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Evolve or Die: It's Time to Rethink Meetup Groups

While meetups have lots of individual and social benefits, many have not evolved and are on a declining trajectory. In today’s video we’ll ponder as to the causes of this decline and how you can evolve your own meetup group to not only survive, but thrive.

Discussion topics from the video:

  • My ongoing research into meetup groups. Still looking for more people to interview too!
  • Technical meetups are on the decline. Why?
    • Part of it is the avalanche of technical information online.
    • Part of it is people being able to more easily find and connect with same minded people online.
    • COVID has only expedited this decline.

If your meetup group is limited to meeting once a month, at a building, to eat pizza and talk about a technology, I fear your group may not be around in 5 more years.

  • There are still a ton of great benefits from a running a meetup community.
  • How should meetups evolve?
    • More events, smaller events.
    • Some in-person, some online.
    • Not every member will attend every event.
    • Social events: hack nights, side project saturday, show and tell.
    • Goal-oriented events: book clubs, workshops, mentoring, masterminds, side project time bartering.
    • Passive connections: Chatting and DM via Slack or Discord. Group Twitter account to promote member successes.
    • Maybe do bigger events every 6-months? formal dinners, picnics, mixers?
    • Need to spend more time onboarding new members when the group lives online.

The Google Trend chart for “meetup”.

Chart of Google Trends for the word meetup since 2004.

Thanks for watching and best of luck with your group.

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Thanks for reading!

Hi! My name is Mike Zornek and I'm a fellow meetup organizer from Philadelphia, PA. I have a long history of both participating in and helping to run meetup groups.

Guildflow is my attempt to push the industry forward and directly help meetup groups be successful. This site has a growing collection of articles and resources for meetup organizers.

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I love meeting and hearing from other meetup organizers. Don't be shy. Reach out or following me @zorn on Twitter / @zorn on Micro.Blog