Meetups are always growing in popularity, and it’s not just because there is free pizza and beer. These fun, and usually free, events give you the opportunity to learn new and exciting things, network with people who have similar interests to you, and connect with industry professionals. Meetups can, therefore, lead to new friends for life or even a new career at a leading company.
To make the most of these great events you need to do more than just show up. You need to actively engage in what’s going on and make the most of all the opportunities these events can provide.
Here are some of the best ways to maximise the benefit of tech meetups:
Know why you’re there
Whether you’re there to learn, network or just meet like-minded people, knowing what you want to get out of the experience enables you to engage with the relevant aspects of a meetup.
Learn from the best
People go to meetups to discuss a certain topic, so don’t be afraid of asking about them what they know. Listen and absorb as much information as you can to make sure you go home more informed than when you left.
There’s a reason the Scouts put so much emphasis on being prepared. Have a quick look at the topics that will be discussed at the meetup beforehand and maybe do some quick research prior to going. This way you can prepare some questions or comments you can ask. Trust us, it’s a lot easier than thinking on the spot!
Be a social butterfly
Circulate. Network with people to get yourself on their radar. These are the people you want to be talking to. They know the industry you’re interested in and can offer invaluable advice and opportunities you can’t get elsewhere. Make sure you bring business cards to exchange or add each other on social media so you can pursue any connections you make.
Don’t just go to one!
Unless you don’t like it obviously. Even then, no meetup is the same and you could find that you enjoy the next one you go to. The more meetups you go to, the more familiar you are with them. You will have a better eye for what works for you and what doesn’t.