Tips & Tricks for organizing REI meetups

13 Replies

As the saying goes, "if no one is doing what you need to be done, just do it yourself." Or something like that. 

In my area there is a serious lack of organized collaboration going on. It's not like Southern California where I'm originally from where if you can think of something there are probably dozens of meetups for it already. Kodiak, Ak, although beautiful, is a whole other... thing. (I was never much of a writer)

Anyway,

What tips, tricks, materials, presentations, etc. do you have for someone who wants to start a meetup group from scratch in their local area?

@Shane Thompson Start small like I did here in Pittsburgh. We started in one small room with 8 people and 2 years plus later we have a room at the Hampton that our normal attendance is about 30 and growing. We have over 340 people in the group also. Make sure you content is good useful material not like a lot of junk you get at many of the other RE groups. Keep them organized valuable for the group. The rest will take care of itself.

@Shane Thompson just get it going! I started one here about 7 months ago because there was nothing in Denver that wasn't too far North. I put it on BP and on Meetup and we get good attendance and it is slowly growing. Find a place that fits the atmosphere you are after and schedule it up.

@Alex Deacon  @Bryan O. Congrats for doing so well with your groups! I have an arsenal of questions for you and anybody else who has anything to add. 

Do you do the presentations yourselves or do you have guest speakers? 

Do you use powerpoint and a projector? Do you show video clips? 

How does a typical meeting go? Is it much different now that you have a large group or is it fairly similar to how it was when it was just a few people?

How do you decide on a topic for an upcoming meeting?

How do you plan out a presentation or do you leave it to the presenter if that's not you?

Do you provide materials for your guests and if so what kinds? 

Do you ask for entrance fees or do you just try and find free venues so there are limited costs associated with holding the meetings? 

How frequently do you hold the meetings - monthly? weekly? 

As always thank you all for sharing your wisdom!

@Shane Thompson hmmm. You might be overthinking it a bit. I do a purely networking event. No speakers, no presentations, no script. People show up to the same place every month and talk about RE investing with others. Groups will form up based on their interests all by themselves. If it's a small group, then just have a few talking points to help conversation not lag. I do not charge, and the venue is happy for us to come bring them money with beers and food being purchased.

Depending on your preference, do the other stuff in your list instead... have speakers, topics, etc. Everything is useful if you do it right.

@Shane Thompson we hold them once a month but not in July or December so 10 times a year. Second saturday of each month from 10-12. I control the meetings so we can have some structure and keep on track with our topic. Sometimes I bring in guest speakers and sometimes I do small handouts. We have a projector so I am able to do power point presentations and use the internet for showing samples of what can help the group.

@Bryan O. Perfect. It's good to know that it can just be a casual meetup. That makes complete sense.

@Alex Deacon Sounds like your group doesn't meet at a brewery or restaurant. What type of venue do you use? How do you come up with what will be the main topic of discussion for each month? Do you just kind of wing it or do you have a fairly consistent structure for how the meetups run?

@Shane Thompson are you trying to start a meet up for the Kodiak area?  The anchorage meet up is okay.  If you ever want to talk to RE just shoot me a DM, I'm always online looking at houses, I'm trying to get a duplex right now in anchorage with my sister. 

@Youdo Thirakul I am trying to get one going. I may have found a nice spot to use to hold the meetup. I'm still formulating a plan of attack for how to get it running. I may try and alternate between more of a casual setting like at a restaurant and more of a formal setting like at an office/conference room. Ultimately the goal will be to learn from fellow investors and like minded people. Definitely don't want it to turn into a place where people are just trying to sell stuff. Unless they're selling great real estate deals of course! Also, I'm considering opening up a FB page for the group since Kodiak LOVES FB. It may just be as easy as that. Any suggestions on what makes a good meetup?

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