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3 reasons to pay attention to MeetUp

If you’ve ever tried to organise an event, meet like-minded people, or tried to be part of a local group with similar interests, you may have come to realise the current social networks are not that efficient.

Enter MeetUp, a website with a focus on making it easier for people to self-organise in their local communities. The website is very easy to use and packed with many interesting groups. Being an active user in MeetUp, I wanted to share some of its benefits by personal stories.

1. Business networking

I came across MeetUp when I moved to Inner West of Sydney. Not knowing anyone in my new neighbourhood and keen to meet other local SME’s and local people, I was looking for some events to attend. I found out a MeetUp group for Inner West (now defunct), which was made up of local people and businesses.

They met regularly and very quickly I became part of a valuable network. Not only did we talk business, but it was a quick and easy way to find out the best baristas, the good restaurants and what else is happening in the neighbourhood.

2. Getting people with similar interests together

Earlier this year I created a dining experience called the Social Dinner Club. The club events feature great wine, world cuisines, food professionals such as food journalists and cookbook authors as speakers, chefs, fun games and gifts.

The events are getting great reviews but the success of the club is not a result of any of these features – it’s thanks to the foodies that come to the event creating a special atmosphere. MeetUp introduced Social Dinner Club group to the foodies. Although the group is also popular in other networks such as Facebook and Twitter, the most loyal and passionate foodies have always been the MeetUp group members.

3. Connecting ideas with people

Recently I found out Product Mavens group. The group is for sharing product knowledge, exploring new product ideas, and testing out new theories.

Two business ideas were dissected at the MeetUp I attended. Brainstorming tools were used to test out the business ideas and they were significantly improved at the end of the session. The attendees had diverse backgrounds and provided many useful suggestions to help the owners of the ideas. Without MeetUp, it would be very hard to bring these people together or it would be a costly exercise to hire a professional firm to run a similar workhop.

Next steps

Decide on how you or your business can benefit from using MeetUp. Joining the groups is free but if you’d like to create your own group, you have to pay monthly fee.

Visit http://www.meetup.com/ and search by your postcode or topic or interest to see what’s happening. It’s very easy to set up a profile or you can login via your Facebook profile.

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