Earlier this year, I started a Meetup group for people across companies who work in my field (Interactive production at creative agencies). I've had 100 people join the Meetup group, but very low turnout (8-10 people) at the actual events. This is a third of the people who RSVP. More frustrating, the same people never come to more than one meetup, except for people I know already/work who are supportive of what I'm trying to build. Even the people who requested the next Meetup's topic don't attend.
is a decent description of what an Interactive Producer is, if you're not familiar.
I started the group because I wanted people to be able to talk about topics of interest to the group, which can be anything from how to manage your time, to Agile methodology, to new app trends. I also want junior people to be able to learn from those with experience, and want to help establish my agency as a supporter of creative digital work (I work in a very large advertising network, but our agency is known for more traditional work than innovative interactive advertising).
I know it's summer in NYC but turnout wasn't good in the winter, either. Initially I wanted the group to be discussion based but got the feeling last time that people were uncomfortable just jumping in with strangers, so when someone contacted me to do a short presentation, I agreed heartily and worked on it with him so it would be snappy and cool. I posted the speaker's background and some relevant links on the topic to the Meetup, talked about it within my company, and reached out to other people I knew in the industry.
Despite all this, we only had four people at the Meetup tonight - me, the speaker, one person from my office, and one person from the larger Meetup group.
I'd really like to grow the community and make it appeal to people in a way that keeps them coming back, networking, and presenting their own ideas. I went to a user experience Meetup last week on a Friday night in a hot crowded room and people were packed in, sweating, couldn't hear each other, but were thrilled to be there.
i know my section of web/tech, with its budgets and timelines and team meetings, is less sexy than design/UX, but it's important and a growing field so I think there's some opportunity here. What else can I try?