I recently attended the monthly Italian language Meetup here in Little Rock. Meetups are informal social gatherings of people with similar interests in a particular topic. Topics for Meetups range from political to cultural to intellectual to fun.
Meetups are usually held in books stores, coffee shops and restaurants. As Meetups occur mid-week, on what are usually slow nights for many small businesses, Meetups often bring additional traffic and sales.
For instance, this time there were six individuals at our Italian language Meetup. The Meetup was held at Boulevard Bread Company, an Italian bakery which also serves full gourmet meals. Among the six of us, three ate full meals and three had light snacks. All had imported Italian beverages. Altogether about $60 in additional sales were generated by this one Meetup. As the Italian language Meetup occurs on only one mid-week night each month, an addditional 16 nights are available for other Meetups at the same location. Potentially, an additional $1,000 or more in sales could be generated simply by hosting nightly Meetups at this one location.
While dozens of Meetups take place in Little Rock and much larger cities, smaller communities are largely untapped. All a small business need do to tap into the Meetup network is offer space for small gatherings. Ideally, small businesses should share some affinity with the Meetup group hosted. For example, gardeners might Meetup at a local plant nursery. Our Italian Meetup chose a bakery which carries Italian products and where the owner visits Italy twice each year.
Now, if we can only get that Entrepreneurs Meetup going???
By day, Timothy Lee is a university-affiliated small business extension specialist and national seminar leader in Little Rock, Arkansas. By night, Timothy publishes the Land of Opportunity small business blog, which offers daily news and tips for small businesses. If you found this aricle helpful, please visit http://arkansas.blogsome.com for similar genuinely helpful small business articles.