There are many great benefits to starting and maintaining a professional meet-up group. If you are willing to take time to build one up you will definitely reap the benefits sooner than later.
Promote the Benefits
It might be a bit tough in the beginning to attract professionals to the meet-up you just made. Focus on giving loads of value to the attendees. Along with the networking aspect to it, promote it as an important learning-based meet-up where they will meet like-minded professionals. Try to acquire guest speakers or develop workshops on skills needed in your specific field. Brainstorm ideas of providing interesting parts to the meet-up and try to make it unique in comparison to others in your area.
Promote on Social Media
Promotion on social media is a big part of getting your meet-up the attention of the right professionals. At first try spending a few dollars on boosting ads (On Facebook) and see what the reaction is. As your meet-up grows word-of-mouth will be an essential component to your marketing strategy. Facebook and LinkedIn are the two cornestone social media platforms that you must be using.
Branding & Website
You don’t have to spend an arm and leg on branding your meet-up and creating a website. You can find a decent designer to create a logo on Fivrr and you can easily create a website on Squaredspace, WordPress, Wix, or Google–check out which one best fits your needs, but all are pretty good. Remember to print out business cards–you can use a local printer in your area or use Vista Print which always has some type of promotion going on! For between $250 to $350 you can have a well-branded, decently marketed meet-up with a great website!
You can really put your skills to the test by connecting with local business or organizations if they want to sponsor your meet-up(s). You can create simple packages and again tout the benefits of your meet-up. Try building your event over time and you will at least have something established to sell–whether it be the growth of the meet-up, quality of guest speakers or the workshops that you have created.
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