Where to publicize Club meetings?
May 16, 2020 4:08 PM   Subscribe

I am a member of a niche club, a subset of photography. Looking for publicity ideas to find new members.

We are having monthly meetings online, and will resume hybrid online/physical when it’s safe.
Unfortunately we don’t have the budget to spend anything on advertising, but I may spend out of pocket twenty bucks as a learning experiment (suggestions wanted).

We have a website, Facebook group, Instagram, Flickr, Twitter, Eventbrite, Pinterest, and Reddit account.
Group members will post on Nextdoor with personal accounts.
Will be posting in local papers that allow free event listings, and on Craigslist.
We are contacting similar clubs worldwide to cross post our meetings.

What other sites should we establish accounts to list the meetings?
What else can we do for publicity, to get new members involved?
posted by Sophont to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
Best answer: Hold a photo contest with no admission fee and make the contest page show very attractively what membership with you is good for.
posted by xo at 4:27 PM on May 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

Are there any crossovers of your niche with other hobbies? Ie, if you're niche is wildlife photography, then other outdoor enthusiasts might be interested, and you can explore their publications.
posted by Mogur at 4:38 PM on May 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Meetup.com, maybe?
posted by alexei at 8:48 PM on May 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

Seconding alexei. I came in to recommend Meetup.com as well.
posted by Juniper Toast at 10:11 PM on May 16, 2020

Response by poster: Unless Meetup brings us about 2 dues paying members each month, we would incur a loss on the membership. I am trying to contact groups to share an account since 3 meetups can be made per $200/year account. Thanks for the reminder, as there are some free Meetup alternatives I will register with.
While there are no specific crossovers with other groups, this does give me an idea on altering a general introductory workshop to focus on things specific to various groups.
Issue with a photo contest, or art gallery type show, or even workshops, would be the same requirement for free publicity.
posted by Sophont at 10:56 PM on May 16, 2020

For my similarly niche club, I attend quite a few conventions that include my niche as a subset and I hand out business cards for my club website/meetup group like crazy, to people that I talk to. I also volunteer to host events at said events and as part of the packet I hand out to each of the participants. I also do card swaps with other volunteers so that we hand out fliers and/or cards for each others clubs/meetings. That being said, my meetup site alone has drawn in far, far more members than I would have expected because it is so easy to search. Instead of charging dues, we charge smaller fees for large events (think evening presentations on a specific hobby related subject or a demonstration by several well regarded community members) in order to pay for the meetup (and we split the meetup cost with another group because they were going to collapse due to financial reasons and it worked out that we had the extra groups available).
posted by AnneShirley at 7:46 AM on May 17, 2020

Also, reddit. Is there a sub reddit that is similar to or caters to your niche? Weirdly enough there is a subreddit that is (like if my niche was making peanut butter sandwiches, the subreddit is for cooking) broadly related to my niche but specific to my city. I spoke with the moderators there and I regularly post events that have extra space available after my meetup members have first go at signing up. I also regularly make posts there about other related events that I hear about, because I assume that if more people are drawn into the niche then more people will want to attend my meetings also....and that has 100% worked for me.

When I hear about someone else in my community/city who is also interested in my niche, I pretty much universally will reach out to them to see if they want to post any events on my meetup, to ask how they are doing with finding like-minded people and to see if there are any resources that I can direct them to, to assist them.

I think sometimes meetup grounds can be too specific also, I've seen many many backpacking with small dogs in groups fail, but groups that are even just a little bit broader ie. backpacking with dogs will do very well. Maybe consider finding a partner that might host meetings about something else and intermingling your sites.
posted by AnneShirley at 8:00 AM on May 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Seconding Meetup, it's the standard.

I would also reach out to photography programs at local universities/colleges and send them a blurb to send out over their listservs. You could also put flyers or posters in their art buildings on campus, once schools get going again (next January?). ou could also promote at churches and community centers, by putting a flyer up.

Is there a hashtag for your photography style? If so, find local photographers posting photos on Instagram that fit and follow/comment inviting them to come (if they have a lot of followers, invite them to come give a talk or do a "show" of their photos for your members, even - influencers love that stuff and they will promote it on their channel). Y
posted by amaire at 1:39 PM on May 17, 2020

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