Next story is by our Open Coffee Club LA regular Ken Scott.
I have regularly attended Santa Monica New Tech Meetups for the better of the last year.
There are 3 main factors that motivate my active participation.
1) Engaging Meetup topic: As an entrepreneurial small-business owner-living in Silicon Beach, with a limited tech network-this group has been fantastic for someone like myself who is seeking greater exposure + participation to this expanding community.
2) Quality attendees: From the first coffee club I attended to the one held earlier today, each meeting has been well-stocked with knowledgeable and interesting regulars along with a consistent body of newcomers. Over the past year, I cannot recall a single meeting with less than 10 participants and at least 1 new attendee.
3) Well-managed: Marina does a truly excellent job of creating a rich line-up of programming (monthly pitch meetings, group travel…), regularly informing SMNT members of upcoming meetings/events, attending these events and moderating while keeping costs at virtually zero. Furthermore, If she is not able to attend there has always been a regular able to fill-in.
When combined, SMNT has exposed me to numerous interesting new businesses and business persons, expanded my contacts (esp. of individuals that could be potential collaborators) and provided a friendly and “safe” environment that both challenges me to speak publicly as well as ideate with a diverse crowd of like-minded strangers.