We decided (well, David the treasurer did…) to start using Meetup to promote events at Ace Monster Toys very recently. Last night was the first public event using the new AMT page on Meetup.
Wow! We had something like 14 non-members RSVP for our Thursday night weekly meeting. I thought to myself, "Well, we'll probably get two or three, maybe four if we're lucky but cool!" Instead, we had, I would guess, about 12 people show up that had never been to the space before.
To give some context, AMT has about 25 dues paying members, average, month to month. We've been slowly growing by a member or two a month for the last nine months but we've also lost a few members due to attrition. Given that we're in a slightly industrial part of north Oakland near Berkeley and Emeryville, California, this isn't surprising. The other hackerspaces in the Bay Area, Noisebridge and Hacker Dojo, are either right in the middle of walking areas of the city (for NB) or right next to Silicon Valley and all of its tech companies (for HD).
We're ok with being small but we haven't done a lot of marketing and it would be nice if we were about double our current size, just for critical mass for events, workshops, and people hacking on things.
Given the amount of people who showed up and expressed interest, I really do think that Meetup is a good advertising vehicle for us. I expect that we'll keep using it and we've already listed a number of upcoming events on our page. Check it out and come by if you're in the Bay area.
Next week, we begin a series on learning PCB design run by David Rorex.