Meetup is not a typical dating, hookup or social networking site as we know it. How it works is, you’ll choose the niche you are interested in connecting people with. Such niches are Outdoors/Adventure, Fashion & Beauty, Health & Wellness, Technology, Family, Sports & Fitness, Learning, Photography, Arts, Food and Drink, Language & Culture, Music, Beliefs and Hobbies.
Meetup is employing online techniques to create real-life connections and interactions. The events are just posted online but the ‘meetup’ and mingling is as real as it gets – providing richer and better quality relationships than you will ever get hiding behind your computer or mobile phone screens.
Not requiring lengthy details, signing up on Meetup is free and only needs an email address or Facebook account, age, and a nominated username. You’ll then choose the group/niche/interest you want to be a part of.
You can then find groups who are hosting local events under the same niche you chose. You also have the option to create your own Meetup group.
Meetup’s homepage is basically an event calendar, where it shows all of the upcoming events of your groups and suggested events near you.
Events can be in the form of a webinar, online meeting/conference, and/or physical assembly. Each event information provides the date/time, location and topic details/instruction, number of attendees, comment box, and an action button (to tell whether you’re going/ not going).
Inside your profile, you’ll be able to access Messages and Notifications. You’ll also be able to view your joined groups, location, and the date of your membership.
Each Meetup group shows the members’ profiles, the organizer, location, their list of events, photos, activities, and discussions.
The groups in Meetup include:
- Businesses trying to meet new potential clients and expand their network.
- Religious or spiritual groups hosting events about their teachings or hosting guided meditations.
- Movement or an organization with a mission to improve lives.
- Passionate creatives and hobbyists who want to be around people of the same interests
- Simple gatherings, occasions, or events.
- And many others…
Joining different Meetup groups is free but forming your own group requires a subscription.
The subscription package includes the promotion of your group to potential members in the area, easy access to customer support 24/7, and acquiring tools for scheduling events.
Subscription plans may vary depending on the location. For Australia, the UK, Canada, and the US, prices are as follows:
- One month subscription is $23.99
- Six-month subscription is $98.94 or 16.49/month
For the rest of the world:
- One month subscription is $14.99
- Six-month subscription is $59.94 or 9.99/month
Payment is charged through the app store depending on whether you’re using an Apple or Android device. Subscription will automatically renew unless you turn off auto-renew at least 24 hours before the end of the subscription period.
Meetup has an upgraded version called Meetup Pro. This site is designed for entrepreneurs pursuing their brand awareness mission.
The upgraded subscription plan starts at $30 per month per group and includes communication tools, network management, advanced analytics, dedicated support from community experts, and MailChimp newsletter integration.
According to Meetup, this supports businesses and organizations to create customer engagement and brand community, and measure event performance. Through Meetup Pro, it will be so much easier to tap your target market and audience from the 37 million global community members.
Meetup is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WeWork Companies Inc., an American company that provides shared workspaces for technology startups, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small/ large businesses.
When you think about it, Meetup has very minimal to offer function-wise. You’ll also be required to pay the premium subscription to be able to organize a group and/or events — free features from Facebook that has by far a larger user base.
Their goal is all fine and dandy, and the user interface quite appealing. It evokes a vibe of getting people off their digital devices and start connecting in the real world. For those who abhor the mainstream, consumerist (our identities as commodities) and whore (everyone is using it) qualities of Facebook, Meetup seems to be a great alternative.
That is until Meetup user reviews surface revealing how the platform gypped them into purchasing a subscription only to realize that it doesn’t work as expected. Users likewise report of frequent crashes and glitches. These and more make it totally inconvenient to use the platform to organize and join events and to connect and meet like-minded people (the reason why you’re joining these events in the first place) .
And if the paid organizers are having trouble accessing Meetup and maximizing it, what makes anyone think that it would be a great place to go meet people by happenstance for free?