New York fans of the blog Apartment Therapy have been meeting up locally since 2007. Apartment Therapy’s founder Maxwell recognized the value of those meetings, saying, “While we’ve grown as an online community, there is no replacement for real face to face meetings OFFLINE.”
But how do you scale that offline interaction from one city to many?
They took things global with Meetups Everywhere on June 9th, calling readers to self-organize their own national offline movement. As a result, people met to get acquainted with one another, chat about design, and even hear feedback on their home projects.
The magic to their success came from the regular communications Maxwell sent to their readers. His emails and blog posts consistently celebrated the whole spectrum of the Meetups that happens, gave guidance on how to get involved, offered suggestions for what to do, and fully embraced the power of people meeting up.
Take a look at some of his messages here!
The readers of Apartment Therapy are passionate not only about the blog, but about meeting up!
Maxwell did an amazing job here of celebrating the folks who got together, and highlighting the intimate Meetups that arose because of them. He also set the expectation that people will meetup routinely.
Last week, out of the 114 meetups where at least one person signaled their intention to meetup, at least 16 gained enough momentum to gather a crowd and choose a location. This is pretty darn good for the first time and we expect more next month!
Apartment Therapy already had Meetups going on a local level in NYC. To scale their offline community, they invited their readers to create Meetups Everywhere in a blog post that clearly states how to get involved.
All you have to do to start the process of forming a meetup is to say that you’re interested in having one near you. You can join a city that we’ve already added or add your own. If enough folks are interested, you can choose a location and meet. It’s that simple.
The Apartment Therapy team put together a fantastic follow-up email after their first wave of Meetups that accomplished several things: acknowledged people who participated, recognized organizers, and asked folks to share any photos and updates about what happened with the rest of the community.
A big thank you to everyone that came out and helped organize the first Apartment Therapy Meetups Everywhere last week! We’ve received some really nice emails with stories and pictures. We’re looking forward to putting them together in a post and helping grow your Meetup groups. We’ll send over a link to the post when it’s published this week.
Please email [masked] with photos and updates about the Apartment Therapy Meetup in your area.
Thanks again for your support and being part of the Apartment Therapy community!
All the best,
For the second wave of Apartment Therapy Meetups, Maxwell reached out to their members with friendly words, tips for what to do at their Meetups, offers of schwag, and a reminder to share photos and stories with the rest of the community. He even suggests that people seek out venues and sponsors for their Meetups!
His message offers support but maintains the focus on self-organization. In Maxwell’s words, “in order to support you, but without getting overly directive, since this is YOUR thing, I want to offer some help.”
Hi All of you,
Right now you’re probably thinking about what is going to happen next Wednesday and what your Apartment Therapy Meetup will look like.
While I can’t tell you what is going to happen, I can tell you that in traveling around the country last week, I met a lot of you and loved all the stories that I heard about the first meetups.
In order to support you, but without getting overly directive, since this is YOUR thing, I want to offer some help:
1. Apartment Therapy Logos & Squiggle: If you’d like the logo and squiggle to print or put anywhere, we can send them to you (some of you have asked). Please email [masked] and she’ll send them to you.
2. Meetup Suggestions: While I hope to have more of these (and please feel free to send them to me and I will share them), I want to offer some format ideas.
a. Design Book Swap - The DC meetup asked members to bring a favorite design book to swap, and it not only was fun but it fueled the conversation and everyone went home with a new book.
b. Store Demo - Really like a store and want the owner to tell you all about it? Invite a store to host your meetup and have them tell you the history of their brand or product (even ask them to include drinks!)
c. Bar Invite - Want to meetup and have someone else pick up part of the bill in the name of Apartment Therapy? Ask a local bar or restaurant to give you a discount if you show up with a nice bunch of people. They’ll love the business and will probably be surprised with how nice us AT’ers are. :-)
3. Send Us Pics: Please send us pics of your meetups as well as any words on what happened and we’ll publish them on the site later next week. Those that meetup (and send pics) get the glory. This is also super helpful to other meetups as they will be able to read about what you did.
Tomorrow, I’m meeting with the people at Meetup here in NYC to go over how we’re all doing, and see what improvements we can make.
In the meantime, I challenge all of you who are at least 2 person groups to actually meetup next week. Get the ball rolling!