Cautions for last-minute events

By guest blogger Eve

Slow Time in Wrist Watch on Dry LeafI woke up one morning and checked my email. “Last-minute event,” one message said, sent at 1:38 a.m. The event itself was to begin at 9 a.m.

Many groups have experimented successfully with last-minute events. Announce a weekend hike on Friday, or an after-work happy-hour that morning, and you’ll get some excited attendees without previous plans. It’s not a good idea to make all events last-minute – some of your members aren’t as plugged in, and others just aren’t spontaneous – but they’re a good way to fill in gaps in the schedule or attract a slightly different crowd.

There is a limit, though, on how far you can push it. Members need sufficient time to not only decide to go but to gear up and plan transportation. How much time is necessary will vary by the kind of event. It’s probably safe to announce that post-work happy-hour at 11 a.m. Events that require specific equipment or attire, or are farther away, should have a longer lead time. Also, take into account what time of day you are posting at: At 1:38 a.m., most of your members are asleep, and many of them will not wake up in time for that 9 a.m. event.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to have a policy on last-minute events. How close to the big day before an event must be labeled last-minute? What is the minimum lead required time to post last-minute events? This is especially important for Meetups that allow any member to post events. Remember, while a full calendar is nice, not all events are worth doing. Members will get frustrated if they never see event announcements until it’s too late.


Eve is an experienced trip leader with several meetups and is an Oregon/Tennessee transplant living and working in New York City.


Photo: Slow Time in Wrist Watch on Dry Leaf by, on Flickr