Currently, Meetup.com offers two subscription plans for organizers – monthly charge $10 (for group less than 50 members) and $15 (unlimited). It is free for the participants, so this is a pretty good solution for the groups in area of holistic and entertaining events. However, if you are promoting free meetings, paying monthly charges might not be your best choice.
Let’s review several alternative sites, which may offer the free support for free events.
Very popular service, offering free support for free events. It is absolutely free to post and promote your free events using the great set of available features. Easily track registrations for parties, classes, seminars, networking events, nonprofit events, tours and more.
With Doorkeeper, you only pay when you sell tickets in advance for your event. They don't charge you anything when you issue free tickets and at the door tickets.
The community is popular in Asia for Technical and Software related meetings organizing.
EventNinja, UK based site, offers meeting organization services with a different approach. Creating an event with EventNinja is fast, easy, and at no cost. You only pay when the number of people in your growing database exceeds 250 people.
TicketLeap assures you that free events are always free for you and your guests. If your ticket event costs $5 or less, you may enjoy a special flat fee of $0.25 per ticket including credit card processing!
A new service offering new social group arranging capabilities and meeting setup for free and with no registration (you may use the existing accounts in social media). Looks promising but yet to be proven useful.
And… Why you should still consider Meetup, in spite of the monthly fees?
This is how Michael Gray, former Meetup employee outlines it, and I kind of agree with his assessment.
All of the products listing here are great alternatives to hosting your group on the internet. Or helping you manage your next big event.
The PRIMARY advantage of putting your organization on Meetup, is that Meetup delivers actual people to join your organization. None of the other solutions help you solve the primary problem of starting a new organization: getting people to join and attend.
Meetup has attained a critical mass of current active members, and has a very well defined set of proven technologies and strategies that help organizers actually get people to join and attend. And not just join a single "Event", but also start attending events every month or week (whatever schedule your organization wants).
If you are just planning a big event or a conference, there are plenty of great products on the internet that will give you a homepage and management tools, etc. Eventbrite is a great alternative if you just want to sell tickets to your next big event or conference.
If what you want is to get people to join your local community and have ongoing events with a continuous stream of new members... nothing on the internet beats Meetup right now. And any decision on where to "host" your organization on the internet should weigh any set of "site features" against the most important feature you want in your organization: actual people showing up.