Last autumn we organized meetups in 85 different cities (and one ship!) around the world. Some of the meetup groups stuck around or reported permanent spikes in membership, which sounds like a success, so let’s do it again.
For most cities: If you’re willing to host a meetup for your city, then decide on a place, date, and time, and post it in the comments here, along with an email address where people can contact you. Then please watch the comments in case I need to ask you any questions. If you’re not sure whether your city has enough SSC readers to support a meetup, see the list of people by city at the bottom of this post. There may be more of us than you think – last year we were able to support meetups in such great megalopolises as Norman, Oklahoma and Wellington, New Zealand. But I would prefer people not split things up too much – if you’re very close to a bigger city, consider going there instead of hosting your own.
If you want a meetup for your city, please err in favor of volunteering to organize – the difficulty level is basically “pick a coffee shop you like, tell me the address, and give me a time”; it would be dumb if nobody got to go to meetups because everyone felt too awkward and low-status to volunteer.
For especially promising cities in the US: I am going to try to attend your meetups. My very tentative schedule looks like this:
Friday 9/20: Boston
Saturday 9/21: NYC
Sunday 9/22: Philly
Monday 9/23: DC
Thursday 9/26: Ann Arbor
Saturday 9/28: Chicago
Sunday 9/29: Austin
Tuesday 10/1: Portland
Wednesday 10/2: Seattle
Friday 10/4: Fairbanks
Thursday 10/10: Berkeley
Friday 10/11: Orange County
If you are in one of these cities and want to host a meetup, please schedule it for the evening of the relevant day. If that’s impossible, let me know and I might be able to reschedule. I will announce these ones on the blog, and in the past that’s meant they can get very big (100+ people in the biggest cities) – you might want to hold it in a house, park, or classroom (not a cafe or small apartment). If you have a great location but need money, email me and I might be able to help.
Small-print rules for organizers
1. In a week or so, I’ll make another post listing the details for each city so people know where to go.I don’t guarantee I’ll have the post with times and addresses up until September 9, so please choose a day after that. The weekend of September 21st and 22nd might be one good choice.
2. In the past, the best venues have been ones that are quiet(ish) and have lots of mobility for people to arrange themselves into circles or subgroups as desired. Private houses have been pretty good. Same with food courts. Cafes and restaurants have gone okay, as have empty fields (really). Bars don’t seem to have worked very well at all.
3. Usually only about a quarter of people who express interest actually attend. If your city has fewer than 20 people on the big list, don’t offer to organize unless you’re okay with a good chance of only one or two other people showing up.
4. If more than one person volunteers to organize, I’ll pick one of them. Priority will be given to people I know well, people who have organized meetups before, and (especially) an existing SSC/LW/EA meetup group in the city. If you run an existing SSC/LW/EA meetup group and you want to organize your city’s SSC meetup, please mention that in the post so I can give you precedence.
5. If you have an existing meetup group, you can just tell me what you’re already doing and when your next meetup is. But try to have the one you list here be some kind of “welcome, SSC people” meetup or otherwise low-barrier-to-entry. And please give me a firm date and time commitment instead of “tell people to check our mailing list to find out where the meeting will be that week”.
6. If you’re formally volunteering to organize a meetup, please respond with an unambiguous statement to this effect, the exact address, the exact time, and the date (+ contact details if possible), preferably in bold. I’m not going to count someone as offering to organize a meetup unless they do this. Please don’t post “I hope someone agrees to organize a meetup in my city”. Just offer to organize the meetup! Again, please include an exact time, exact date, and exact address with your offer to host. Please don’t post vague speculation about how you might want to host at some point – just offer to host and give me the information I need. If it turns out there’s someone better, don’t worry, they’ll also offer and I’ll choose them.
7. Mingyuan is Director Of Meetups and might be asking you some questions; I vouch for her and you should give her any information she needs.
Thanks, and see (some of) you soon!