Popular Meetups for Canadian Freelancers

Trends and Tools | Sep 08, 2016

Meetup’s mission is “to revitalize local community and help people around the world self-organize.” Classed as a social networking portal, Meetup provides a platform for people to organize offline group meetings.

Here’s how it works: someone thinks of a topic or has an interest (it can be anything!) and sets up a Meetup group in their hometown. Existing Meetup members are notified of the new group if it pertains to their interests, and are able to join for free. Usually the organizer then sets up events – sometimes free, sometimes not and an invitation goes out to members of the Meetup group. The organizer pays a monthly or annual fee, which is how Meetup makes money as a digital platform.

Founded in 2002, Meetup’s founder says his aim has always been to make it easier for people to connect with strangers in their community. They publicize the following numbers:

  • Members
: 27.19 million
  • Meetup Groups
: 253,616
  • Countries: 
180
  • Monthly Meetups: 
576,798

When we first came across Meetup, we thought it might be a good way to bring freelancers in Toronto together. Although our group – Toronto Freelance Meetup – didn’t exist at that time, there were a few others in Toronto with a similar purpose.

We took a look at Meetup groups around the country and found a few examples of similar groups designed to support freelancers.

 Toronto

  1. Toronto Freelancers: This is a group for all types of freelancers – those who are just starting out, seasoned pros, and everyone in-between. Anyone interested in sharing knowledge, from how to run a good freelance business to finding clients, or is just looking to hangout with other freelancers, should consider joining this meetup!
  1. Toronto Designers and Coders Unite: TO Web Developers, Web Designers, Graphic Designers UNITE! is an opportunity to network with and learn from these three inter-related disciplines. This will be a monthly presentation and cocktail mingling meetup with a chance for YOU the member to talk about what you do, your business, freelancing tips, or anything related to coding or design.
  1. Freelance Creatives: This is a social and networking group for freelancers in the creative field. Our goal is to provide you with helpful resources and fun, engaging networking opportunities. Join the group to meet fellow professionals and learn about potential business opportunities.

Vancouver

  1. Vancouver Freelance Meetup: This group is for anyone thinking about freelancing, seasoned freelancers and everyone in between. This is a place to share your experiences as a freelancer, offer advice, seek advice, share ideas, network and most importantly, socialize! Because let’s face it, it’s easy to get in the groove of work and stay in your home office for days at a time. Whether you’re a graphic designer, web developer, writer, artist, social media expert, SEO guru, consultant, blogger, youtuber or whatever!
  1. Kits Work from Home Office – Coffee Break: Do you work from a home office and would like to take a coffee break once in a while with interesting fellow home office preneurs? Want to kick around ideas or problems in an informal coffee break setting? Want to gain a peer mentorship circle with the local community? Come socialize with the Work from Home Office Meetup for stimulating conversation and help remove the cobwebs from your head. This informal group may be particularly stimulating for solo health practitioners, creative designers, marketers, and writers.

St. John’s

  1. St. John’s Coffee and Networking Meetup: This group is being started because, like many of you, I am looking to meet new friends and to also share information about our businesses, careers, interests and new ventures. I hope to make this a laid back meeting and to meet new friends throughout the process!

Montreal

  1. For writers and authors | Pour les écrivains et les auteurs: We offer support for everything from – fiction TO non-fiction TO academic TO literary TO being published TO so many other things as well.
  • Teaching people how to write (in groups or one-on-one individual sessions).
  • Critiquing any member’s individual written work to provide advice and guidance.
  • Clearing up procrastination and blockages to the creative process.
  • Screen and scriptwriting.
  • Graphic Novel and Bandes Dessinées creation.
  • Short Story creation and writing.
  • Guided exercises.
  • Social feedback events for writers – by “social” we mean sessions where writers of all levels can meet, share their writing, listen and critique others works, read their own excerpts for feedback, and socialize if they so choose.

If you want to try your hand at networking or just meet some new people, you should check out the Meetups in your community or consider setting something up yourself. Although our experience with the platform is still limited, we’ve found that it’s been interesting and rewarding meeting everyone who has come out and shared their experiences and insights.