What Are Meet-Up Groups?
Not everybody has the time or the resources to fly out to the latest and greatest gaming convention, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to meet other creators, and sometimes even brands and developers, closer to home. Around the world, creators and fans have been banding together to form their own organizations, groups focused on putting together events built around their shared love of streaming and other content. These meetup groups are popping up everywhere, and they represent one of the best ways to get to know other creators in a comfortable setting.
Typically held in taverns, restaurants, arcades, or similar venues, these events attract creators from all over the surrounding area, and they’ve all come for the same reason: to meet other streamers. There’s no better place to find collaborators; unlike conventions, chances are high that the people you meet will be local, so it’s much simpler to reconnect later. It’s also important, as a creator, that you have a network of others around you that understand what you’re going through, who can commiserate about the ups and downs, who can lend advice and share their experience, and it’s particularly nice when those people are close by. That’s really the whole point of meetup groups, to bring these people, who are all doing the same thing, together, so they can form their own community. Making stuff online can get lonely. You need coworkers, colleagues, for their support, their guidance, and, really, their friendship. That’s what meetups are all about.
What Opportunities Might a Meet-Up Present?
The cool thing is that these groups have gotten big enough that others are starting to take notice. In February of 2017, Twitch officially brought a large number of these groups into the fold, providing them a level of endorsement and support. Meanwhile, brands are also looking for ways to get involved, with sponsorships or other forms of financial support becoming a more regular occurrence. All this to say, brands are sending representatives to these events, as well. That means they’re not just an opportunity to build your network of colleagues, but also a chance to engage with companies looking for creators who might want to endorse their products. Even if you don’t ever actually enter into such a relationship, learning how to talk to brand professionals like that is an invaluable skill, and you should never pass up an opportunity to get some practice.
These groups haven’t been around for very long, and they’ll continue to grow in size and scope into the future. They’re already one of the best, most comfortable environments in the space for networking, whether you’re just looking to dip your toe in the water, or ready to just dive on in. Either way, finding the nearest event isn’t something any creator should put off much longer.