Ask Difference

Meetup vs. Meeting — What's the Difference?

By Maham Liaqat & Fiza Rafique — Updated on March 18, 2024
Meetup emphasizes informal gatherings, often with a social or interest-based focus, while meetings are formal gatherings with a set agenda.
Meetup vs. Meeting — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Meetup and Meeting


Key Differences

A meetup is typically an informal gathering of individuals with shared interests, such as hobbies or networking goals. Meetings, on the other hand, are formal gatherings with specific agendas, often held in business or organizational contexts.
Meetups are often organized through social media or dedicated platforms, encouraging new connections and community building. Meetings are usually scheduled via professional channels, emphasizing task-oriented goals and decision-making.
The atmosphere at a meetup is casual, with the primary aim being social interaction or leisurely activities. Meetings maintain a professional ambiance, focusing on discussions, presentations, or administrative tasks.
Participation in meetups is generally voluntary, driven by personal interest. In contrast, attendance at meetings is often mandatory for members of an organization or team, tied to professional responsibilities.
The outcomes of meetups can be open-ended, fostering relationships and shared experiences. Meetings aim for concrete results, such as decisions made, action items assigned, or information disseminated.

Comparison Chart




Social interaction, networking, shared interests
Discussing agendas, decision-making, administrative tasks

Organization Method

Social media, dedicated platforms
Professional channels, scheduled invites




Relationship building, shared experiences
Decisions, action items, information exchange

Compare with Definitions


A casual assembly for networking.
The tech meetup downtown is a great place for software developers to connect.


A session with defined objectives.
The budget review meeting ended with clear action items for each department.


An event without a strict agenda.
Our weekend hiking meetup is more about enjoying nature than following a strict trail.


An event scheduled for decision-making.
We have a team meeting every Monday to plan our tasks for the week.


A social event initiated via online platforms.
I found a local book club's meetup on a community website and decided to join.


A mandatory assembly within an organization.
Attendance at the monthly all-hands meeting is required for all employees.


An informal gathering of individuals with shared interests.
The photography enthusiasts organized a meetup at the city park to share tips and techniques.


A place where things merge or flow together (especially rivers);
Pittsburgh is located at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers


A gathering based on voluntary participation.
The annual fan meetup sees a diverse group of people coming together out of shared enthusiasm.


A professional setting for discussion.
The project kickoff meeting set the tone for the expectations and deliverables.


Meetup is a service used to organize online groups that host in-person and virtual events for people with similar interests. It was founded in 2002 by Chairman Scott Heiferman and four co-founders.


A formal gathering with a specific agenda.
The board meeting focused on the company's financial strategy for the upcoming quarter.


An arranged informal meeting.
We had our meetup in the local library, because of its central location.


A meeting is when two or more people come together to discuss one or more topics, often in a formal or business setting, but meetings also occur in a variety of other environments. Many various types of meetings exist.


The act or process or an instance of coming together; an encounter.


An assembly or gathering of people, as for a business, social, or religious purpose.


The act of persons or things that meet.
Meeting him will be exciting.
I enjoy meeting new people.


A gathering of persons for a purpose; an assembly.
We need to have a meeting about that soon.


(collective) The people at such a gathering.
What has the meeting decided.


An encounter between people, even accidental.
They came together in a chance meeting on the way home from work.


A place or instance of junction or intersection; a confluence.
Earthquakes occur at the meeting of tectonic plates.


A religious service held by a charismatic preacher in small towns in the United States.


(Quakerism) An administrative unit in the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
Denver meeting is a part of Intermountain yearly meeting.


Present participle of meet


A coming together; an assembling; as, the meeting of Congress.


A junction, crossing, or union; as, the meeting of the roads or of two rivers.


A congregation; a collection of people; a convention; as, a large meeting; an harmonious meeting.


An assembly for worship; as, to attend meeting on Sunday; - in England, applied distinctively and disparagingly to the worshiping assemblies of Dissenters.


A formally arranged gathering;
Next year the meeting will be in Chicago
The meeting elected a chairperson


The social act of assembling for some common purpose;
His meeting with the salesmen was the high point of his day


A small informal social gathering;
There was an informal meeting in my livingroom


A casual or unexpected convergence;
He still remembers their meeting in Paris
There was a brief encounter in the hallway


The act of joining together as one;
The merging of the two groups occurred quickly
There was no meeting of minds

Common Curiosities

Can meetups have agendas?

While meetups can have loose structures or themes, they generally lack the formal agendas typical of meetings.

Is participation in a meeting optional?

In most professional settings, meeting attendance is mandatory, but it may vary depending on the context and the organization's culture.

How do people find out about meetups?

Meetups are often promoted through social media, dedicated websites, and community boards, targeting those with shared interests.

What role do online platforms play in organizing meetups?

Online platforms are crucial for organizing meetups, providing tools for scheduling, communication, and member engagement.

What distinguishes a meetup from a meeting?

A meetup is informal and social, focusing on shared interests, while a meeting is a formal gathering with a specific agenda.

Are there digital tools specific to organizing meetups?

Yes, several websites and apps are designed to facilitate the creation, promotion, and management of meetups.

Are meetings always related to business or work?

Primarily, but meetings can also occur in non-professional contexts, such as community planning or club organizations, where they still retain a formal structure.

Can the same group have both meetups and meetings?

Yes, a group might organize meetups for general socializing and meetings for planning or decision-making purposes.

How do outcomes of meetups and meetings differ?

Meetups focus on relationship building and shared experiences, while meetings aim for tangible results like decisions and action plans.

How important is the setting for a meeting or meetup?

The setting reflects the event's nature: meetups often occur in casual, public spaces, while meetings might take place in offices or conference rooms.

Do meetups contribute to professional networking?

Absolutely, many professionals attend industry-specific meetups for networking opportunities, even though the atmosphere is more informal than traditional business meetings.

Is a workshop considered a meetup or a meeting?

Workshops can have elements of both but are generally more structured and goal-oriented like meetings, especially if they focus on skill development or education.

Can a meetup evolve into a more formal meeting?

Yes, as interest groups grow or professional collaborations emerge, the need for structured discussions can lead to more formal meetings.

How do agendas differ between meetups and meetings?

Meetings have defined agendas aimed at decision-making, whereas meetups may have themes but allow for more open-ended interaction.

What makes a meeting formal?

Formality in meetings is characterized by structured agendas, specific objectives, and often mandatory participation.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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