“Im the one na so thankful po. Everyone are willing to help, everyone is approachable, your values reflects to everyone in the room.” – Misha
“The meetup served its purpose for me yesterday. I am more determined to work on my brand and provide service to more people. Thanks to you guys!” – Rene
I can’t believe it!
After years of doing meetups, I’ve never gotten these messages from attendees before.
In all honesty, I was close to not hosting meetups anymore.
I thought that we’ve been doing the same meetups for the past many years and people were no longer interested to network and connect with others through meetups.
Until, a few months ago, I was approached by Ground Up owner Elbert Guintivano to hold a meetup at his new co-working space in my beloved hometown and birthplace — Paranaque City
Then, I felt excited again and these thoughts “sparked JOY” (Konmari style) in me:
I miss my friends. A meetup is an excuse to re-engage with old friends and also meet new ones.
I miss the pre-event excitement and jitters. I’ve done more than a dozen meetups in 5 years and I always love the process of marketing and arranging the meetup with my team.
I might discover the next Julius. If you haven’t read the article by Julius Guevarra, you may click here to read his story on how the meetup changed his life. The fun thing about our meetups is that anybody can walk in and surprise us. I am always hoping that somebody will attend the meetup and we change that person’s life too.
I might get a new client or a business partner. I believe in serendipity and stars aligning. Maybe Manny Villar attends the meetup and invites me to become his Chief Digital Marketing Officer — although we did have a Villar attend our meetup (read below).
LET’S DO THIS!
And so, sometime February, I told Joanna, one of our most loyal Blenders…let’s do this again in March!
And so we did…
We weren’t really expecting a lot of people to troop all the way to Paranaque on a busy Saturday.
But a lot of people pre-registered to the point that we had to close the registration 3 days before the event.
And so it happened.
Majority of the people who attended were first-time attendees.
We had a retiree, a French web dev guy, a pastor-lancer, a freelancer from Bulacan, a PWD-visual brander, a Villar who is not related to the Villars of Las Pinas, a call center agent, and people from different backgrounds in one room inside Ground Up co-working space…
Exchanging stories, sharing laughs, becoming chummy with one another…
…even if they just met for the first time!
That’s what the meetup is all about.
Now, if you want to see the full video of the first hour of the meetup on Facebook Live (thanks to Allen Zamora for shooting this), you can check it out here:
In the video, you will also see how the group almost made me cry with a surprise birthday greeting (with a flaming cake to match)…
…Plus, a heart-warming message from my good friend and idol, Mr. John “The Legend” Pagulayan.
Never really expected that.
(Thanks to Joanna, Shoden, John, Carol, Jojo and Herlene for planning this. I love you guys.)
I said earlier that these meetups change people’s lives.
What I didn’t realize, until now, is that it has changed mine.
In case you want to check out Ground Up, the cool co-working space that you see in the video, just message their Facebook Page and schedule a visit there: https://www.facebook.com/GroundUpBusinessSolutions/
P.S. Tell them you were referred by Marv