Can my approach make meetups more popular? Can it bring about the creation of new niches of providers and new niches for meetups
If Providers advertise programs attuned to various types of interest, they will likely be able to do it better than the meetup-organizer could. There can be party-planner-providers offering their services to the venue Providers, they can make events more appealing and increase attendance, and maybe they can themselves create new groups focused around the type of events they know how to organize! Or they can be one of the Providers, working with the venue Provider and the Group. So my approach can perhaps create new niches of providers and new niches for meetup groups.
Example: Investigate: Are meetups in Israel mostly re high tech? And in other countries? Which niches are underrepresented, which could benefit from the above approach?
Existing sites with similar approaches: 1. Venyooz 2. Jigglist 3. Meetup.com’s attempt? 4. eVenues
1. https://www.venyooz.com/meetupTheir message to meetup-organizers: Meetup is a wonderful tool for connecting with people who share your interests. As a Meetup organizer, you know how important it is to spend time with people offline, and that’s why you go to great lengths to plan great activities.But the logistics can be difficult. How do you find good spaces for your meetups? Invite guests into your home? Call a few restaurants for a spare room? Squish a couple tables together at a Starbucks? We feel your pain. Venyooz works with schools, churches, community centers, and other organizations to make amazing spaces available to the community for short-term rental! Our mission is to make it easier for people to get together in real life. In other words, we’re here for you. Connect to Meetup to find spaces for your events. Venyooz allows you to connect to Meetup to find spaces for your upcoming event. Once you book a space with us, we’ll even help you update the Meetup event’s location.
3.Meetup.com’s Venues: http://www.meetup.com/meetup_api/docs/2/venues/
4. http://www.evenues.com/event-planning-guide/types-of-meetings-and-events A MARKETPLACE FOR MEETING & EVENT SPACE eVenues, Inc. is a venture capital and angel investor-backed e-commerce company based in Seattle, Washington. Formed in 2008, it develops, aggregates, and operates an online public marketplace and booking service for meeting, event and unique spaces. eVenues’ customers range from tutors, non-profits groups to Fortune 500 customers who search and secure short-term meeting space in cities across the United States. The company is comprised of experienced professionals from leading hospitality and technology companies like Hyatt, Westin, Expedia, and Microsoft.
Corporate sponsorship example: WordPress has many meetups, and the wp community gets free meetups via wp if no other is found: https://make.wordpress.org/community/2013/01/23/meetup-best-practices-venues/
The WordPress Foundation will cover the costs of a meetup venue if a donated venue cannot be found. If you are going to ask for the Foundation to cover the costs of a meetup venue, the following conditions must be met:
Suggestion re venues: Free venues http://kimberelyt.com/uncategorized/venues-for-meetups-in-nyc https://talk.birmingham.io/t/venues-to-hold-meetups-for-free/1821
Many sites offer suggestions re creating groups, including the meetup sites themselves.
suggestions re obtaining sponshorship: http://mashable.com/2010/06/26/how-to-meetup/#NtU8GorOaaqz
More about meetup.com’s business model and its evolution (from the previously-quoted site “https://personaldemocracy.com/content/meetup-says-put-or-shutdown”)
Meetup has also integrated PayPal technology to enable groups to pool money together. “Many of the best Meetups, political and otherwise, actually charge dues,” says Heiferman. For instance, The Heritage Foundation charges its Town Hall Meetup members $10 when they show up to events, and other groups collect money to rent rooms or to pay for tchotchkes or refreshments.
A survey of political groups at Meetup shows a growing number that now lack an organizer. The common response to the new charges seems to be to step down to avoid the responsibility of becoming a fee collector for Meetup.
Meetup Plus (a.k.a. M+) was Meetup’s first attempt to raise revenue from its participants. The cost for joining M+ was around $3 to $5 per month, depending on when the member joined and for how long. Before Meetup created the Organizer role, an M+ membership provided the ability to nominate venues for meetings. Since September of 2003, the benefit of M+ was one-to-one email access to other members. Under the new plan, one-to-one email contact will be available to all members for the flat group organizer fee.
Over the past two years Meetup has explored several revenue models, most notably charging the hosting venues a modest fee to be listed in Meetup’s system and running topical advertising on the site. In the end, Meetup eschewed revenue streams like advertising or sponsorship. Explains Heiferman, “If you get too ‘corporatized’ and sponsored and centralized, then people don’t want to meet up. The reason it works now is that it doesn’t just look grassroots, it is grassroots; it doesn’t just look bottom-up, it is bottom-up; it doesn’t just look authentic, it is authentic.”
Software Vultures Swoop In: A host of similar group organizing tools exists, including alternative group-formation and scheduling applications like the ubiquitous Yahoo Groups, social network applications such as Friendster and LinkedIn, and social event-scheduling tools like eVite, Upcoming.org, and the recently launched EVDB. However, the drawbacks of such alternatives are that they aren’t inherently searchable by topic, and they aren’t linked together under an umbrella in the way that regional Meetup groups are. Outside of Meetup, there really is no robust alternative database of potential meeting places yet available for planning in-person meetings.
The CivicSpace developer community is looking at the Meetup change as a potential opportunity to bring new users onto its platform. In fact, the community organizing process and software platform has already created a Meetup-like system called EventFinder; however, the technology is not yet ready for prime time.
In the long run, Hoppin envisions the Meetup shift spurring a number of custom-built solutions from various developers designed to serve the unique needs of specific organizations.
Heiferman concedes, “There will be the Yahoo Groups and CivicSpaces of the world,” but suggests that the true value of Meetup is its capability to form what he calls a “web of groups, not unlike how Karl Rove integrates networks of churches.” As a hosted system, these cross-topic networks could potentially provide an integrated experience beyond that of stand-alone event-scheduling solutions. “Our goal is to be an ‘eBay of community,’ “ says Heiferman, “providing a reliable, capitalized, trustworthy platform that makes a better network for participants as it grows.”