A few days ago, I tweeted out from the Portillo's near me.
One of my local Arizona friends reached out to me the next day wanting to hang out there again and while the timing didn't work out, we decided to have an impromptu meetup today. This is something I've been wanting to organize for a while now and so this wound up as a natural opportunity.
I reached out to a few of my other local friends to shoot them a personal invite and then posted it on Twitter and in the Facebook group. The Kinda Funny Twitter account (presumably being handled by Colin) retweeted the spur of the moment meetup to amplify the signal.
I present all of this information as a follow-up to my previous post a few months back about getting more involved in the Kinda Funny community. I won't go as far as to say that setting this up was "simple" but it wasn't exactly complicated either. Over the course of my time in the community, I've gotten to know a few additional members of the community who are near me so I leaned on them first and foremost as potential attendees. A couple couldn't make it on such short notice but we were able to get a few people there for the event. And it's not about getting a huge turnout, it's about getting any kind of turnout. I live mere miles away from some of these guys, but I end up spending more time with them when we're in San Francisco for an event than I do right here in town. And a meet-up like this helps correct the insanity of that scenario.
We're local. We can hang out with each other here in town. Portillo's works as a meet-up location for us because A) we have one here in the area and B) it has a nice Kinda Funny tie-in.
For those of you without a Portillo's: meet-up pretty much anywhere else. Go to Taco Bell for all I care. The important thing (if you are so inclined) is that you hang out with other members in the community and make new friends.
Today I hung out with Ted, Nick, Cameron, Xavier, Nate, and Whitney. And that was on two days notice. Of that group, I already had met or interacted online with all but two of them. But it was still a chance for us to hang out or for them to hang out with other people in the community. My friend Sean had a similar meet-up in Chicago that he's been planning for at least a couple weeks on his way out West to start at IGN Monday. Two community meet-ups, half a country apart, both designed to bring fans of the team at Kinda Funny together.
With Kinda Funny performing in Chicago next month at Let's Play Live, I anticipate another Chicago meetup occurring and I imagine I'll try to plan a Phoenix-area meetup to coincide with that event once again. And with more planning going into this one, I'm hoping for both a better turnout (again any turnout is good: just bring people together), as well as the idea of connecting our two events, perhaps through a Skype call of sorts.
So all of this is to say, I encourage anyone to get out there and put something like this together. If you are fortunate enough to know you have other community members nearby, work with them to throw something together and hang out and get to know one another. You already have something in common in your entertainment for four, sometimes five, best friends gathering around a table, each bringing a topic of conversation for your amusement. So extend that to your own communities.