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    Home > Networking

    Meetup Meets the Replacements

    One of the more innovative networking sites has been Meetup, a site that coordinates thousands of interest areas across many metro areas. However, their announcement about charging for Meetup's services will likely push event organizers to one of two Meetup replacements.

    I've heard stories from people trying to use Meetup to find networking events to attend. The problems range from inflexible meeting dates and locations to a lack of people interested in each topic.

    Now that Meetup will be charging for their service, meeting organizers are looking for a free and effective replacement for Meetup -- and I have two to suggest.

    • Evite
    • SureToMeet

    Both of these sites have many things in common. They are both used to send e-mail invitations or announcements for events, both track RSVPs, and both are easy to use. In addition, they are both free because they display ads on their Web sites.

    Both Evite and SureToMeet allow the event organizer to have complete control over the location, date, time, and description of an event — which Meetup did not allow.

    People who plan small parties are likely to use Evite because the invitations look more festive.

    Non-profit organizations, associations, and workshop organizers are more likely to use SureToMeet because the event pages look more professional.

    Beyond that, they are very different.

    Evite is part of the Ticketmaster organization, while SureToMeet is a startup. Many of the events on the Evite calendar are large entertainment events taken from their Ticketmaster organization. SureToMeet is brand new, so it probably has very few community events for your area. Speaking of Ticketmaster, this is a good time to mention that I consulted to them a few years ago and I'm currently helping SureToMeet.

    Evite has colorful backgrounds with illustrations you can choose for parties and other types of events, while SureToMeet's event pages look more traditional and are easy to print — which is handy to have on the way to an event!

    You can tell that Evite and SureToMeet are going after different types of meeting and event organizers by comparing their event categories:

    Evite Categories SureToMeet Categories
    • Career & Classes
    • Charity/ Volunteer
    • Family
    • Festivals and Fairs
    • Gay & Lesbian
    • Music & Dancing
    • Other Events
    • Performing Arts
    • Singles
    • Sports
    • Travel & Leisure
    • Visual Arts
    • Arts
    • Automotive
    • Auction
    • Business/Trade
    • Comedy
    • Community/Volunteer
    • Dancing
    • Dining
    • Employment/Career Development
    • Family/Kids
    • Festival/Fair
    • Film/Movie
    • Fitness/Exercise
    • Government
    • Health
    • History
    • Holiday
    • Home/Garden/Landscaping
  • Lecture/Speaker/Author
  • Military
  • Museum/Gallery
  • Music
  • Nature
  • Night Club
  • Pet
  • Politics
  • Real Estate
  • Recreation
  • Singles/Dating
  • Spiritual
  • Sports
  • Technology
  • Theater/Play
  • Travel/Tourism
  • Workshop/Class/Training
  • I expect many Meetup organizers will move their groups to either Evite or SureToMeet. Whichever site organizers chooses, I'm sure they will be happier — and so will the people who attend their events.

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