Meetup Questions
February 8, 2020 6:41 AM   Subscribe

I have run a group for years. It cost me 20 bucks a month. It is now 25. I've had group regulars, but out of 1000 members, about 1% actually RSVP and show up. This is expensive. I am looking for options to lower the price or pause the meetup. Other questions and details inside.

My Meetup costs me 25 dollars a month and I haven't been holding them as frequently. It is expensive for me to pay that every month, especially when I am not holding meetups frequently. I searched through the settings but options, but couldn't find any answers to my questions.

Is there a way to lower the rate? I can "purge" some members. Most don't come. Is there a way to 'pause" or put a meetup group on hold? It took years to build the group, so I'd rather not shut it down or step down as organizer.

Are there similar sites that would be less expensive? I hate to ask members to chip in. Again, most meetups fail and this one has been successful. I'd rather not shut it down. I also want the option to takeover again if I start doing them more frequently.

Thank you in advance
posted by Alvin80 to Human Relations (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I was in a vegan Meetup that was sponsored by a local vegetarian restaurant, which paid the fees. Is your Meetup such that something like that might be possible?
posted by FencingGal at 6:51 AM on February 8

In my area, I’ve seen a lot of Meetup type groups move over to Facebook, using pages, groups, and events to promote meeting and keep track of who’s planning on attending
posted by horizons at 6:55 AM on February 8 [7 favorites]

Unfortunately there isn’t a way to pause paying the monthly fees, or put it on hold, if you stepped back as an organiser Meetup would email all members saying the group had no leader and will be closed if no one volunteers, then they close the group.
posted by ellieBOA at 7:56 AM on February 8 [1 favorite]

Swap over to Facebook.
posted by Miko at 9:06 AM on February 8 [1 favorite]

When you hold a Meetup event, could you ask each attendee to pay $1? That should be enough to cover the admin costs for you, but remain very affordable for the members.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 9:45 AM on February 8 [1 favorite]

If your events are free then Eventbrite is free, but switching to another platform you are bound to lose a bunch of followers, with Facebook most people either dont use it at all or they use it heavily and your posts will get lost in the timeline (or buried by the FB algorithm).

If you think the active members may whittle down to <500 then an old school email distribution list with a google calendar invitation may be enough.
posted by Lanark at 9:50 AM on February 8

If you pay up front for six months at a time, it goes down to about $16.50 per month. This covers unlimited members in the group, so purging inactive members wouldn't change that price. IIRC, there were different price tiers for different group sizes up until a few years ago, but I think they've discontinued that.

Anecdotally, I'm in a 9 year old little local Meetup group (under 50 members) where everyone pays a small amount of yearly dues to cover the Meetup fees. I prefer this over paying per event because I'm a cheapskate introvert. Pay per event, meh, might as well stay in with the cats. Pay up front for the year, I'm attending as many as possible to get my $$ worth. I know you said you don't want to pass the cost on to members, it's just something to consider if you do have to go that route.
posted by Ann Telope at 10:12 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]

Also I don’t know the demographics of your group, mine being LGBTQIA are hesitant to move to Facebook because of the real names policy and visibility of events you sign up for to your friends.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:20 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

+1 to a small annual fee (under $10) for members who actually attend or want to attend events.

This has been my experience with a few groups I've participated in. I'm happy to pay this amount to keep the organizing on vs Facebook. I'm not on Facebook, so would effectively shut out if those groups moved there.
posted by too bad you're not me at 1:18 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]

Looking at the meetup pricing, looks like you can have up to 3 different groups under 1 plan. So maybe find 2 others to share a plan and split the cost?
posted by Sophont at 2:19 PM on February 8

One of my groups moved to Facebook. Another couple charge a small yearly fee of about $5.
posted by kathrynm at 4:59 PM on February 8

Could you transition to a plain-old mailing list? It takes about 2 minutes to set up a Google group.

If you need RSVPs, there are about a million 'RSVP services' online.
posted by adamrice at 5:32 PM on February 8

The meetup group I'm in charges $5 a month but we about 100 members and hold a lot of activities, sometimes as many as 4 per week. After covering the monthly costs of the group, the organizers use the money to buy food and drinks for events, or rent vehicles to take people on group trips, or whatever they can think of to do with it for the good of the club and club members.
posted by glonous keming at 6:56 PM on February 8

I have no experience with it, but is an open-source, federated alternative to You'll need to get your members to set up accounts there, of course.
posted by suetanvil at 10:01 PM on February 9

I'm a member of a very successful and long-running book club on Meetup. At every meetup, they collect $1 from everyone as a way to offset the costs, and that seems to work pretty well.
posted by Ragged Richard at 7:27 AM on February 10

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