Important update: Meetup updated the payment changes page with the following information:
“Meetup is always looking for ways to improve the experience for everyone in our community. For the past several years, organizers have paid a subscription fee to create and manage groups on Meetup. One of the options we are currently exploring is whether to reduce the subscription costs for organizers and introduce a small event fee for members. This change will help more evenly distribute costs between organizers and members.
The pricing change is currently only a limited test for select groups in a small number of locations. We will not be making any significant pricing changes in the near term. We are committed to providing advance notice before any changes go into effect.”
Another, more recent, update:
This payment change is currently only a limited test for a small number of groups. Organizers of these select groups have the option to opt-out of this test. We will not be making any significant payment changes in the near term. We are committed to providing advance notice before any changes go into effect.
Original article continues below. I changed the following sentence from “will work” to “would work” to reflect Meetup.com’s updates.
The new payment system would work as follows:
Organizers will pay $2/month, a little less than what they pay today to be able to organize events;
Attendees will pay $2/event, which is a huge change as meetups have mostly been free for attendees for many years.
As the co-organizer of the JAMStack Paris, I am deeply concerned about this new model. I fear that people in the parisian JAMstack community, that I love to meet and have meaningful discussions with, may not want to pay to attend a previously free event. The quality of the meetup (be it food, drinks, location) will not increase as a result of the new payment system, as us organizers will pocket exactly zero dollars from the Meetup fees.
In addition, Meetup-goers usually attend several events in a single month, meaning that the $2 fee may add up to a considerable expense.
that sound you hear is a thousand meetup alternatives being built
For those reasons, I’m considering alternatives to Meetup.com for our meetup (should it still be called like that?). I’ll be compiling, and updating, a list of said alternatives in this article, in the hope that it may help other organizers pick up a new, better platform, to keep doing what we love.
As Meetup.com has reached a position of near-monopoly on meetups, its critical size and network effect is its main strength—and no alternative today can boast about such an active user base, at least here in France. In the following list, I’ll only focus on their features and business model. The main features I am (and others are) looking for are RSVPs (to have an estimate of the number of attendees), event pages (to share on social media) and mailing lists (to send important updates).
There is little information out there on Cete as it’s under active development. I’ve signed up for early access, I’ll let you know more about it as soon as I can!
Availability: under active development, early access available
Features: not available
Business model: not available
Availability: available now
Up to 1000 Attendees: 50/monthor500/year
Up to 2000 Attendees: 100/monthor1000/year
Up to 3000 Attendees: 150/monthor1500/year
Up to 4000 Attendees: 200/monthor2000/year
More than 4,000 attendees: you would have to contact them
Availability: available now (it even looks like a big deal over in Turkey)
Business model: it looks like it’s free, however I couldn’t find any Princing page or the underlying business model. To be taken with a grain of salt. Update: see this tweet from the founder for more info.
Availability: under active development, no early access