London Spiritual Movement
Do you run a holistic or spiritual meet up group? How do you organise your meet ups? How do you keep people engaged with your event or share photos afterwards? Since 2007 the London Spiritual Movement has been a spiritual pioneer in its innovative use of website ‘MeetUp.com’ - a social network which facilitates offline meetings.
The London Spiritual Movement has over 7,500 members on Meetup.com and has become the largest spiritual meet up group in the world. The London Spiritual Movement has used Meetup.com to organise nearly 500 meetings, many of which have been attended by over a hundred people. Meetup.com itself hosts over 120,000 meet up groups in nearly 200 countries and has registered over 100 million RSVPs!
We interview Vaz Sriharan, Organiser of the London Spiritual Movement and Founding Director of the London College of Spirituality. Vaz discusses how the London Spiritual Movement uses MeetUp.com.
Q1) When did the London Spiritual Movement start using Meetup.com? What first attracted you to using this social network?
I began the London Spiritual Movement with Meetup.com from its very inception. I was drawn to the fact that this was a social media site that also allowed people to directly meet one another, whilst providing an easy to use event management system. I was also drawn to its very affordable pricing, as I began without any funding.
Q2) How has using Meetup benefited the London Spiritual Movement?
We rely on Meetup for all of our events, and the distribution to our audience. Meetup has allowed our audience to grow at incredible levels. It’s easy to sign up and easy to amend one’s email notifications. It allows us to collect event prices beforehand to reserve seats and also be very creative in how we showcase our events to our group. Meetup for us allows us to fulfil our primary objective, in creating a community. It gives us direct access to our group, and we treat our group as a family.
Q3) Could you describe how Meetup facilitates the event booking process for your events, including RSVPs? Do your members have to create a profile to use the site?
Members can create their own profile, and we allow them to join with any name they choose, without having to write a profile or give a picture. This allows everyone to be part of this community anonymously, which is at first is very important for people joining our group. Meetup establishes a three reminder process for each of our events, which automatically send out to our group at time intervals before an event. This makes things very easy, together with the easy to use RSVP system for our members to choose (and see others who are attending too).
Q4) How have you integrated the Meetup calendar integrated into your website?
We have an additional website, for the London College of Spirituality and we have our own calendar system on there. We redirect people back to Meetup for our full calendar, and for all our events. Our external website has become a gateway back into Meetup.
Q5) What advice would you give to other spiritual groups which are considering using a website such as Meetup.com to facilitate offline meetings?
I would advise all emerging groups to use Meetup. It is an extremely affordable way of building your group audience for anything that you desire. You have full control over the content and the delivery, and this allows you the ability to change and grow with your audience. What I have found the most beneficial, is that the nature of any group is to change, as the energy changes. With Meetup we can continuously keep up with these changes, by changing our content and style – so we are always in touch with the people. If you are seeking to create a genuine community that serves, this is a fantastic way to go.
London College of Spirituality
The London College of Spirituality was birthed from the London Spiritual Movement and regularly runs a host of events including: Experiential talks, Workshops, Group Healing Nights, Energy work, Social meet ups and Sound Healing. The college has a website and a Facebook page.
The London College of Spirituality’s website is bright and welcoming with a subtle purple colour theme running throughout the site. The site is clearly presented and drop-down menus aid navigation, keeping menu options simple. The events section of website is very well structured and Meetup.com has been integrated into the site design. The site also has a section for downloads which can be purchased at an affordable price, including recordings of its talks and healing meditations.
On Facebook, the college’s page is very visual with many spiritual pictures being used in posts to highlight the work of the college and its events. The page has over 3,500 likes and makes use of Facebook apps (newsletter and event tabs).The page also showcases photos from recent events. We spotted photos of tribal gathering events and sound healing (with a very impressive gong!).
Connect with the London College of Spirituality!
Be holistic and have social media know-how!
3 top tips for holistic practitioners - how to promote your work on social media
1. Do you need a header or background image for your Twitter profile? http://www.twitrcovers.com/ has a large number of free images that are easy to upload.
2. Apply the term ‘Spring Cleaning’ to your social media presence as a holistic business. What could you improve in your strategy?
3. ‘Klout’ lets you discover your influence on social media. It can be a good indication of whether your social media profiles are performing well.
Digital Review © Talking Holistic 2013