This past weekend I had an IANteract meetup. It was a fairly big meetup with a lot of new people as well. I have these meetups because I want to meet new entrepreneurs and discuss new businesses ventures and just network. I usually have this at Panera Bread and this past Saturday, it was packed. Maybe because it was a nice day and it was around 2pm in the afternoon.
Prior to my meetup I was at the Meetup NY - first of 2011. The NY meetup was a good event as well, I got to meet with Ken, Matt, and other NY affiliates. I got to meet with a lot of new people and even networks that flew out from Canada for this just one event. After the NY meetup a couple of us, networks, product owners, and affiliates went out to get a grab to eat. It was a great night out.
Fast forward to this past Saturday, my IANteract meetup is more of just networking during the afternoon and then we either do something entertaining or grab a drink. My meetup consisted of some bloggers, past users from NY meetup, Ad Hustler, Heavy T, and everyone in between.
My meetup is more of a networking event than doing a session, as I know some users were expecting. Anyways, the best part about my meetup is people across the United States come and not just local. It was great to hear that affiliates from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and even Virginia.
The meetup ended with people finishing up their networking and I wanted to see what some users wanted to do. I asked several people if they wanted to go bowling and we have about 12 people playing a game. It def was a great break from talking business. It is important to balance these things out and just go out and have fun. After the game we all broke out and several affiliates were hungry so we decided to go out and grab some food and drinks.
The purpose of these meetups is to link with other link minded users and entrepreneurs in your local area. The saying goes, you are who you hang with. I want to make sure I surround myself with like minded users. I know that I sometimes 'fall backwards' because of friends I grew up with. This is another reason why I attend conferences a lot because I enjoy just hanging around with friends in the industry.
Local meetups is a great way to find new friends and even new partners in the your state or local area. For my meetup 3 states decided to come and join my meetup which is just amazing. I want to give a shout to those attendees who drove more than 6 hours to attend my meetup.
Conferences and networking is important, I wouldn't overdue it but find ones that are very beneficial. For example I definitely think Affiliate Summit is one of the best events to be at. There are so many other conferences in between that are not worth t and some that are. I know the more private and higher ticket networking events are even better to be at.
All in all, if you want to find entrepreneurs in your area I would suggests hosting an event at Meetup.com and then allowing users to find you. You are not the only person that is making money online in your area, there has to be another person you can share the experience with and I think meetup.com is the best place to find those users.
I find these meetups entertaining and engaging, it helps me stay up to date with the industry and keeping conversations I find appealing - marketing. If you feel you are the only person in your area that is doing online marketing, post up or search meetup.com and find ones that will fit you.