Hello, I am planning to host a meet up in my city, but I don't know where to start . Looking for opinions thanks
I run IndieBeers.co in London - a monthly pub meetup without speakers. It's a decent format for getting started.
Quite simply, people meet at the same pub/bar each time and talk about their projects.
This has the benefit of being easy to organise, cheap and pretty accessible. People feel okay with just dropping in for an hour, rather than having to stay the whole time.
The disadvantages are it doesn't get the same numbers as a regular meetup with speakers/food etc. This in turn makes it harder to get sponsorship. Plus, not everyone likes pubs or bars.
Here's something I wrote a while back on how to start your own: https://makermag.com/2019/03/18/growing-meetup/
EDIT: Something surprising I learnt... it's better to have a venue that's slightly too small (relative to your attendance) than too large. If it's too large, people perceive it as being empty and don't enjoy themselves as much. Start small.
In Montreal, we started with just a social gathering. For the first session I had some past experiences in my back pocket that I had loosely assembled into something I could talk about, but we never needed it. We talked about what we're working on, what struggles we're having and general brainstorming. After we had a few recurring members, we tried the un-conference format and longer talks by some of the members.
You'll want to find a place to meet as well. If you'll just be a few people you can always meet at a pub/restaurant, if you're more you can always probe the community for spaces- sometimes co-working spaces will sponsor by lending space. If you go through meetup.com and theres a wework around, ask the wework community managers for space (wework owns meetup.com).
We learned that the vibe of our group is that people like shorter talks because it opens up more time to talk to people and network during the event. Once you get some regular members, you can adapt from there to whatever the group/you like.
This is quite insightful. I appreciate that you took time to type such long content. Thank you so much.
An Indie Hacker's meetup has two hard requirements: Indie Hackers and a place for them to meet.
# Finding People
Posting on meetup.com is nice because they'll help promote your meetup. They're not free to use though, so here's some more options.
You'll also find people by posting here and by reaching out to local hacker spaces, coworking spots, and to other related meetup groups. Any existing meetup groups having to do with tech, business, or marketing will have members who'd be interested in attending your indie hackers meetup too.
# Finding a place.
If it's just a few people, then a cafe or bar might be perfect. No reservations needed, casual atmosphere.
If there's a lot of interest, you might think about reaching out to a coworking space. Usually you'll find at least one in your city that's happy to host a group of potential customers for free.
# What to do at the meetup itself
Taking turns talking about what you're working on will provide plenty of conversation material to fill a first meetup. If you get past the intros phase, try bringing up a specific marketing tactic to discuss or ask what people's goals are over the next 1-3 months.
# More resources
More about finding people to come to your meetup.
More about finding a free venue.
I think there is no fixed format and every organizer should find the one that fits the most for their audience.
I run the Indie Milano meetup (https://www.meetup.com/it-IT/Indie-Hackers-Milano) and I'm currently in "discovery mode" trying with several different formats, for example:
And you can go further with:
As with any other "product" then the secret is to try a small thing and ask for feedback. In the end a meetup is nothing without its attendees so they will be your main source for ideas and opinions :)
Beautiful! Thaanks :)
We usually have some beer, pizza and chats at our event in Belfast, followed by a few 5-10 min talks from IndieHackers sharing their story, then some more chats.