There are groups for people of all ages and hobbies, and just about any interest.
64 Reviews for Meetup.com
It's easy to design your own page and set up events, even collecting money for them.
▼ Sort by: recent
I was an organizer of a few groups for a few years and hosted around 100 events with 95% having great reviews. When a few female members who were psychotically jealous of me because they were desperate cougars and the men were attracted to me and not them decided to start ruining my events meetup kicked me off the site (claiming that I was barred for life). After what I went through dealing with the mentally unstable and desperate people of New York City that are a part of meetup (had to call the police twice, strangers started yelling for no reason at events, adults over-drinking and puking on others, stalkers, people not paying for their meals, really sleazy and creepy men, etc. etc. you wouldn't believe what I've witnessed) there's NO WAY IN HELL that I would ever want to be a part of this site ever again. Not one employee at meetup ever asked for my side of the story- what a horrible business with extremely poor customer support. Back in the day... crazy people like this were sent to lunatic asylums... now they all belong to meetup.com.
Tip for consumers: Join meetup.com if you want to meet highly unstable New York City lunatics who are unable to meet friends in real life or are extremely cheap and won't pay for their share.Ask New about Meetup
I tried to organize a few meetups with no success ,so I didn't want to waste my time or money anymore and attempted to unsubscribe as an organizer and stop my cc deductions. An almost impossible feat. They charged my credit card again and once again I'm trying to stop my membership. Phone calls not accepted and emails not answered. BEWARE!
Tip for consumers: It sounds like a good idea,but I had no success.Ask Annette about Meetup
I don't get all the bad reviews? I agree when I was in Canada some of the groups charged for events, but most didn't. In Australia, none of my groups charge for events unless the event costs money, eg a ticket to something. You just get to go, meet awesome people and my social life has now expanded. In some cases we get to go and get free stuff. As a woman, you have to be careful of the weekend events that creepy older men treat as dating events though. Go to girls nights and groups for people who've just moved to the city. I've made so many friends through meetup.
I met Yiqian Zhou through meet up.com, and discovered that he entered into the United States to attend Rowan University from Shanghai, China in 2005-2009 and 2009-2011 to earn a Bachelors and MBA degree. He entered the country using factitious and fraudulent documents, which was supplied by a Chinese company to recruit Chinese students to Rowan University up to 2009. The University has not done anything.
He currently resides in the Virginia or Maryland area and is working for Innovative life Solutions in Hyattsville, MD (301-270-4750). He used the same factitious documents to gain employment through this employer, who sponsors him. Other contacts that may be helpful to you is Gisele Jones-Human Resources Rep. at Innovative Life Solutions and most importantly, Tim Torry, the foreign student representative at Rowan University. Tim's number is 856-256-4105. Yiqian Zhou's number is 856-357-4776.
I am shocked and surprised at the number of negative reviews. I have been a member for years, and an organizer for one year. I charge my members a small fee (dues) just to cover meetup dues charged to me. Met lots of new friends and its great for networking as well. Maybe the bad reviewers have joined shady meetup groups and had a bad experience. Not the situation here at all!
Tip for consumers: Dont believe what these reviewers say! Most meetup groups are free to join. I myself am a member of MANY groups, from Gardening, book clubs, lunch groups..dirt biking groups....and more. No issues!Ask sherry about Meetup
Can you say adulterous men preying on desperate women? Pretty much the purpose behind these groups. For loser only.
Once you join Meetup you cant seem to cancel. I have try for the last 3 1/2 hours to cancel nothing works on their web site, the site tells you how to cancel, but of course, it doesn't work.
They keep charging my CC. it looks like I need to charge the number on my card thats about the only way to stop this charge. It hasn't been helpful at all
As a member, it's easy to join and is free. So far no really terrible experiences. I've used it for years.
However, I decided to become an organizer. What I didn't know before I hosted was they charge you a monthly fee. This is how they make money. However, they gave me a discount so I decided to test it out for six months. That's not my complaint though.
I had an issue with some members in the group. I wanted to ask the community of organizers on Meetup how they usually deal with general situations like mine. I couldn't find any other forums but the one on their site. I searched for a similar answer and found none, so I submitted my question to the forum.
I got a reply shortly after from their community manager stating that they couldn't post my question, but did not specify why. He just gave me a generic statement that this was a community forum for best practices. How was my question not about best practices? However, he continued to offer me some generic advice I found unhelpful.
I got the feeling that because my question was negative, I wasn't allowed to voice it. They wanted to hide it and didn't want to make others in the community aware of what could happen in their groups. What an incredibly discouraging experience. It made me feel isolated from other hosts, and unable to turn to anyone for support. What's the point of "meetup" if you can't turn to your community?
My thoughts about this company: be weary of anyone that tries to hide something from the community especially when it relates to safety. I'll be cancelling my account when my six months is up.
I would not recommend joining a Meetup group as the organisers can (and do) ban you for whatever reason with no recourse -daring to RVSP, changing your RSVP or even asking a question online and you're banned. Querying this with the organisers cuts no ice either as they'll ignore you and don't even bother going to meetup HQ itself as they'll point you towards the TOS which requires a law degree to interpret. You might do better if you've had to pay a subscription to join as then you'll have a contract with them but don't bank on it. A more un-user friendly association I've not met.
Instead of meetup - go to www.myactivitybuddies.com - it's completely free. You do not have to pay for groups or creating a profile. It's new and it's hip. You can IM or go to the main chat room, or use group chat.
I have attended a few of the Meetup groups. Most have been very good. The one's that try and sell their business services eg. Workshops, Courses etc. are one's to stay away from, especially when they fail to omit a charge on their 'Meetup Page'. You would think if they are trying to do the 'sales pitch' and generate business, they should pay for the room - as most are in libraries and very reasonable to hire. Very deceptive.
Meetup.com doctored their search engine so my computer would not be able to access all available groups.
This 'playing god attitude' seems prevalent in their decision making, curtailing the freedoms of other users for no apparent reason.
I also note health clubs or anything slightly counter culture get closed down.
I would give no star if I could. Its the ugly club
Meetup is arbitrary with the enforcement of their own rules.
I built two different Meetups and in both cases they shut them down and they were both legitimate topics that have plenty of other people doing the same thing (I wasn't setting any precedents).
And the worst part - they just shut you off without giving you any tips or suggestions on how to become compliant in their system if they determine you're not. Just "POOF", you're deleted. What a crock of @#$%.
Meetup has good facilities for organizing group members and events. It's easy to design your own page and set up events, even collecting money for them. Clubs who start using it need to be aware that it's really hard to stop using it, because if you stop paying fees, meetup will email everyone else in the group asking for another organizer to step up. So, if say you start a club called Harley Riders of LA County, but then decide to move to your own website, it's really difficult to take your meetup members with you. You need to email all the membership and then manually delete all group members, otherwise they will all keep receiving emails from Meetup that your club is closing down if a new organizer doesn't step up.
I've been a Meetup organizer for 4 years. I've started several free groups. People need to realize that they are dealing with human beings on 3 levels. 1. Meetup New York. 2. The group organizers. 3. The members. Most organizers are good people who work without pay. Most members are good people too, but expect to run into anything. Never carpool with someone you don't know well. If Meetup members didn't love their groups they wouldn't stay in them for years, and that's the bottom line.
You can't "rate" meetup.com.
It's just a website that facilitates peoples' desires to MEET other like-minded people.
If you are crazy, judgemental, paranoid or full of yourself DON'T JOIN A GROUP AND THEN COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR WARPED PERCEPTIONS.
You can't rate the website, but you can rate a individual meetup group that you've been in, but what's the point? What's the likelihood that anyone using Site Jabber is going to be attending the EXACT SAME GROUP as you?
The few meetup group organizers that I have met and had the opportunity to chat with, always lament about the crazy people that join their group and then complain, whine, $#*! and generally wreak havoc in what is supposed to be a group of people that simply want to share an activity/interest with other like-minded people.
There ARE meetup groups for dating, just as there are for introverts, East-Indian singles 24-33 ... whatever you want, so don't join a group for over 40's and then complain that everyone is over 40.
It is a stalker's paradise!! There are so many obvious fake profiles; people who have been banned just rejoin with fake profiles, then show up to meetup events to repeatedly stalk, harass and terrify the person they are obsessed with. When Meetup is notified of these fake profiles, they do absolutely NOTHING about it even though they are aware through comparing the stalkers IP addresses. I have been told that I need to file repeated lawsuits against the criminal stalker before they will divulge the information. I had Organizers who repeatedly had to warn their membership to beware of this sick man and his repeated presence in banned groups in an attempt to protect me and keep me safe. Ultimately, I had to leave Meetup completely, while the sick, perverted stalker now has up to 8 fake profiles. All Meetup screams loud and clear is that they are a "Safe Harbor"....meaning they will take absolutely NO RESPONSIBILITY for any resulting harm. Meetup is a disgrace to the community.
I have attended many meetup groups and have NEVER been scammed. It is a free social service, similar to okcupid but offers more then just meeting singles. After each event members are able to comment and rate the events so if someone wanted to scam you they would have to make tons of profiles to make the group seem legitimate. Read the reviews for the meetup group, view the photo's of the events, contact the venue where the event is taking place. If your afraid of getting scammed (which is crazy) then do your homework to make sure the group is real. It cost money to start a meetup group, you need a paypal account, and members can easily contact the owners of the site to report any problems. This site is a great free service. I have started a meetup group, you pay a monthly fee & it is a TON of work. No one becomes rich for owning a meetup group, there are much easier ways to scam people out of money.
As for the emails you get, CHANGE YOUR PROFILE SETTINGS. It is so easy, I don't receive any emails from meetup.com because my profile setting are set where I don't get promotional emails. Also if you have google, make a social events folder. That way you can view the emails when you want to and they won't be in your main inbox. Meetup is such a great site, not every group is great, but that would be a little much to ask for.
a little expensive but the results as being a participant are good. To run a site is work and lots of emails. You can set it up not to get the emails
Problems running a group is like running an organization. Only as good as it's members. Stop putting it down already.
Find a different similar site as cheap. ok can't find one...........hmm
I'm a member not an organiser. There is no screening. This one organiser is stealing money i.e taking deposits for an event and running off with the money. Setting up another group and doing the same thing. I complained and all I got was "sorry, nothing to do with us"
Terrible customer service once they have your money. All friendly, charming and quick to help when you begin to set up a new meetup, but that welcome mat is gone once they got you in. A Meetup I had organized for after-school education in Technology (of course, the Meetup is technically for the parents as kids cannot be Members), disappeared with no warning or explanation, and so far they have not responded to all efforts I have made to contact them.
There is bad and good. If they don't like you or you don't fit in, you re just treated like dirt. Some of the organizers are very nice and others are ignorant. I already talked to organizer who had serious trust issues with meeting new people. Well duh! What are you doing on meetup? I guess it's like everything else. You have good and bad but I did meet some really cool people. There are better ways of meeting people. Oh and if you re new to a group and you re not liked, some organizers will delete the event!!!
There are some pretty good groups on it, but I was unfairly banned from a dating group recently. I didn't fill in the boxes properly because I was not sure what to write about, so I was declined. I did try to do a better job of things the next time I filled in the registration form, yet I got banned. The person in charge is clearly rude and obnoxious. I was reported to the police too, but I felt I just needed her to explain her reason. It totally could have ruined January for me.
The organizer Lorraine LIES!. This is a group for woman in there 20's and 30's and the organizer is in her 40's. She also lets men join in the Facebook page and and ignores members who don't pay the VIP membership. I was basically ignored at one of the events because I was new and not considered "Gorgeous" to be included. This organizer only cares about money and attention. Don't join GorgeousGirlsofSC (southern california) it will be a horrible experience if you are looking for real friends.In my opinion.
It varies from one Meetup..to the next Some people are sincere, some aren't , some are well attended some aren't They try to get people to meet based on their interests and they have many actitivities
In Auckland NZ, many religions/quacks/dodgy types drumming up clientele from a pool of lonely peeps with neurological/autism spectrum disorders. AVOID!
There are some decent meetups, but the majority of meetups are people shilling their services. This is especially true of the singles meetups. I'm just tired of being hit up to join some therapy session, personal coaching, or what not at a meetup. I thought the meetups were to "meet" people, not to be hit up for sales calls.
Meetup is a great way for new friends & activities, but don't expect a perfect world. It is another social group which consists with people; it means normal(good or bad or accidental) troubles are coming with it.
I was new in the City and joined meetups & even was a paid organizer twice. I met good friends and enjoyed many interesting activities. Without meetup, the quality of my life would be different; less friends & less healthy activities like hiking.
One of my ex(seemingly harmless at first) who I met at meetup, turned out to be a stalker and ended up physically assaulted. He(David Snow from Edmonton, Alberta) is waiting for his court date, after arrested by RCMP. So, things happen.
One great things about meetup.com is that when I reported on meetup.com/abuse, they disabled his profile; it means he cannot join or reactivate at meetup aka kicked out because of his abusive behavior(stalking, threatening, and physical assault toward other meetup member.).
I still think meetup.com is such an amazing website. Generally great for making guy or gal friends who like same activities as you(food or running or hiking), not so much for real dating; just my opinion.
I spent several hours setting up a page for my moms group and after 2 days I received an email that our group violated their policy even though they have 389 other groups with the exact same name. I thought maybe I used improper wording so I actually copy and pasted from an already active group and they denied me again. this website is a crap. and customer service is a joke.
I've used this site for years for organizing social network events. The reason I used this site instead of facebook events pages was because I didn't trust facebook. Facebook has made significant changes to their site without notifying subscribers on many occasions. Well... After using meetup.com over the years and PAYING for the page, meetup.com has made subjective format alterations to the page as well. It is one thing if Facebook makes changes to a free page. However, paying for a meetup.com page and having them reformat the product that a customer has paid for, without their permission was very disappointing.
Great groups in every city.
One exception Beverly Hills group leader never sent me address for 15 meetings I signed up for as she's promoting her 5 businesses and I don't fall into her demographics I guess. I complained no addresses given and she wasted 15 hours x 2 = -$3000 of my time.
Unfortunately, anyone can attend and anyone can host these meetings. There is no screening. I just left a social for "foodies" and will never return. I thought it was a good way to meet new people (hence the name Meet Up) But it seems more like an avenue for a bunch of dorky and unsavory types. For a bunch of 40 somethings and older the majority were unmannered and socially inept--actually sat next to a man who played on his cell phone while sitting in the middle of a table of guests. I addressed his bad manners, instead of him apologizing to everyone, he defended his poor behavior by saying that it was a matter of opinion! Then another man defended this man's bad manners by saying that sometimes he (himself) needed to use his phone to check in on his girlfriend (as he was physically all over the woman next to him). They proceeded to tell me that the group was not for singles, it was for everyone. In other words, it was a great pool of lonely, single and desperate women victimized ( or not) by married and otherwise attached men. Why would it be open to married and attached people but they were not coming as couples? Why wouldn't they just go out to dinner on their own or have the social skills as a couple to make their own friends (which is very easy to do)??Not surprising that the organizers of the group were all men! If these attached men needed a social group, there are many other avenues that are morally acceptable than to prey on lonely, unattached women.
I also attended a meeting for spiritual awareness that describes itself as a meditation only to discover that it costs $8.00 per 45 minutes to "meditate" and connect with dead people. The organizer of that one finds everything possible to host a "meet up" and keeps a time clock next to her! She hosts a "meet up" group almost daily at $8 per person. I cannot believe that "meet up " rules allows a very profitable business to operate and use meet up avenues as their primary advertising.
In the case of these meet ups, I would definitely say BUYER BEWARE. It seems to be a great magnet for deceitful practices and more so, rude and ignorant people.
I created a beautiful page as an organizer who holds free and low cost health and spiritual practice events. I thought Meetup would be a good place to get the word out in our local area. I WAS SO WRONG. After hours of getting friends and local like minded people to join my new page and not to mention the hours creating the page and adding events etc....I get this email!
Our Community Team reviews each newly-created Meetup Group to see if it's a good fit for our platform. When we took a look at your Meetup Group, Three Roots Wellness, Center 4 Holistic Practices, NE, 21901, we determined that it wasn't in line with our Group Community Guidelines. You can check them out here:
As a result, we've closed your Meetup Group. Sorry about that. Don't worry, we've also refunded your Organizer Dues. It may take 3-7 business days for that refund to appear on your account. Please confirm receipt directly with your card issuer.
We appreciate your interest in Meetup!
ARE THEY GOD???? They didn't even have the decent business professionalism to say "we noticed xyz and feel it is a violation of our terms you have 24hrs to remove it etc" NOTHING and when I emailed them so bewildered not even understanding what I did wrong they had an EVEN RUDER response....
I am so angry
These people are completely NOT professional and think they have the monopoly on social networking!!
Oh don't bother calling them...you will not get anywhere because the customer service people do not handle ANYTHING according to Lianae (representative) who couldn't even tell me what I did wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Where to begin. First, I attempted to create a specific kind of health group. Meetup rejected it, stating I was doing it for business purposes only. Keep in mind that I wasn't attempting, nor was I going to attempt to charge anyone for anything. I only wanted to create a place for like-minded, health-conscious individuals to get together. This was AFTER I have found groups that charge people a fee to join AND after I attempted to join an existing Meetup, but was told by the organizer that I had to meet with her individually first, and would need to pay a fee for that initial visit. I referred her group to Meetup and was ignored. To date, her group is still in existence.
I have nothing but very negative experiences with Meetup.com. I agree that Meetup.com is for losers who can't make friends in real life. The people who attend events are some of the most insane, emotionally disturbed, sycophants I've ever met!
As a female, attending the singles events are horrible! The men are socially retarded and won't take "I'm not interested" "No I don't want to exchange numbers" and walking away from them as a sign to please leave me alone. They will follow you around the event and even send frightening stalker e-mails after the event.
I've deleted my profile and am trying to find other ways to meet people, because there is ZERO quality on Meetup.com.
As an organizer for many years, unfortunately I can only say that the experience has been a bitter one... forget about the occasional weirdo that might join the group you're paying for as an organizer, it's the complete and utter lack of touch and empathy from Meetup HQ towards us their paying customers. Over and over they don't get tired of making the point that they don't care a bit about and understand what you have to say and what truly works to run a succesful group for adult people. The feeling you get is that Meetup HQ is run by a psycopath together with a bunch of teenagers. All they care about is that their website looks good, hiding and many times disappearing the many complaints organizers have posted. For instance, organizers used to have a forum to post questions, concerns, etc. but due to the fact that lots and lots of organizers were posting complaints about their platform, website, constant changes, etc etc etc, Meetup HQ had the brilliant idea to silence everyone and got rid of that forum... instead of perhaps listening for a change to its paying customers.
Seriously! $19 bucks a month to start a group and all you get is headache after headache! Once KiwiConnect.com comes out in my area I'm going to that! (free AND none of the privacy issues of Meetup such as people seeing where you are without even having a Meetup account)
As an organizer of a 8,000 member + group I absolutely HATE Meetup.com They make unwanted changes and do not listen to customer feedback-- If you are staring a new group PLEASE consider other options. It may be too late for me, but you can save yourself!
With this last change they took away ALL font options, color, font size, ability to copy and paste pictures, highlight or underline, and MUCH more.
No all of my postings have to be b;ack and with at size 11 font.
It was soo good in the past, but with change after change they continue to screw the paying organizers
I was an organizer for a large group for professionals in New York City for a few years and WILL NEVER attend another Meetup anywhere again. Professional events resulted in such cruel and psychotic behavior that we even had to call the police at several events. Restraining orders, having to court, etc.
I completely regret all of the time that I spent trying to put on quality events. The stand up comedians here in NYC have it right - Meetup is for LOSERS who cannot meet friends in real life.
Meetup is one of the scummiest sites going. By this I mean meetup.com, not all the fabulous members and organizers who are unfortunately using it. I have had very little good dealing with meetup in the last while (since they cut out most of their editing options and pissed many organizers off) I have been blocked from commenting on their boards after posting the letter they sent me after I registered a complaint with them. They refuse to consult with or acknowledge the organizers who are paying them! All you get is a copy and paste generic letter and a shove under the carpet. From what I can tell they place no value the people who use the service.
That being said, the groups, organizers and members are fabulous! I have made many friends who I adore! I hope in the future these group can move elsewhere.
This site is a huge scam. Once you sign up you'll be harassed with endless e-mails, and changing your e-mail preferences is a major pain if you sign up to any of the groups. If you complain about the e-mail volume on their suggestion forum your account will be banned. If you say ANYTHING even slightly criticizing them on that forum your ENTIRE account will be banned. And if you paid money? Too bad, so sad, you voicing your opinions apparently means you're no longer entitled to the money you spent.
Not to mention the fact that if you don't give in at first and don't pay them to create a group, a few days later they'll send you a 50% off coupon. You have to be a pretty disgusting company to run your business like that. Trick people into paying full price but offer the reluctant ones HALF OFF. I mean, wow.
Aside from the unethical business practices the membership base itself if FULL of fake profiles. 90% of your members won't attend a meetup, won't respond to messages, aren't active in any way, and have stock photos on their profiles. Digging a it deeper you'll be hard pressed to find any of them are real.
AVOID THIS SCAM SITE AT ALL COSTS!!
This site is great for meeting people with similar interests, attributes, or talents that are outside of the interests of the average local bar patron. I have a rare personality type and a 160 IQ which makes it very difficult to meet people that I can have a meaningful conversation with. I started a meetup group and have met some very interesting people. I think that groups that revolve around cleverness have better odds of turning out well because most of the people that show up can have amusing conversations on just about anything.
The much older people, shyer people, or geekier people that show up I just try to include and give them advice on things that they complain about. I like the idea of helping people with what I have learned as much as I do meeting people who challenge me and teach me things.
Most of these people would take me years of pub crawling to meet randomly
Love the meetups, and have made many real friends.
The website has a big problem with scammers, however. Whenever I join a new meetup group, I get several messages from men who are using meetup as a pool of new targets for their scam. The language/phrasing is often the same, as if they cut/paste the bait message.
Beware if you get a message from a man whose profile shows messages from several other women saying "Thank you for the compliment but I don't remember you, where'd we meet again??"
Beware if you get a message from a man whose english is poor, using phrases like:
if you don't mind
I will like to know more about
hope to read from you soon
Looking for a serious minded woman for a serious relationship
I am new here
please no games
i will like to meet a serious minded woman for a serious relationship
God bless and please to hear from you soon
Thank you for the information's
If you do get a message like this, click Report - and also send an email to email@example.com include links to the message you got and to his profile.
If they get enough complaints, maybe they'll be able to adjust the software to filter out certain phrases.
You really have to go and try some out. Some are worth the $ and others just rip you off and all they care about doing is TAKING your $ and offering very little (i.e. Soul City Social Club). The more the charge the more your should be weary or just avoid them completely.
I was an organizer and member this place is crazy. I started a womens drum healing circle had about 30 women 20 rsvp to me for the eve we were having the circle. NO ONE SHOWED UP seems a bit strange I paid for the space and of course paid for the meet up organization. I then closed out my account and my credit card was being used on line. Do not play into this company they will not help you if you have issues like this. They send people to your meet up who do not want to come to a meet up or are 25 miles away from the place you intend to have the meeting. As for the new set ups it sucks. It use to be free but charging you for something is crazy. Meet ups are only good if you have a public place to meet and our area was very scare in those places. I would not allow anyone to come to my home, as you don't know who you are dealing with and most are a bit weird and crazy. they don't like groups and don't want to even meet. They just like to join on line. don't waste your time or money, as you will get caught in a loop like I did, yes meet up is a scam!
This site is just horrible and disappointing. I signed up for several spiritual meetup groups hoping that I would connect with like minded people. First of all the organizers, who claim to be shamans, healers or whatever else are full of crap and just want to manipulate others and get your money. Second of all, even when I reported inapporpriate members, I unfortunately attracted really sick people who would stalk me by sending me so many messages or make me feel threatened. When approaching the organizer, nothing was done. I had always had this issue with meetup, not connecting with the right type of people, and I just think the people on there do not have good intentions, see weak lonely people and try to manipulate them. The site is a great site for predators and disgusting men to try to get women.
It's ok for finding interest groups but the individual customers receive little support if an organiser turns against them for any reason and there's no appeal process allowed. I have had contact with the membership team in NYC over being unfairly banned from but group I'd helped create but meet up are only interested in urging you to set up new groups instead in that area! I appreciate that organisers are busy people but without the individual members, there's no meet up!
Meetup is a great way to meet people with similar interests. There are a lot of different groups..including hiking, camping, dancing, workout groups, dating, networking, movie lovers, international foods and even groups to learn another language. The meetup.com website is pretty well run and is always adding new features. Hosting a meetup group is pretty easy. There are forums and Q&As that the website has created that are extensive. Joining a group is easy and painless. Remember the site is not free to the meetup group organizers. Meetup does not charge members a fee but many group organizers charge a fee for their group to pass on the costs of the meetup fee and other group costs (clubs around the world also do this).
I am reading the negative comments below and must say all of them our false...so I am going to try and correct the information.
WHO CAN START A GROUP - Anyone who wants to start a group can. You pay a monthly or annual fee to do so. If you are computer literate it is easy to set up and manage meetings. I host a meetup group for people wanting to learn Spanish and we have weekly meetings. I charge $10 a year to my members to help recoup the costs.... there are some business' on meetups but the ones I have seen are pretty clearly marked...i.e Yoga $8 a lesson. Like anywhere there may be some scammers out there. I haven't seen any on meetup and I have been a member and an organizer for 5 years... Since anyone who pays can set up a group there are a few that are disorganized and their are some groups that never take off (especially in small towns). But for the most part meetup groups are run by volunteers who are willing to give their money and time for their hobby or interest and are a great way to meet people who share your interests.
EMAIL - You can easily manage your mail from meetup. You do need to do this for your general meetup membership and for each group you belong to though.
I belong to many groups that I have totally turned off my emails from and then choose to get every email and notice from the group I host. You can choose in between options also, for example choosing to get an email when a new event is posted to your group. As an organizer I can choose other emails that go out to my group. I have it set so I have to approve all group emails from anyone but my co-organizers.
PROBLEM WITH MEMBERS - Meetup, like any volunteer organizations, does always have problem and ungrateful members but they are few and far between (looks like we have some in these reviews). Many groups do have a problem with members RSVPing for events and not showing. Most groups have started removing members who do this. Since going a meetup group is so easy you do get people to join who might not fit in with your group or lack group etiquette. Some of these people have not been previously active in clubs and have definitely not been an officer in a group. These people don't realize the time and expense it takes to organize a club, even one that is on meetup. However, as a rule most members are great, especially the regular core members.
If you join meetup remember that your organizers and hosts are volunteers and please remember to say thank you. While the meetup site makes things easier, hosting a group and/or an event is still time consuming. I have a large group that has 2-3 meetings a week and I get more "why don't you do this or this or this" (from new members who can be quite rude about it) than "thank you's". I am president of two groups outside of meetup and members of these groups are helpful and appreciative.
DUES - It does cost to host a meetup group and many groups charge a nominal fee to their members. In the 4 years I have had a group, the expense of the group has come out of my pocket 3 of those years. I know this is partly my fault since I don't go around asking for dues all the time. I also buy supplies for my group and buy gifts and give little thank yous for the people who volunteer to host events or teach a class. I know quite a few groups that are removing people who don't pay their group dues and have done so on occasion. I think meetup.com could do a better job at letting people know that the organizers do pay for the groups. Many members don't know this and expect it is free.
SECURITY -There are a lot of ways to keep meetup group and meetup members secure, this is important for any group but especially anything on the internet. You can make your profile private to anyone outside of meetup and can make a lot of your information private to people who are not in the same meetup groups. There is also a lot group members can do. To join my group you have to answer some questions and provide a identifiable photo id. I also personally approve each member. My group is also private so no one outside the group can see my members or where we are meeting. For meetups in homes etc I only send the addresses for people who RSVP. I don't require anyone to use their full name (I use my first name and last initial). I also remove members who cause a lot of conflict and have a friend who has a social group that has removed several men because members had complained about them.
When meetup organizers get together we talk about member problems (problem personalities, and people not paying dues or not RSVPing), I don't think I've ever had a discussion about a problem with the website or the company..other than to explain how to do something on the website or discuss a website tool they are now using. What most conversations are about are the one or two problem member groups we have. Although as we have gained in experience we started removing the trouble makers. When you remove a negative member the dynamics of an entire group changes. Also removing problem members will help you keep your volunteers. I have had numerous volunteer Spanish instructors quit because one member or another was rude to them etc. These are normally new members. I have also had people say they will never host an event again because people have RSVPed and not shown up or have been late and got nasty when the group did not wait an hour for them to start.
In summary I would say the meetup website is well done. The fees to host a group are a bit higher than I would like but there are a ton of great features on the website and the company (meetup.com) is there to make a profit and running a website like this takes a lot of people and resources. AND ;) if meetup club members paid their dues the cost wouldn't be an issue.
Some groups are okay, have weekly regulars, and no ulterior motives.
On the other hand I am disappointed in those that are clearly for businesses ..well actually they are not clear about that until the first meetup you go to and then tell you about classes they have and how much it cost..Over 300 dollars for the last one I went to. Had I know this I would never have attended. It's basically advertising their classes without really letting you know that until you're already at the meetup. So then it's a disappointment and a big waste of my time.
I do think there are some good honest meetups. I found some meditation groups that are free or they ask for a minimal donation if you care to make one. I paid the suggested fee of a dollar at one, To help them with the cost of the meetup site.
I've also attended a book group and a general meetup for coffee, and a gamers group. There were plenty of others there. And all of the groups have been running a long time.
To some people that are saying it is for losers and the people are weird. Maybe some of them are odd (to you..whose to say what's odd..maybe you are), but to say they all are is wrong.
I've met a lot of intelligent likable and fun people. These people are not losers, they are people that want to get together and share their knowledge and interests with like minded people. In this way meetup is a great idea.
They use fake accounts to pump up your meetup, this is why only a few people show up per meetup. Not only are they faking out the organizers but the people are tricked into thinking others are going (which kind of adds a security issue considering it's not safe to just attend any meetup by yourself).
Because of their bad ethics, this site is becoming more and more unpopular. All this greed will surly see its karma.