How to Start a Meet Up Business
This week the original Babe In Business, Jenn Chavez shares how she started her rapidly growing meet up business -- and how you can start one, too.
Q: What were you doing before Babes in Business?
Before BIB I was running (and still run!) Helpful Rabbit, a Branding Agency based in New Jersey. Helpful Rabbit is a full-service design agency that approaches projects with a unique creative eye. We believe in standing out and capturing a vision for your brand that will represent it to its full potential.
Q: Why meet-ups?
When I began networking for HR I saw a lack of groups that had quality meet ups. They just wanted you to pay at the door, hand you a name tag, then stand in a room & network on your own. There was no where to go and really find your TRIBE. I wanted somewhere to call home. A place where I could learn and meet a network of women who where building their companies too. When I never found it, I knew it was time to start BIB. I had no idea how successful it would be.
Q: How did you get it off the ground?
I built a website and social media presence immediately. That played a huge part in letting people know where we were.
Q: What were some of the first steps you took in getting it started?
I used all aspects of social media to their full potential to teach followers about the benefits of being part of Babes In Businessand letting them know about the meet ups. Social media is your best friend and greatest resource. It's free and your only limit is YOU! You can talk to your followers on IG Live or stories about perks, memberships, events or classes and that is going to sell tickets to any event way more than just posting about it.
Q: What were your first few events like?
The first BIB event was at a small venue and I only got 30 chairs because that's how many people I thought would come, especially since it was pouring rain out! Instead 65 woman showed up and it was incredible to see so many babes looking for the same thing, a tribe, to join together and support each other.
Q: Did you have any massive failures, setbacks or obstacles along the way?
Not too many set backs, but some advice I can give is if you want to grow your company know when to hire. You can't do everything on your own and if you want to get bigger you need to bring on help. I now have 3 Babes working for me and it makes a huge difference.
Q: What was the thing that helped you grow most (word of mouth, ads, collabs, etc.)?
By far social media. If you are someone who is not good at social media or thinks it's not for you, my tip is invest in a class. You should never stop learning and social media is something we can all use in our tool box.
Q: Besides ticket sales, how do you make money?
Q: Is there anything you would do differently if you were starting over today?
I wouldn't do anything different. But I am ready for the next year of BIB and have some exciting things planned!
Q: What advice would you give someone starting a conference biz in their area?
Think about what your community needs and do it in a way that hasn't been done before!
Photography: Jenny Champion