How to Plan a Meetup
If you know me, you know that I am a planner. I plan for both my career and in my everyday life. I love being super organized; making lists and seeing an idea come to life. Most recently, I attended the Studio Tone it Up Live event in Brooklyn, NY, and knew I needed to put my skills to work. Since there were a large number of girls staying at the same hotel for the weekend, I thought, “What better way to meet everyone than to plan a small meetup on Friday night?” And that’s exactly what I did.
If you’re a newbie to planning “meetups” like I was, I’m here to tell you exactly what I did so that you can put it to good use and plan your own meetup!
Step One: Find a location for your event. You’re going to want to find a space large enough to hold the number of girls you’re expecting for the event. Since the hotel we stayed at had a rooftop bar area with a capacity max of 175, I knew that would be the perfect spot! Not that I was expecting 175 girls to show up, but at least I knew it was a decent sized space.
I had called the hotel to see if I could reserve the space, but unfortunately they do not take reservations for that area. I figured since it was a Friday night in Brooklyn I would at least call to give them a heads up because I was anticipating a good amount of girls to show up.
Step Two: Get the word out there. Since I knew there were a lot of girls staying at the hotel, I figured the best way to get the information out there was to make an Instagram Post for my story. I laid out all of the information of the meet up including the location and time. If you take this route, make sure you have girls DM you to let you know they will be coming. Again, me and lists are like peanut butter and jelly. We just go together. I kept a “master” list of all of the girls who said they were coming, just so I could eventually cap the number so we wouldn’t completely take over the area.
Step Three: Décor. You can’t have a meetup without having a little décor. Since I wasn’t able to reserve the space, I knew I had to go pretty light on what decorations I brought. I found these adorable rose gold inflatable letter balloons on Amazon. Super insta-worthy, am I right? Along with these balloons, I had another TIU Girl (hey, Emma!) create some name tags so that we could all remember each other’s names. Plus, I’ve noticed with this community that most of us are recognized by our Instagram Handles rather than our names. These name tags included both!
Step Four: Swag, swag, swag. If you are a true TIU girl, you’ll know that all great meetups come with great swag. Obtaining this was something completely new to me, as I’ve never reached out to companies before. I thought, there’s no way that they’ll just send me stuff for FREE. I thought wrong. As long as you provide advertising for the products you are given, companies will send you free things for the exposure. I reached out to probably 10 companies via Instagram explaining what I was looking for. If they responded, it was usually with an email address to send more information about it to. I then went into detail about what TIU was, what I was putting together, and how many girls it would be for. To my surprise, I actually had people saying they’d send product my way, and within the next couple of weeks I received it!
The day myself and the girls were heading into New York; we had a bag stuffing party with all of the items for the swag bags. Ashley had planned a meetup about two months ago and had some leftover products that we included with the things I received. Again, I had Emma make labels for the bags so we’d know exactly who they were going to. Since there was a big turnout for the event (about 50 or so girls) we decided to give the swag to the ladies staying at the hotel since we only had enough product for about 20 girls.
Step Five: Watch your event come to life! As an Event Manager, there is nothing better than putting in the work of planning and finally seeing it happen. We had been running a little late getting into New York (hello, traffic!) so by the time we made it to the Happy Hour we were about 30 minutes late. I actually preferred this because when I walked into the bar area, it was FULL of TIU Girls! This made my heart soar. To see all of these women come together because I wanted everyone to meet before the Live Event was the best feeling.
About 20 minutes after we got there, we were told that there was a wedding taking place and that we’d have to re-locate either down in the lobby or elsewhere. Now, ladies, if there is one piece of advice I can give you about planning a meetup it’s not to stress. When it comes to “live events” anything can happen. One of the girls attending said that her hotel across the street had a great outdoor bar and was pretty vacant. So we all picked up, and moved to the next spot. The vibe was really laid back, and again, insta-worthy.
Planning a meetup can be tough, but by following these steps, I truly feel like you can have a successful event. And if you EVER need any help, please feel free to reach out and ask! Happy planning!