Meetup has been growing in popularity in recent years, especially in the tech world. We take a look at happens at a tech meetup and how you can get started.
In future posts we look at
- Running a Tech Meetup in a Small City
- What Your Meetup can do for You and What You can do for Your Meetup
- Building a Meetup Community
- Different Tech Meetup Formats
What is a Meetup?
Meetup.com is a website for like-minded groups that gather to participate around an activity or subject. You might practice Spanish find other travellers or....talk tech.
I'm a regular meetup-attendee in Exeter and have run 3 meetups at different times.
But many people don't think they have the time or energy to find and attend meetups. Or they join up one or several meetups but can never make it.
What Happens at a Tech Meetup?
People gather to talk and learn about tech, either listening to one or more presentations from speakers or some sort of discussion related to the meetup. Some meetups are quite broad, like Digital Exeter which, while others, like AWS User Group Exeter, are far more specific.
Many meetups have a social before or after, some offer free food (often pizza) or drinks and there is a good chance of finding someone you know.
Why Would You Want To Go?
- Meetups are great places to learn and share new ideas and tech.
- You will make new friends and find a network of people who can inspire and support you
- They are a great place to try out talks or theories
- Tech people love to solve problems, so they may help find a solution for yours.
How Do You Find a Tech Meetup?
The easiest way to search meetup App or the website. Try both out as they give quite different experiences.
Talk to tech minded friends, family and colleagues, as it's likely one or more of them are regular or occasional members of Meetups.
For starting out you could either choose a smaller meetup around a subject you enjoy, or one of the larger more general meetups.
What If I'm Nervous About Going?
If going somewhere new and meeting strangers is hard for you, then think about trying some of the following
- Go along with someone who already goes. They can introduce you to other regulars.
- Take an interested friend along, so that you have at least one familiar face.
- Contact the organisers. They will be happy to meet newcomers and introduce you to other members.
- Scout out the venue beforehand, if possible. Becoming familiar with the meeting place removes one unknown variable.
- RSVP (signup) to an event. You don't HAVE to go, but it's the first step to going and may be enough to start.
What Will your First Meetup Be?
We've look at what goes on at a meetup, how to find them and get started.
Leave a comment with your next intended meetup or tweet me @DuncanThom