Meetup in a box

The in-person community runs on meetups. The people who run meetups – often called organizers – sometimes run on more Hero Power than I would prefer. The Meetup-In-A-Box sequence is intended to provide meetup activities that do not require creativity on the scale of inventing your own holiday or designing your own rationality training programs from scratch, yet give you and your group something to do in addition to general socialization. A Meetup-In-A-Box is intended to be a bit like a board game: Open the box, follow the instructions, and have a good time. You still need to gather enough people and find a place for it, but those are problems common to almost any sort of group activity. 

This sequence owes a lot to Maia's Meetup Cookbook, and is being written here because I can't edit the cookbook. I'd love to add meetups other people come up with as well as my own! You can't edit the list of meetups in this sequence, but you can add things to the Meetups (Specific Examples) LessWrong tag which I irregularly look through for posts to add. If you want more meetups than that, Jenn put together some of the meetups they've run in the Waterloo Rationality Meetups Showcase, and Chicago has a record on their website with many of the descriptions of meetups they've run.

Meetups contained in this sequence are categorized with the following: 

  • Small: Small meetups work for groups from 1-4 people.
  • Medium: Medium meetups work for groups from 5-15.
  • Large: Large meetups work for groups from 15 and up.
  • Experiment: Experimental meetups are meetups we don't have much feedback on yet. If you run one, we would especially love to hear how it went!
  • Repeatable: Repeatable meetups can be run again and again for the same group. Many of them are designed specifically to be run every meeting!
  • One-off: One-off meetups will generally only work as intended once in a while. Once you've run a once-off meetup, we recommend putting it back on the shelf and running other things.
  • Investment: Investment meetups generally require high buy-in or unusual amounts of trust or commitment. They can be a good pick for an established group of regulars, but we recommend against using them when you have lots of newcomers.

A note on size: Small, Medium, and Large are about the size of the group. It's sometimes possible to adjust how you run a meetup to make it work with more or fewer participants. Split a group of fifteen into three groups of five and have each group run their own version of a Small meetup.

Finally, if you want to run a meetup and can't decide or don't know what you should run, we hereby declare you should run The Estimation Game. It's fun, easy to explain, works for any size gathering, and can be done with no materials other than the device you're reading this on.