A great way to encourage foursquare use in your community and meet other foursquare enthusiasts is to host a meet-up. At Foursquare Houston, we host them on the 16th of every month, in honor of 4sqDay.

Some foursquare meet-up tips:

  1. Ask venues who are already engaged in social media. We often try a venue that does not have a foursquare special in order to educate them, but it helps if they are aware of foursquare to begin with.  This often isn’t easy. Small business owners are busy people and they often don’t have time to email/meet with you. If all else fails, go with a business you know or that already has a special.
  2. Plan early. Sometimes tip #1 takes forever. It’s best to start a few weeks in advance. That will give you and the venue more promotional time as well.
  3. Have ideas for specials. In my experience, many venue owners and managers aren’t sure about what they want to offer. Give them a few examples, using different items and different types of specials. It’s great if you have something extra-special for your meet-up, but you don’t want to push too hard. You’ll want this to be enjoyable for both you and the venue owner.
  4. Find interest locally. Whether it’s through a foursquare community, campus ambassadors, Super Users or a twitter list of local foursquare users – know your audience. Anyone will be invited, but it’s good to have some influencers coming. Invite them directly.
  5. Have a meet-up around a badge. Foursquare Houston has done meet-ups for the Wino and the 7-10 Split badge in the past. Next month, we’re thinking Don’t Stop Believin’. Don’t fret, I’ll take video.
  6. Be Giving. Have the check-ins for your meet-up contribute to a local charity. Snoball is a great tool for this.
  7. Make it Fun. Do you have something fun to give away from the venue or from a sponsor? I still have foursquare buttons and stickers leftover from 4sqDay 2011 that I pass out on the monthly meet-ups. Organize a real-life foursquare game. Work with the bartender to make a foursquare cocktail. You get the idea.

and remember… it’s okay if there’s low turnout. Have some personal conversations with other users, make friends, and discuss how to improve.  Here’s to meeting new people with whom to explore your city and making everyday a foursquare day.

Have you been to a foursquare meet-up that wasn’t on 4sqDay?

p.s. yes, that picture is a Cheeto Burger that I had at the November meet-up at Hubcap Grill.