Tag Archives: calendar

Pet Peeves of a Meetup Leader

Most of our posts here focus on how you, as a group leader, can better run your Meetup or other community. I’m not one to complain normally, but I was recently having a conversation with Dante who runs several meetups under the umbrella Outdoor Club South (visit the Atlanta club here). We were chatting about some of our pet peeves as meetup leaders, so I thought I would vent a little. In no specific order:

  • Members emailing the organizer of a meetup and not mentioning the event they’re referring to. I get emails that say “Can I bring my dog to this hike” or “I’m not going to be able to make this event after all” with no mention of what event they are speaking of. We do an average of five events per week. Please, members, be specific about the meetup you’re talking about. It saves all the back and forth emails.
  • Members emailing me as the organizer about something that should instead go to the event host. Yes, I do say in my welcome emails and in my About Page that members can email me with any questions, but usually I have to forward on these questions to the event host himself. We’re pretty clear about who the host is for each event, so please save me a couple of minutes and contact him or her directly.
  • Members complaining about how many emails they receive. Hey, you can update your settings here and only get the emails that you want.
  • Members complaining that they didn’t receive notice about a new event posting. Did you turn your emails off? How would I let you know about a new event then?
  • Members complaining about an event that isn’t even ours. I know, most Meetup users are members of multiple groups and it might get confusing sometimes, but please make sure you’re referring to the right Meetup before complaining to a specific Meetup organizer.
  • Members complaining about an event or a park or a hike that they’re not even going to attend. A member once complained about how crowded a spot was and how overpriced the food was last time she visited that park. Is that really helpful?
  • No-shows on events that have an RSVP limit. Dante wrote about this here. I don’t care if you’re a no show on a social event, usually because the venue is very flexible and I don’t mind if we’re plus or minus ten percent on attendee count. It’s the limited event that we have to drive a couple hours to hike that I’m talking about.
  • Asking questions that are already answered in the event details. Please read every posting carefully before shooting off that email or posting your question on the event page.

What are your Meetup pet peeves, either as a member or leader? Let me know in the comments.

See Kelly Stewart’s Google+ profile.

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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.

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

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

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