Online Community Meetup Rules - dummies

By Deborah Ng

Planning an online community meetup is fun, but the actual event trumps the anticipation leading up to it. There are no serious, hard-and-fast rules for having a meetup, but keep a few things in mind:

  • Make sure that you’re accessible. Don’t spend all your time in a corner or with one group of people. Your attendees want to meet you, so be as accessible as possible. Shake hands, have conversations, and spend as much time as possible with your community members.

  • Bring the team. Make sure that representatives of your brand attend the meetup. Your community members will be disappointed if other members of your team aren’t in attendance. They want to be able to talk to the brand team and ask questions. When executives and team members come out to say “Thanks for being part of our community,” it show that they care.

  • Don’t have a boozefest. Open bars are bad ideas. They’re expensive, and you always have a couple of people who overindulge. You can buy the first round or two, but no one should expect you to keep 50 people in booze all night.

  • Take lots of pictures. Post lots of photos of the event on your Facebook page or in your forum. Members like to see themselves interacting, and those who couldn’t make it will feel almost as if they were there.

Meetups show your community you appreciate their support and loyalty and that you’re encouraging the bonds they’ve made with each other.