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SEO Grail Philadelphia, a Meetup group we often take part in.
SEO Grail Philadelphia, a Meetup group that Greenlane often takes part in.

There’s tons of value in groups. If you’ve never taken part, they’re organized get-togethers that can resemble little mini conferences, meet & greets, networking events, game nights, and basically any idea that can bring together a group of like-minded people. That’s right – a bunch of people, united by a common interest in something, all under one roof and talking about that something.

If your business IS that something, you can do wonders for your website, brand, community and personal stock.

Participating in Meetup groups, from a business perspective, is fun and easy. It’s also really impactful if you pick a growing group and make yourself a big part of it. Whether it’s by presenting, sponsoring, offering deals, and getting links back, you’re bound to win when you’re bound with a winner group.

How can we find a baller growing Meetup group?

Wanna use the free tool we built? Just make a copy!

A strong, growing group with an engaged base and great, frequent events is where we’re going to get the best bang for our efforts. How can we find such groups, without digging through pages manually? What we decided to do was build a tool that scrapes Meetup data into a Google sheet, analyzes, and shows trends and stats. Check it out here, and read below for the logic and how to use this thing.

Membership numbers are nice, but attendance growth is key.

We definitely want to find a strong, growing Meetup group to focus our attentions on. I’ve seen plenty of groups with impressive numbers, but a steady decline in attendance when we take a look. Check it out: Philly not only has great membership numbers, but attendance is clearly growing strong over the past two years.
Philadelphia Happy Hour has a high number of members, super-frequent meetups, but a somewhat declining attendance.
Philadelphia Happy Hour has a high number of members, super-frequent meetups, but a somewhat declining attendance.
This Philly singles group, by contrast, has thousands of members - but no one seems to be going to the events!
This Philly singles group, by contrast, has thousands of members – but no one seems to be going to the events.


What else can the tool do?

Lots of new members per day equals a totally baller group.
Lots of new members per day equals a totally baller group.

We wanted to take a look at even deeper info on who’s going to the group. We added the ability to quickly see the newest members, in the Meetup Detailed Stats tab. This also pulls the user’s bio and website if found.

Another thing we want to look at is member bios. Meetup bios are unique for each group the member is in, so better bios means more engaged users. Right in the main tab, we’ve listed all members that we’ve found who have bios under the graph.

Check this out – tons of members with tons of bios!

Whoops – I haven’t updated my profile in a few years!




How does this tool work?

We built this thing in a Google Sheets doc, and it’s completely free and open source. In fact, we do 100% of the scraping and crawling using nothing but standard formulas! The main one is ImportXML – it’s basically magic, so go learn more about it.

The main formulas that pull data are:

Get the past Meetup events

This code gets the <li> tags from the past events page and lists ’em all out!

=query(IMPORTXML('Meetup Detailed Stats'!$D$2&"events/past/","//li"),"SELECT Col1,Col2,Col4 WHERE Col4!=''

Get Meetup group overall stats

This pulls out the main stats for the group.

=query(importxml('Meetup Detailed Stats'!$D$2 &"events/past/","//ul[@class='dividedList small']/li/a"),"SELECT Col1,Col2 WHERE Col1 !='Our calendar'")

Get individual group member details

Grabs member details and bios. Totally not creepy!

=iferror(importxml('Meetup Detailed Stats'!$D$2 &"members/","//div[contains(@id,'memberInfo')]"))



Sponsor Meetup groups. Go out and speak. Network, make friends, and get results. A link from a strong, growing Meetup group can work wonders. Just remember – even though we’re scraping and analyzing, don’t think for a minute about spamming groups.

You’re building a brand in front of real people, and they can smell BS a mile away. Finding the ideal Meetup group is a great step in the right direction – now you’ve got to become a real part of the community!




Sean Malseed
Sean Malseed
Sean is a developer, technical SEO, and entrepreneur with over 10 years of industry experience. Prior to Greenlane, he founded CircleRank, a successful technical SEO agency in Philadelphia. He has spoken at major digital marketing conferences around the world, including PubCon, SMX, SES/ClickZ, and OMCap. He also co-organizes Philly’s monthly digital marketing event, SEO Grail. …
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10 responses to “We Built a Tool to Find Baller Meetup Sponsorship Opps

  1. Hey Sean,

    That’s great I just used it to spot several spam profiles in an old group I use to run, will share this link with a few folks that run some meetups


    • Thanks David, that’s awesome to hear! I’d love to hear any feedback you all might have – would help me improve on it!

  2. Hi Sean,

    I can’t thank you enough for this amazing tool. I’ve been working on trying to monitor my group stats better and you just solved that. How do I learn how to write something like this. I’m trying to add member photos to the database in it’s own column but struggling. Can you help me?

    Also have you used this app/tool called Airtable it’s a relational database like a marriage btn sheets or an excel and Access. Any thoughts on it if you have?
    Just added y’all to my feedly!

  3. Hi Sean,

    Thanks for creating this tool, it looks and sounds fantastic. I am keen to get some details of a meetup group that I am involved with but it doesn’t work when I change the url. the meetup group is love wellington (

    Do I need to refresh something for the tool to get the data?


  4. HI Sean, It is working now. I went to drive and opened the file with the updated url in it and it loaded the details.

    Brilliant tool. Thanks so much!

  5. Hey Sean, does this tool still work? After you enter the meetup URL, should the tool update by itself? Is there anything else I need to do (because right now nothing happens after entering the URL)? Thanks

  6. Hi Sean,

    I (relatively urgently) need an extension to this great tool and would be prepared to contribute a bit towards the cost.

    Would you be open to discussing enhancing it for everyone’s benefit?


  7. This is great! I actually co-lead a Meetup and want to get more insight on the group, so this is helpful for organizers too. We’re often approached with sponsorship pitches as the group is quite large. Hopefully, this will get me more meaningful data for me and for them.

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