The main challenge when you start a meetup is to find a location to host your attendees. Depending on the type of events, it might be as straightforward as ringing up a few bars or restaurants. But if you expect to host more than 10 people then you will need to find a proper venue.
In this chapter I share some tips to help you find a location for your meetup.
You don’t need any money
First of all, you should know that there is often no need for you to pay or advance any money to secure a location.
Whatever your community is you should be able to find a company willing to host you for free or sponsor you to rent a space.
Co-working spaces can also be a good option. (Some do tend to rent their event space and might still ask your for a financial contribution.)
You should approach finding a venue as an outbound sales process. Start with some research and establish a list of companies that might have an interest in your audience.
In the case of a tech meetup, start by reaching out to startups and other tech companies in your city. The more established one tend to have an event space built for their own need where they can host you. Startups and tech companies often see tech meetups as a source of potential hires and as a way to strengthen their brand’s image within the tech community.
Once you have you list of potential venues reach out to them.
Our first few meetups where at Stripe who agreed to host help and host us given the special relationship between them and the IndieHackers community.
However we soon outgrew the space. For a couple of months I had to go out there and try and find a new space. I share below a couple of emails I sent to co-working spaces and companies.
Notice how I highlight the benefits the other party might get from hosting us (for free).
Email to a co-working space
I run a community of bootstrapped entrepreneurs called Indie London (https://indieldn.com). Our mission is to foster a community of entrepreneurs helping each other grow their online businesses.
When Max told me about Huckletree, I thought you might be interested in helping given we share a similar target audience: most of our attendees are just starting out their projects and are working from cafes or co-working spaces.
We host our meetups once per quarter after-work hours on topic related to entrepreneurship: How to think about sales, How to find your first 100 customers…
Today, we are looking for a space to host our next meetup on Managing your mental health and wellbeing as a bootstrapper.
Best would be Wed. 27/03 or Wed. 03/04 from 6.30pm and I would expect 100-120 people to attend. Let me know what could work for you.
If you want to learn more, you can have a look at our website (https://indieldn.com/) and our Meetup page (https://www.meetup.com/Indie-Ldn/). I am free to hop on a call sometime this week too.
Have a great day,
Email to a tech startup
I run a community of bootstrappers in London called Indie London (https://indieldn.com/). We host regular meetups and I want the next one to be managing your mental health as a bootstrapper / solo founder.
While doing some research on companies that cares about Mental Health in the London startup scene, I came across your profile. More specifically, I found out about the Killing It podcast you started.
I would love to talk to you about our upcoming event and if you could host us at Spotify’s office.
Let me know when you would be available for a 10min chat over the phone, or whatever else could work for you.