What is a Meetup?
A regular meeting of people who share a particular interest, usually fueled by social media networks. These are face to face interaction that happen in real life between members and organizers.
Why be part of a meetup or why organize one?
Unlike conferences, meetups tend to be free or at least cheap and so there is little excuse not to go. The numbers in meetups don’t really matter, even if its 3 or 4 people, its a great opportunities to swap story, share expertise and enrich ones knowledge about a subject/hobby that you would otherwise pay a pretty penny to acquire from a formalized institution. Take a photography meetup for example, you could learn how to maximize your camera potential and photo composition just from someone in the same group who knows more about photography than you do.
In the world of social media, gated communities, and very private living, we have lost the culture of physical interaction with people, because of how modern life is manifesting. So meetups are a deliberate effort to get out there, socialize, meet knew people, expand your knowledge, engage in a new hobby etc. The meet up mission is to revitalize local community and help people around the world become more sociable within a common interest.
Examples of my favorite meetup
Running meetups; running has never been so much fun. There are great running meets and events that happen through out the calender year, that one can participate in. Example the Neon Run that happening this weekend http://www.neonrun.co.za/, its a night race and then turns into an awesome party after, how great is it to run then party the soreness away. These annual events take place all year round and in different parts of the world too. I will be taking part in the Colour Run taking place in New York on the 5th of July http://thecolorrun.com/brooklyn/2014-07-05/. So join a running meetup and have some fun while burning some calories.
Cycling meetups are also quiet the craze. Johannesburg is not a cycling city yet, but I really think it’s well on its way. With meet ups like Critical mass, a night race that takes place every last Friday of the month. The aim of this meet up is to bring people back to the city, and create bike visibility in an effort to promote bike riding as a form of transportation in Johannesburg. http://jhb.criticalmass.co.za/a-bit-of-history/
With the Urban riding phenom’ there’s also the trendy designer bikes that have found their way onto the streets, and places like the Thesis Lifestyle concept are also into custom making these designer bikes. Bike enthusiasts can start or join a bike building meetup. http://thesissocialjamsession.blogspot.com/
There are many meetups to choose from, and if the meet up you are interested in does not exist, you can start one yourself. http://www.meetup.com/ helps you find cool meetups in your area, and also assists you in starting your own meet up. The options are endless.
Happy meeting up.