Meetup claims to be the world's largest network of local groups where more than 9,000 of them get together daily, all wanting to improve and organise themselves to become influential enough to make a positive difference in their field of activity.
One of the drawbacks of Meetup is the inability to manage group membership effectively. This is where the synergy of Agoria with Meetup can provide the tools to give the membership better service and to maintain an accurate status for new members and/or renewals etc
Using Agoria and ActivityForum to collect subscriptions
Meetup provides a fairly basic subscription-collection facility using PayPal and WePay -restricted to the United States. These limitations mean that many organisers outside the U.S. have sought creative ways to help them with the collection of funds. A couple of common solutions many organisers have adopted include either collecting an event charge from the members or asking their members to make a donation to help cover costs. The main issue with both of these solutions is that they are both time-consuming. Agoria also gives you the option of processing payments online or through a simple payment recording process for EFT, Cheques and Cash.
There are further issues with the Meetup membership facilities; the main one of these being the fact that Meetup does not support corporate and personal member types and/or varying fee rates. Also the Meetup permissions structure (member roles) mostly relates to those who are allowed to organise and manage events. As a result of this, groups find they are unable to restrict access to group facilities and information to full members only.
The Agoria system provides such organisers with an advanced and easy to use web-site builder together with membership management and Meetup event tools.
This is why you should choose to integrate Agoria with your Meetup Group.
Agoria and Meetup Integration
Users of the Agoria web-site builder have also appreciated the quality of coverage offered by Meetup and have requested the development of a level of integration between the two systems. The aim of the integration is to allow event organisers in Agoria to promote their events on Meetup and for Meetup organisers to include their Meetup events in Agoria.
Agoria and Meetup have an enviable social networking record in facilitating the arranging of meetings and gatherings for a variety of community groups. Additionally, the Agoria event booking and charging process make it a very popular choice with membership organisations.
This along with the fully functional membership management of Agoria gives organisers the member management controls they need.
Promoting your group using Meetup with Agoria
Organisations set up a Meetup group to act as a shop window to gain attention and new members. They find being on a Meetup site group helps because of the large number of groups and promotional ability to reinforce the message of why people should join their group.
Using Meetup with Agoria
Having a separate web site built with Agoria allows a group to integrate their Events Calendar in Meetup. At the same time, Agoria allows the group to restrict access to valuable information and web site features that are only made available to members.
Many groups using Meetup would also like to record more information about their members than the Meetup system allows. Typically this may be address details in order to send out printed literature and member discount cards etc. There may also be occasions when more information is needed for safety reasons.
Agoria - together with ActivityForum - provides the facilities these groups need by offering the functions of a Full Membership Management System integrated with the Meetup events system. The membership-management features in Agoria can be used to control the display of event information shown from a Meetup event calendar.
Agoria and Meetup Membership
While Meetup provides many excellent event facilities, it does not always fully cater for those groups that require access related to their level of someone’s membership. Groups that charge for their membership can include a more specific version of the ‘event details’ and ‘page display features’ than those provided in Meetup.
Groups with ‘paid’ membership need to be able to access their payments from time to time. Such a facility is provided using ActivityForum - the back office membership and event management system that is closely integrated with Agoria. Using ActivityForum, organisers have access to a wide range of management tools to help ensure a group’s membership is maintained and up to date.
Event Bookings and RSVPs in Agoria, Meetup and Eventbrite
Where booking for an event is necessary and the event is only open to current members - use Agoria. If booking is necessary but no payment is required, then use your Meetup site. It has been our experience that many bookings for events do not require any kind of payment. The Meetup RSVP features are well suited to this kind of booking and provide the end user with an easy to use interface.
However, occasionally a group may need to manage more complex event bookings that include one or more entrance fees and/or additional information requirements for menus, equipment, collection etc. In these situations, we suggest that, as an alternative, the group considers managing the bookings aspect of the event through a specialist event-booking application e.g. Eventbrite.
Agoria provides additional integration features with ‘EventBrite’ if this should be required. Otherwise, we recommend including a link in the event details on Meetup to the ‘EventBrite’ booking page.
Booking and RSVP Statistics
One of the advantages of using the integration between Agoria and Meetup is ‘after-event recording of attendance.’ This feature in Meetup provides you with some very valuable statistics on attendance at your events and a view of which events are most popular.
Requesting Demographic Data from Members and Potential Members
You should only ask for data that you need. In most cases you would request a member to provide you with their name, address, telephone number and email address. In other cases you may wish to hold their family details in the case of an emergency. ActivityForum provides for this along with other data. Remember the key criteria “Do you need it to conduct business?”
Also consider ‘who’ needs to have access to ‘what’ membership information! For further information on this, read the Membership Security User Guide.