Starting your own meetup group will cost you some time and money but the rewards you can reap from a meetup group are staggering. It’s the ideal way for you to meet new people, customers and share your story with new friends. You don’t have to have years of experience under your belt to start a networking group, just a healthy dose of enthusiasm. New or established most businesses are looking to broaden their customer bases and meetup groups are an excellent place to start.
Find a Purpose
When you set up your meetup group have a clear purpose in mind of exactly what you want to accomplish. What is the reason a group of people are meeting for, what does it offer them…not just you. Have a plan and a budget and execute them. You need to figure out space and what the event will cost, whether you will have a locally based event or host a meet up online. Planning and preparation are key to running a successful meetup. When your meetup runs smoothly, you look like a professional. Having a meetup with no agenda or organization will turn off the attendees, and that in turn will prevent them from doing business with you.
Work With a Partner
If you’re looking to host a big event then you will either need couple of volunteers, or get a partner that shares the same goal as you. They can take on some of that workload, help you figure out the direction you want your meetup to take. With help you can increase the size of the meetup and working with a partner can help with the costs.
You will need very clear cut guidelines, these will help run the group smoothly and show to your guests that you have a clear purpose in mind. This will help you with things like finances and budgets, establish costs if any to attend and how you will choose others to work with. Putting all this together before you even have your first meetup will avoid any confusion down the road.
If your meetup is meant to be a regular event, then planning out your itinerary up to a year in advance is not unreasonable. The big events plan down to the last detail, it will help attract new members to regular meetups. Find a place that you will be able to use regularly throughout the year. Hotels are ideal they have staff, large meeting rooms, food and adequate parking. Consistency is key to making any meetup group successful in the long term. You want to create a group that people will enjoy, not just for business growth but as an opportunity to meet new people.