Ever wish you knew more people in your city who shared that weird hobby of yours? Or want to find some contacts in your industry to meet and network with during free time on your next business trip? These things and much much more are now becoming very feasible thanks to the wonderful little service called Meetup, which describes itself as the “world’s largest network of self-organized clubs and community groups.”
I first discovered Meetup several years ago while searching for a local group to practice Danish with since….ya, there usually aren’t very many Danish speakers around. Well, that endeavor never came to fruition. Despite significant local interest no one took the initiative to actually start the group (and no, I wasn’t about to be that ambitious myself). But, I kept them in mind as a resource. A year or two later I finally attended a Meetup for Europhiles, where I met lots of people and had a great time blablabla, but it was basically just a social event.
Then, last fall I discovered the SF New Tech Meetup group, which blew me away. Though I’ve only been to one meeting so far due to scheduling conflicts, seeing first hand the caliber of people in that group inspired me to join a crapload of other local tech/entrepreneur Meetup groups. Not only are there countless events to choose from, but some of the mailing lists that hit my inbox are full of great resources and opportunities.
Sidenote: I highly recommend that anyone looking for tech-related job opportunities get on these mailing lists as members are constantly posting about positions they need filled.
Last weekend the San Francisco Webeneur Meetup held a blogging workshop with Ted Prodromou (social media guru), during which it became clear to me just how powerful Meetups can be. Organizer Bill Ayers certainly has the vision and the energy to guide local entrepreneurs to success. This entry of his blog has a picture of a few of us during workshop (from left to right, Johanna, Ted, and me).
What I found so inspiring was that other than the content of the workshop (which rocked), the 6 of us attendees grew increasingly more enthusiastic about one another’s businesses and were blurting out suggestions all day long – some brilliant, some absurd. I kept thinking that if we could collectively accomplish this much with just 8 entrepreneurial-minded people in the room, imagine the possibilities when you have a couple hundred people putting their minds together, with their respective educational backgrounds and networks of contacts to draw from. Now I’ve joined 10+ other meetups also related to tech/music stuff and my only complaint is that I can’t attend meetups full-time.
What about people who aren’t into emerging technology? What if you’re more interested in breakdancing or culinary arts? Improv acting or religious debates? Trust me people – it’s all there.
So. Let’s look at some examples of meetups related to music.
- Maybe you’re a DJ in New York looking to connect with other kick-ass DJs to collaborate with. The New York DJ Meetup has 105 people for you to hit up.
- That djembe is sitting in your apartment in Atlanta collecting dust and you want to find a place to jam and meet people? Then the Atlanta Drum Circle Meetup is for you.
- Singer-Songwriter in Philly? Connect with the other 765 of them in the Philadelphia Musicians, Songwriters, & Singers Network Group.
So, don’t be afraid. No matter how obscure your interests are, chances are there is probably a meetup somewhere out there for you. And if there is not, you can start one yourself.
If you are currently in any meetup groups, I’d love to hear which ones! Leave a comment or email me.