Meetup Interview: 312 After Hours Nightlife Social Scene with Stacy and Shimon
Stacy and Shimon are the organizers behind 312 Afters Hours Nightlife Social Scene, a Meetup group in Chicago where “classy single people can get together and meet in upscale, pressure free environments.” We invited them to share with us more about their Meetup group.
You started your Meetup Group, 312 After Hours, in 2009. What made you want to start this group?
In 2009 312 AfterHours was started with 6 1/2 people and it was known as the chamber music group. But one day in September 2010 Shimon went to someone’s meetup at Benchmark in old town. No one could find the group or the host and it was a disaster. Thus, the original organizer stepped down and Shimon thought to himself “I could do this” and the group was renamed “classy night life options” and the first event was held at the Drake Hotel’s Halloween Party. It was an awesome event. Vince Vaughn was there and everyone had a great time. The name has since changed to “312 AfterHours” and the membership has grown to close to 3000 members and additional organizers and hosts were brought on board to assist.
What are the ages and background of the members of your group? Why do members join? (ie are they looking for a date, making new friends, etc…)
The demographic of the group ranges from twenty-five to fifty, professional city dwellers looking to meet others that live in the city. Members join our group because they have relocated to Chicago for work and are looking to meet people or they are looking to experience the city again as an adult after living in the suburbs for a while or being away at school. It is a great way to experience local venues with a close-knit group of people.
What do you think makes your meetup group different from other social groups?
The organizers are actively involved in the group and participate in every function. Also, the people in the group are friendly and genuinely care about one another. There is a real protective bond that circles around members and that is important. It is also important that Shimon and I screen members and listen to our membership so that we can prevent issues or personality conflicts.
What do you think makes a good social singles event?
Members can always talk to an organizer at a function and are made to feel welcome whether it is the first event they are attending or the twentieth event with the group. It is very important when you organize group events to remember that you are a host first and an attendee second and I think that is what makes us successful because we never forget to be gracious.