How to Organise Your Own FI Meetup
If there are no FI meetups in your area, why not organise one yourself? If you wait for someone else to do it, it may never happen. Here are some pointers for getting started:
1) Decide on a format
For the first meetup, a casual “meet and greet” format in a bar, café or park works well. The Financial Independence London group has used this format for years. Subsequent meetups might be similarly casual or take another format. Formats that can work successfully for different groups include:
- A moderated discussion
- A presentation followed by discussion
- Learning bike riding and/or maintenance
- Playing Cashflow or other board games
- A poker night
- A potluck
Keep in mind the values of financial independence – lower-cost activities that allow time for socialization are more likely to be well-attended (e.g. hiking allows talking while walking).
2) Decide on a date, time, and location
Choosing a date several weeks in advance allows attendees to plan ahead and allows more time for publicity. Different days of the week work better for different locations. For example, the BeNeLux countries typically meet up on the week-ends (when people have time available), while London typically meets on a weekday evening (when everyone is in the city for work).
You won’t necessarily be able to find a date that works for everyone – choose one that works for “enough” people and go with it. Those who can’t make it might be able to come to a future event.
For the first meetup, more people will be more comfortable meeting in a public place such as a bar, café, or park. If the location is outside, have a backup plan in case of poor weather.
3) Publicise your meetup
Tell as many people as you can about your meetup. Common places to publicise include:
- FIREhub.eu: Fill in the Suggest an Event form or send an e-mail to event(at)firehub(dot)eu. We’ll add your event to our events calendar and publicise it to our readers.
- Meetup.com: You can create your own group on Meetup.com so that people attending your meetup can talk to one another both before and after the big day.
- Local FIRE groups/forums: For a list of groups by country, see European FIRE Groups. Ask the moderators to create a facebook event for your meetup so people can find it easily.
- The Financial Independence Europe facebook group: Feel free to share your facebook event to the group or post in the group with a link to the details about your meetup.
4) Confirm that your meetup is happening
A few days before the meetup, post everywhere you have publicized it to assure others that it is really happening. Add details of how people can find you once they arrive (e.g. “There will be sign with ‘FIRE’ written on it, and I will be wearing a sparkling green hat and red sunglasses.”).
5) Arrive on time
On the day of the meetup, arrive with enough time to get settled before others arrive. If possible, post online that you have arrived and include any last-minute details (“I’m sitting on a red picnic blanket on the north side of the park.”).
6) Enjoy meeting other FI enthusiasts!
If you have any questions, feel free to contact your local country ambassador – they are happy to help!
Suggestions for how to improve this guide are welcome in the comments below!