Garrett and I have been organizing meetups for the Truckee nonprofit, Tahoe Silicon Mountain, for over 8 years. We’ve helped grow it from a small monthly meetup with a handful of attendees to a group of 1,200+ with 3 monthly events, including Mountain Minds Monday, which attracts 40-100+ people each month. Plus, we hold a few special events throughout the year, like Startup Weekend Tahoe and the Tahoe Pitch Camp and Showcase, which we do in collaboration with the Sierra Business Council.
Along the way, we’ve learned many lessons that anyone organizing a meetup, especially one in a small mountain town, might find valuable. And we’re frequently asked to help people with their meetups or answer questions about organizing.
Why We’re Writing This Series
We created this blog-post series as a resource for anyone who wants to organize a meetup, an event, or build a community in their mountain town.
Throughout the series, we’ll use Tahoe Silicon Mountain as an example, because that’s what we know best.
Why Should You Start a Meetup?
A meetup is more than just meetings. It is a community that you’ll be growing and fostering.
We helped co-found Tahoe Silicon Mountain because of a basic need we saw missing in our community.
Although we’ve both taught skiing for years at Northstar and we love to talk about snow, we also love having intellectually stimulating conversations that don’t revolve around how deep the pow was, how deep it is going to be, or as of late, the drought.
In 2010, there was no forum that existed for professionals, and especially those working in technology, to get together to learn something new and innovative and talk about business. Remote work was rising in popularity, but coworking didn’t yet exist. We had a remote workforce that had very few ways to connect on a professional level locally.
So, along with Johannes Ziegler, we created that community to fill a need that we saw.
Ask yourself what need you’d be filling in the community and whether there are people who feel the same way. If the answer is yes, we hope you’ll find this series helpful in guiding you along the way.
The 7-Part Series on Organizing a Meetup in a Mountain Town
Part 6 – Meetup Growing Pains
Part 7 – Finding Meetup Speakers
Stay tuned! We’ll link to each of the posts as we create them.