we decided to take a closer look at where all this awesome sauce is coming from.
One community on Meetup that we’ve been keeping our eye on is technology. While it’s still not the largest topic on Meetup, it’s definitely booming — and no surprise, since the tech and internet industries are live wires right now. Where there’s industry, there’s a community of people making it happen.
Here’s a roundup of what’s going in the global tech community on Meetup.
First off, there are over 1.1 million memberships and over 600,000 people in tech Meetups, suggesting that the tech community is an interconnected one. People often join more than one tech Meetup.
All this activity is popping up in very interesting places, and some cities are growing incredibly fast. Hong Kong holds the #1 spot for the city with the biggest year-over-year growth between 2010 and 2011, at over 400%!
Of course, we know that deep down, most people really just want to know who’s at the top overall.
That’s right, according to Meetup RSVP data, the Bay area beat out the NYC area in 2011.
Here’s deeper info on Silicon Alley and Silicon Valley:
Meetup is currently building ways to help members explore and capitalize on the interconnectedness of the Meetup ecosystem, so we’ll be sure to revisit the growth of the tech community in 2013.
Make sure your city stays (or gets!) on the list by RSVP’ing to your local tech Meetup, or starting one of your own.
[Special thanks to Sarah Adams and Richard Boenigk for design, Randy Au for data.]