Nifty Networking in 2013? Or MeetUp Mayhem?

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Well Happy Happy New Year to you all.

I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve been getting a lot of notices that my MeetUp groups are closing.

I think folks are well intentioned, but when the group loses momentum they lose motivation to continue to pay for the group service.

It’s not just on MeetUp.com; there are a variety of these social convening tools online that people use for personal and professional purposes.

So here are some questions to ask yourself for creating a successful consistent get together:

Why make a group?

Who would you like to have as members?

How will you let people know about your group?

What will happen when you convene? i.e. what is the content?

What is the Take Away?

How will you get new members?

How will maintain the interest of existing members?

Prior to writing my Strategic Networking Course I spent the better part of 2 years going to a variety of industry groups to see what worked and what didn’t.  I found a largely aimless gathering of folks looking for something; they just didn’t know what.  The pat answer was always clients but it’s not an instant process.  If I may use an overused expression, it’s about relationships.

Networking is big business nowadays.  Everyone is looking to make money from gathering.  Lots of organizations are offering “networks”.  But they have neglected to offer advice on how to actually manage these networks.  Anyone can tell you to smile, create a great robotic elevator pitch, be minty fresh and friendly and remember to shake hands but what will you do with all of these contacts once you have gone home with the business cards; and did you even get the right cards? What is the exponential reach of these contacts?

So if you want to be a leader in your community and create great groups with lasting power, ask yourself the hard questions, create a plan and stay mindful of evolving expectations.

Good luck and see ya at the next event!

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