Today, meetups are what we call a congregation of strangers who are interested in the same topic.
It appears that meetups are a victim of the pandemic and its varied restrictions. However, even before social distancing entered our vocabulary, meetups were broken.
In most pre-pandemic meetups, I suffered through the following problems
- A room with fifty people taking turns to introduce themselves
- The five people whom I thought were interesting were stuck speaking to somebody else
- It was difficult to break off conversation with somebody when it turned long and wasteful
- Presentations that nobody was interested in
In effect, most meetups often blew up an entire evening with nothing to show for it
In-person meetups were terrible. A well designed online space gives us several ways to address their problems. I have been to events that do this already, with bios instead of intros, fifteen minute one-on-one meeting slots, breakout room discussions etc.
The pandemic didn’t kill meetups. It potentially shocked them back to life.