Why do we charge a small fee for our events?
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Here are 9 reasons why there is a small fee to attend our events:
- there are costs
associated with managing many Meetup groups around the world
- there are costs
associated with developing and maintaining software used in our scheduling
process (i.e. our Member
- there is time
associated with creating the topics, discussion notes, and Food for Thought
pages for each topic (and with this I draw on my
14 years of experience coordinating philosophical discussions to perform
- there is time
associated with managing over 8,000 members of these Meetup groups (answering
countless emails, removing disruptive members, managing the democratic process
to find the best locations and dates for the events, etc)
- free events
involve approximately 20-30%
last minute cancellations or no-shows while the attendance rate for paid events is
- we need to maintain
good relations with our restaurant venues which means that we cannot
have 20-30% of people not showing up when we make reservations
- it has been proven that paid events attract more participants
who are genuinely interested and enganged in the discussions
- our events have value
which is proven in the many
positive comments that have been provided by
- your contribution helps to fund the
If you believe that all Meetup events should be free...
then doesn't that suggest that all Meetup events have the same level of
preparation involved? This is certainly not the case. It is true that many
Meetup organizers post a sentence or two about the upcoming event and hope for
the best. If you've been to one of our events then you realize that a lot of
effort is put into the preparation and coordination of our events which is why
our events continue to have such
high ratings in
cities around the world.
Click here for
details on how our events are scheduled
Can I pay in cash at the event (instead of online)?
For groups in China and India:
Due to problems with PayPal in these countries, you will be able to pay in
person but with a strict understanding that no-shows (people who say they will
show up but do not) will be removed from the group since we
need to maintain our good relations with the restaurant when we make
reservations. (i.e. if we say 12 people are coming, they need to show up).
For our groups outside of China and India (where
PayPal is working well) our policy is the following:
Members are only able to pay via the Meetup website since this has proven to be
the most reliable means of managing the number of attendees, collecting
the small fees, and ensuring that members show up at the events. It has been
proven that there are a high number of people who do not show up when they do
not prepay to attend and we need to maintain our good relations with the
restaurant when we make reservations. (i.e. if we say 12 people are coming, they
need to show up).
What is the refund policy for our events?
We have chosen to adopt the standard Meetup refund policy (made available at the
point of purchase) such that refunds are only provided in cases where an event is cancelled or rescheduled.
This policy is in place for the following reasons:
1. No shows. The main rational behind this policy is to reduce the amount of last minute
cancellations which was previously a big issue especially since our events are
based on filling up multiple tables of 6 people. Basically, when we had free
events or provided refunds we had many last minute cancellations
and no shows. This lead to restaurants no longer taking our reservations so we
had to change restaurants. This was bad for everyone. The bottom line: when
people pay knowing there are no refunds (unless the event is cancelled or
rescheduled) there is a much higher attendance rate. If events are free or if
people can cancel at any time and get a refund, events don't fill up and our
relationship with the venue is compromised.
2. Resources. Another reasons why this policy has been adopted
is due to the amount of events being scheduling on a daily basis around the
world with respect to the varying amount of reasons why
people are asking for refunds which are impossible to verify, and the amount of
time it takes to track down and reverse transactions in the PayPal system
especially since many people use a different name for their payment then on
their Meetup profile. If the fee for our events was higher then we could afford
to hire someone to process refunds but we intentionally do not want to increase
3. Favoritism. Previously, providing refunds to some members
and not others has caused its own set of problems as well and the time to weigh
one person's reason for asking for a refund over someone else's reason just
takes away from time otherwise spent in managing these events.
How much is the fee for the events?
varies but in most groups it is approximately $5 CAD (Canadian currency). This is converted to other
currencies in countries outside of Canada. There is usually no fee for our new
groups which are just starting off. By initially not having the fee barrier this
allows our members to see the value of these events. Unfortunately the no-show
factor is a problem with free events. Even when the upper limit for the event is
increased this still causes problems since it is hard to predict the number of
no-shows. This is why the small fee is introduced once a group becomes more
Why do I see the fee listed in a different currency than the
currency of my city?
Currently, Meetup only supports the following types of currencies: USD, CAD,
AUD, GBP, EUR, and BRL. The default currency is USD when the local currency is
not supported by Meetup.
I paid for an event but now I cannot make it. Could I apply my
payment to a future event or can I sell my spot to someone else?
The Meetup/PayPal system does
not provide the ability for payments to be carrier over to future events nor
does it provide the ability for one member to sell their seat at an event to
another person. Each member who purchases a seat at one of our events is forced
to click a check box stating that they agree to the stated refund policy (with
link provided). If you can no longer attend an event then you are asked to
change your RSVP to 'No' otherwise you will be considered a no-show for that
There are two events taking place near me. I signed up for one event
but I'd like to change my RSVP to another event. Could you do this for me?
Given the number of members are groups around the world we are not able to
accommodate such requests, however, you are certainly able to change your RSVP
to 'No' for one event and then sign up to a different event in your city
(but you will still need to go through the payment process again to pay for your
spot at the other event). Please
see our refund policy on this page.
Does the fee include the cost of my dinner?
No, you still need to purchase your food and drink on your own.
Do I need a PayPal account to pay?
You certainly don't need a PayPal account to sign up for our events. Just look
for the link which allows you to pay with a credit card.
Click here to view screen shots to assist you
I don't feel comfortable using a credit card over the internet.
When you make a payment for one of our Meetup events online, your payment
transaction is processed with
PayPal (not Meetup). PayPal is used by millions of people to process
transactions around the world and most credit card companies protect you from
unauthorized transactions. Bottom line - using your credit card through
Meetup.com is just as safe as online banking.
I don't have a credit card, can I still pay?
If you don't have a credit card, PayPal allows you to
transfer money from your bank account to a
PayPal account. You can then use your PayPal account to pay for a Meetup event without a credit card.
Are you having problems signing up for an event?
First, make sure that you are signed in to the Meetup website.
You then need to be on the web page for the specific event that you want to sign
up for. Click the link below for additional steps once you are signed in.
Click here to view screen shots to assist you
Thank you for being part of this ongoing experiment.
Founder, Facilitator, and Event Coordinator
Looking for more information?