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Hosts: Tips

These are some tips to make your Coffee Club Meetup more successful. Before reading this page, read the Hosting Rules.

Start Time for Special Events

If the event involves a presentation, schedule the event so the members arrive 30 minutes earlier. Let the members arrive, get a drink, and mingle before any presentation. This way we don't have people arriving during the presentation.

Think About Traffic and Local Events

Avoid places and times where parking is tough, pay only or there is excessive traffic. Downtown and Pioneer Square will be impacted by home games for the Seahawks and Sounders. Coffee places near Universities are best scheduled when the students are on break. Downtown places during the Christmas shopping season should also be avoided.

Event Ideas

  • Hanging Out / Coffee Klatsch – Just friends getting together to share coffee and conversation. This is the majority of our Meetups.
  • Coffee Explorer – When a smaller group, usually no more than 10, visits a new coffee place and determines if it is good enough and large enough for a weekend Meetup. Most aren't.
  • Educational – Coffee Cuppings, Roasting Tours, Brewing Demonstrations are all examples of coffee educational events.
  • Espresso Hike – An urban hike where we visit multiple coffee shops in a given area. Past hikes have been as long as 5 miles. These are best for summer.
  • After-Work / Happy Hour – Some coffee shops serve alcohol and/or hot chocolate. They tend to be less crowded in the evenings.
  • Road Trip - Day or overnight trips that take the group away from the Seattle metro area.
  • Art Walk / Music - Meet up for a coffee during a neighborhood art walk or music event.
  • Something Else? - If you have an idea that you think the Coffee Club would enjoy, schedule it.

Basic Tips on Scheduling the Event

  • Descriptive Title - Put the Type of Event, Coffee Shop name, and area in the title. EX: Coffee Explorer - Cloud City Coffee (MAPLE LEAF)
  • When to Schedule? - I have found the sweet spot for scheduling events is usually no more than 2 weeks out. People will often pre-commit to events more than 14 days away and then not show up.
  • (required) Set a Limit – Unlike bars, most quality coffee shops are not able to handle more than 15 patrons arriving at the same time.
  • (required) No Guest Option - Never allow Members to RSVP for guests. Members that hold extra spots are far more likely not to show up. It is better to have one person crash than risk 2 or more No Shows
  • Add Detail to Event - Parking information, who is the roaster, and any links to the coffee shop website or Facebook page. Adding images is a nice touch as well. You can use any image from our Meetup photo by clicking on the image button in the Edit window or from our Flickr gallery into the post. Events with more detail get a higher turnout.
  • (required) Use the Automatic Waiting List - Every event will have a first-come, first-serve policy when it comes to the Waiting List. Members will not be removed or bumped. No exceptions. If a member is a repeated No Show, it will be handled by the Organizer, not at the event level.
  • Email the Event Invite – Don't forget to send the email invite. However, don't send the email invite out until the first day of RSVPs is open. What I do is add a reminder in my calendar to Email the Invite when the RSVP open date is in the future.
  • Never Schedule a Recurring Event - It is better to complete one event and then create a new event by using the COPY feature. This allows customization and prevents the pre-committal problem.
  • Road Trip Tip - When scheduling a road trip where there will be carpooling, especially when taking a ferry, it is best to set the starting meetup spot at a Park & Ride or coffee shop closer to home as a rallying point.
  • Events by Other Organizers - Do not edit details of events that are not your own. Email requests and suggestions to that organizer. The only exception to this rule applies to the head Organizer, who reserves the right to edit events for clarity.
There are 2 ways you can plan an event on the Meetup site without triggering an email out to every member.
  • Add a Note to the Calendar - This alerts other Organizers that you have a date, but are still working on details.
  • Create Event, but save as DRAFT - It won't be visible to the members until you Schedule it. Other Organizers will be able to see the event.

Being a Good Host

  • Use a REAL Photo For Your Profile - New members should be able to recognize the organizer. Other than using a recognizable photo, you can come up with other ways to stand out (orange shirt, large Altoids tin) and add that info to the event detail.
  • If You Must Email Members - Most Meetup groups send too many emails, which annoys members, so try not to send emails unless you need to share an important piece of information about the event. When you send the email, only email those members that have RSVP'd YES or are on the Waiting List. Inside the email, include a direct link to the event, because Meetup will not do this for you.
  • Show up on time - Obvious.
  • If You Have to Cancel an Event - If you decide to cancel a Meetup, do NOT delete it from our calendar. Doing so will break the links to those members that have yet to click their email invite. Also, if you have members signed up for an event that you wish to cancel, please send an email out to the other organizers asking if anyone can take over for you.
  • Take Attendance (optional) - After the event, Meetup allows the Event Host the ability to take attendance. You are free to do this. Please do not mark members as No Show that jumped up from the Waiting List the day of the event. For those members who choose "Didn't Attend". If you are unsure, use "Didn't Attend". However, if someone has held a slot and then didn't show up, by all means, mark them as a No Show. The organizer of the group periodically sends emails to No Shows reminding them of our attendance policy and in some rare cases removes chronic No Shows from the group.
These are just ideas on what has worked so far. Feel free to experiment and try your own ideas out.