Customer Stories*
February 19, 2014  •  by Jane Carter

How to crush it at organizing an unofficial Chive Meetup

Chive meetups are the best way to get like-minded Chivers together in your area to knock back a couple cold ones and KCCO until the sun comes up. To make it happen, a brave soul needs to step up to the plate and organize the damn thing. If you or another member in your chapter is in charge of organizing your next (or first!) meetup, keep reading.

Yes, the image above has nothing to do with this blog post but we had to get your attention somehow. Now that your’e hyper-focused, lets help you crush it at organizing your next meetup. In this post, we’ve gathered tips from Chive chapters that know the ins and outs of what makes a Chive Meetup work. What better way to learn how to crush it than from the ones who are already doing it? Since we also know a little about the registration process (hint: It’s what we do!), we’ve included our own thoughts based on working with the meetups that have used Ticketbud in the past. Lets get started!

Finding the right venue

When we are looking for the right venue we have to make sure the vibe is there. You need to know its Chiver friendly and they are willing to accommodate our needs. Size is definitely a huge factor because bigger is better. Then its all about the location. Find a place that isn’t too far away and you will have a great turnout.” Marcus LaPonse and RJ Spear, Michigan Chivers
After making the conscious decision to organize a meetup, this is really the first step in the planning process. Finding the right venue is incredibly important. Make sure your choice is in close proximity to your Chive community and that it is easy to get to. Keep tabs on the parking situation as well since no one likes paying for that. Choosing a solid date for your meetup goes hand in hand with finding a venue. Make sure the date you choose doesn’t coincide with any other big events that Chivers might also be attending. Also sync up with the venue manager to see what their availability is. It doesn’t hurt to build relationships with these guys either as Nicole points out below:
Brad, the owner of Spill Lounge, had faith in our group from the very beginning and offered not only to host our meet ups but help us raise money for charity. We found that having a relationship with a bar you trust and takes care of you is super important.” Nicole Baumgart, Denver Chive

Getting the word out

In March of 2013 a few Denver area Chivers connected on Twitter and decided to meet at bar. Around a dozen Chivers showed up to drink and laugh. 3 months later, 1200 Chivers showed up to the 1st Denver Chive unofficial meetup. Today we have over 10,000 followers between Facebook and Twitter. We raised close to $40,000 for charities in 2013 and we plan to destroy that number in 2014. “How did this happen?!” is a question we ask ourselves all the time! We never tried to get more followers or likes on social media, we just kept having really great meetups and people kept spreading the word and showing up. We think it’s important to stay focused on the purpose: bringing Chivers together to build community and raise money for charity.” Nicole Baumgart
The key takeway from this is to stick to your guns and let Chivers in your community grow the chapter organically. If you’re a new chapter, start small and work your way up. Don’t go all in on your first meetup unless you’ve built a large following. The last thing you want to do is rent out a large venue and only have a couple people show up. Establishing a brand around your chapter is a no-brainer. This opens doors in regards to selling merchandise and creating an identity in your community. No Chive meetup is the same and they all have different qualities that make them great.
…we were super fortunate to have some great local help at the beginning: a local design agency (Smirk Creative) helps us with all of our branding, promotional materials, and even designed our amazing Colorado KCCO shirt for FREE. Having that official, unified branding makes us easily recognizable.” Nicole Baumgart
It also makes sense to create social media profiles on all the major networks. Many Chive chapters have Facebook pages, Twiter handles, and Instagram accounts. You should to. This is an easy way to get the word out about your chapter. Look at it as a megaphone to keep the locals updated on any new happenings along with keeping the conversation going. Leading up to the meetup, make sure to blast out updates through your social media feeds to keep interest levels high. Creating a hashtag for your event will drive engagement as well as coming up with a visual or flier that can be shared within the community.

Keeping Chivers engaged

Once you get Chivers through the door, you gotta make sure they’re having a great time. Let’s not hide from the fact that a sufficient alcohol supply plays a big part in this. Linking up with local alcohol vendors to sponsor is a huge win but at the very least work out some type of deal with the venue to provide discounted drinks. Always be responsible about it too. [caption id="attachment_20030" align="aligncenter" width="337"]The definition of being responsible. The definition of being responsible.[/caption] You have a lot of options to supplement the drinking. We’ve seen meetups organize raffles, silent auctions, and giveaways. These act as a great way to ensure your attendees stay till the very end to see if they win anything. Setting up a photo booth is super easy to do too and can extend the life of your meetup beyond the event date.

Raising money for a great cause

Beyond keeping Chivers engaged, raffles and silent auctions are also a great way to generate funds for the charity your meetup is supporting.  Know your audience when it comes to auctioning items off.  A collectors edition My Little Pony probably won’t get as many bids as a customized Chive Kegerator.
Have local artists make chive related pieces for auctions. Also auction off local chive group decals, shirts.. Etc..” Chive PA
It’s a no-brainer to co-brand your meetup with the charity or non-profit you’re supporting.  Definitely include their logo and name on fliers and try tying them into your meetup as much as possible. chive meetup
I think the real reason we were so successful with that meetup was because of our cause. We were able to gain the support of the local bikers who are a big community here and the local firefighters as well. They truly took our regent and ran with it by organizing a bike ride earlier in the day that ended at the meetup.” Chive On Myrtle Beach
If your meetup is benefiting a firefighters association, why not tie in a theme around it and pass out plastic firefighter helmets to your attendees?  Creative ideas can help rally the troops around your cause and get Chivers excited to take part in helping out.
…make sure you can trust the bar that the event is hosted. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. Selling tickets is a good way to have a guaranteed sum of money that you can present to a charity. Also a good way to watch capacity levels.” Gabe Garcia, Lonestar Chivers
We reach into the inner good person that is hidden inside all of us and ask for that person to come to the surface.” Chive On Indy

Now it’s your turn

There you have it. A big thanks to all of the Chivers that participated in this post. Hopefully this will add some rocket fuel to your planning skills so that you can turn your next meetup into an unforgettable event. Do you have any tips from your meetup organizing experience? Let us know by leaving a comment!]]]]> ]]>