Meetup for lawyers

Last week, we held a Law Blogger Con Meetup in New York City. Though the event was hosted by the New York City Bar Association, I was concerned that not too many folks heard of the get together.

So in addition to spreading the word via email, social media and LinkedIn messages, I started a Meetup group a few days before entitled Law Blogger Con New York City.

  • I entered a name for the group, it’s location, a group description and my profile.
  • I selected up to fifteeen topics by which Meetup users in the area with relevant interests would be identified of the group.
  • I entered a description of the event, who may be interested (lawyers, law students, law professors and other legal professionals), the location and the time.
  • I approved Meetup’s announcing the group to Meetup users.
  • Meetup announced formation of the group and the Law Blogger Con.

About twenty people registered for the group with three or four rsvp’ing. In addition to others attending by virtue of other invites, we had a few come by virtue of Meetup. Some of them entered positive reviews.

The good part of using Meetup for me is that this group continues on. Users can continue to register, I’ll invite more New Yorkers to register and those registered will receive an invite to our next Law Blogger Con to be held the beginning of February.

We’re only thirty-one in size now, but I could see this group growing to two or three-hundred people.

As way of background, and I am sure you’ve received such Meetup invites, Meetup is an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings around the world. Meetup enables members to find and join groups unified by a common interest, whether it be the law, business or even, law blogging.

Users enter their city or their postal code and tag the topics they want to meet about. The website/app helps them locate a group to arrange a place and time to meet. Topic listings are also available for users who only enter a location. The cost to the organizer is nominal.

Among other things, group functions include:

  • Schedule meetings and automate notices to members for the same
  • The ability to assign different leadership responsibilities and access to the group data
  • The ability to accept RSVPs for an event
  • The ability to monetize groups, accept and track membership and/or meeting payments through WePay
  • Create a file repository for group access
  • Post photo libraries of events
  • Manage communications between group members
  • Post group polls
  • Allow users to contact other Meetup group members.

Sure there are CRM’s and other organizing tools, but Meetup pulls in people with relevant interests you’d have never met. I met a lawyer from Merril Lynch and a legal marketing professional I would not have otherwise met.

Meetup also gets you out there, as the event organizer, as someone or an organization as a little more innovative in nature. After all, Meetup is a fairly new phenomena. But with over 28 million users and 261,000 groups, it’s impact is growing.

LexBlog is going to start Law Blogger Con events around the country. We’ll use email, LinkedIn and social media to get the word out. My gut tells me though that a Meetup Group for each city will be key in growing attendance and camaraderie.

Stay tuned.