The degree we’re connected to one another, from city to city and country to country, is so unimaginable that it might as well have been a plot from a speculative sci-fi story. Not only has online dating become a societal norm, websites like Meetup (especially the 5 featured in this guide) allow people to meet casually for practically any reason under the sun. If you’re looking for sites in a similar vein, Appamatix is here with a guide to other avenues of contact, social hubs that will help you to meet friends and strangers alike, to expand your social circle or see community tasks completed.
The only thing that’s more surprising than our interconnected culture is how long it’s taken for technology to truly become accepted as a way for people to network and find each other, whether for romance, business, or even casual social events. I don’t have to look back too far to remember when there was still social stigma assigned to online matchmaking services, for no reason other than that it was new (and we all know how good human are at adapting to change, right?)
Now, online is the gold standard for meetups, whether you’re planning an outing with friends, a business meeting, or even an event that’s going to fill an entire concert hall. The fact that sites like Meetup even exist is a testament to this fact.
Diversification has helped this trend immensely. After all, the number of reasons that people might want to get together for any particular reason is endless, and when you multiply that by the different scales of event that you can plan (basement, coffeehouse, town hall, concert hall) it becomes necessary to funnel users towards specific services in order to meet their individual needs. It’s basic market stuff, and it works better with more people onboard.
How many people now carry a smartphone in their pocket? Most of them? Talk about connected!
Meetup began as a mission to reinvigorate community involvement through digital connectivity. It’s understandable why such a service has become in high demand; as we’ve grown closer to the rest of the world, no matter the distance, we’ve grown apart from those people who might otherwise be neighbors, right? Meetup seeks to fix that, and on a large scale, it has succeeded. According to statistics on the service’s website, it’s currently used in 180 countries and has over 26 million registered members.
If that’s not a sign of global communities linking up, I don’t know what is.
If Meetup is the precedent, then, where do we look for services that are similar to it? That’s mostly going to depend on your needs as an individual, which I’ve taken into account when constructing this list of alternative services. Keep in mind that not every one of them might be right for you; instead, try to pick the one that best suits your needs, in lieu of using Meetup itself.
The first alternative to get billing on this list is Eventbrite, and that’s only because it’s a variable platform that hosts a wide range of event types and sizes. The website features an easy search function so that you can find any events happening in your own local area. If you’re in an urban region with a ton of listed events, you can even break them down into organized categories such as music, food and drink, sports and wellness, and the arts.
While Meetup is an excellent way for you to plan and organize with other people, Eventbrite is the best service to use if you want to simply put yourself out there. Have a hobby, fascination, or area of interest that you want to use to connect to other people? Check on Eventbrite, to see what’s going on near you.
Eventbrite’s hosting features are top-notch as well, and are pretty easy to get started with. I’ve attended several events created through Eventbrite before, and can speak to the service’s efficiency and ease, whether you’re hosting or attending.
Maybe you’re not looking for a way to connect with people as much as you need a tried and true service that will help you to manage an already-existing community. If you’re looking for a strong set of tools to see that done, then Mobilize is probably right up your alley.
Anyone who’s worked in marketing, web design, or advertising can speak about the importance of good analytics and strong conversation rates, and these are equally important if you’re trying to manage a successful event (especially if there’s a budget at stake; yikes!) You’ll also be able to keep updating directories of everyone signed up for your event, in the case that you need to reach any particular individual. From phone support to email and SMS messaging, you’ll never be out-of-touch with your attendees. Depending on how deeply involved you want to be in the management and organization of a particular event, Mobilize is very likely the most bang that you can get for your buck, even if it’s not for everyone.
If you fancy leading a group of people and learning some of the statistics and signs of a well-managed group, then give Mobilize a try, over Meetup.
Doorkeeper is an odd duck on this list, but since we’re looking at event planning services on a global scale, we’d be remiss in not including it. Started by two men living in Japan, Doorkeeper remains based there but offers its platform across the globe.
A cursory glance at the Doorkeeper website will show you just how much it’s used in the country that it currently resides, but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t using it around the world. When setting up an event, you can modify costs and ticket prices to several different world currencies, and the interface is straightforward from start to finish.
Much like Mobilize, the name of the game with EventNinja is analytics and retention, but it approaches event planning and organization as a supplemental system and service, rather than a standalone offering.
Whether or not you do choose to use it alongside other event management systems, the clarity and concision of the analytics provided by EventNinja are almost certainly going to make you better at event planning in the long run. You can use the information that it gathers from your attendees to measure everything from demographic to individual attendee “value.”
If you’re looking to strictly meet up with others local to your region or community, then Citysocializer might be a more apt solution for you. Many users have called it a more focused version of Meetup, since if offers much of the same service without the customization. A lot of the nuance available through services like Meetup can easily be viewed as “guesswork” by those who want a simpler way to expand their social lives.
The Facebook integration available with Citysocializer is particularly welcome and makes it easier to keep in touch with anyone that happen to meet and enjoy during your social outings. It should also be said that Citysocializer lives up to its name–you’re only going to get a great deal of use from it if you live in an urban location.
Of course, it might be that you’re looking for ways to enhance your Meetup experience or your use of any of the above services that we recommend instead. You don’t need to look any further than the plethora of messaging apps and social media networks that are perfect for keeping people in touch with each other.
For younger users, Kik Messenger remains one of the best ways to form social groups through group chats, and if you’re looking for a wider pool of people to talk to, try Facebook Messenger. If you truly want to be on the cutting edge of trendy, social media messaging, then you should turn to Snapchat. In addition to building upon the app’s core features, its messaging and calling services have grown exponentially better in the past year.
In the end, finding the right software or service to help you to meet other people is going to depend primarily on your needs. Do you want to plan an event yourself? Would you rather search out a local event, such as a music concert or theater production, at which you can meet other people with similar interests? Perhaps you want to do something on the smaller end of the scale and plan an event for your local neighborhood or rural community. No matter where you live, our digital connectivity guarantees that we can get in touch with the people that we want to, the people that we need to, as long as we have the right resources at our disposal.
While Meetup is an excellent service with a worldwide, high-quality reputation, our collection of 5 alternative websites will certainly give it a run for its money…but only if it suits your needs perfectly. Tell us a bit about your own experience using a social event manager, and as always, don’t forget to comment and share!