A Meetup group is a local community of people. Meetup groups are sustained through Meetup events, which are face-to-face gatherings that happen in real life between members and organizers. You can find a Meetup group in your neighborhood on the Find page.
Being a pretty seasoned “networker” I totally enjoy attending these events and since I’ve “been around the block” a few times, I can tell you I have gained new friends and also new customers by doing so.
I can also tell you 5 Things To NOT do at a Meetup
Basically, I’ve made a flaming fool of myself a time-or-two. But, I chalk it up to the “Becky charm” and learn from my mistakes. People still seem to like me anyway despite my quirks and weirdness. But I’ll spare you the embarrassment and share a few things:
5 Things To NOT do at a Meetup
1. Get sauced on free wine, then talk smack about the competition. (YES, I did do that…ONCE. It was about 20 years ago, thank Gawd). I continue to pray no one remembers.
2. Say things like “Hey! I saw a dead possum on the road on the way here. That’s not something you see everyday!”….Er…yeah.
3. Forget your business cards at home: Though you should never lead off a new connection to someone by your business card during an introductory handshake, it is a good idea to bring your cards with. Fumbling around for cards (that aren’t there) and having your possible-new-connection murmur, “I’ll just Google you” is a definite sad face in the “LOSE” column.
4. Offer to sing and pantomime the “Two Short-Necked Buzzards” song you witnessed at Kindergarten Graduation. Though it may entertain the people in your immediate circle, it will look freakishly disturbing to those across the room. First impressions are critical…always.
5. Talk about your infinity and admiration for snakes and reptiles. I promise 99.9% of the people you share that with will not react favorably. Keep it calm and cool and personal details close-to-the-vest until you turn your new connection into a close friend.
Bonus Tip: Remember it’s not all about what you can gain from the Meetup. Go with the attitude of learning something new and connecting with one new person. Papering the room with your business cards, inhaling free food and yapping for an hour about how awesome you are will have lasting effects.
And not the kind you want.
Use these opportunities the right way, and you will see the benefits pretty quickly. Good luck and Happy Networking!