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Organizing Meet ups (Philadelphia)

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I live in Philadelphia and the local Mandarin Chinese Meet Up Group hasn't been very active for quite some time. The Organizer has stepped down and the position is open. I'm sure the membership list is stale, but it has nearly 400 members.

I'm thinking about stepping up and trying to make something of it. We have a decent size Chinatown, I'm sure we have a decent number of Mandarin speakers. I think I could locate some good venues for meetings and events.

Any suggestions on doing this properly? Is there a particularly good Mandarin Chinese Meet Up Group that I could seek to emulate?

My first order of business would be to get an announcement and survey out to see which email addresses are still good and where the interest of the current membership lies.

2nd order of business would be to try and set up a regular event at a venue in which we can grow based on those finding.

ANY suggestions or comments are very welcome.

Thank you kindly,



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I've enjoyed the DC meetup group. I find that meals are sometimes the most successful (dim sum on the weekend, hot pot, etc.). Having regular meetups is also important. Good luck. If I was still up in Philly I would join you.

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Philly Chinatown was still mostly Cantonese-speaking as I recall in 2007. Not sure how much has changed since then. But I'm sure you can locate a few Mandarin learners who are up for meals and maybe karaoke (either in Chinatown or in Koreatown out west).

I attended the Japanese meetup from time to time when I lived there. It wasn't too bad, and meetings were always at a cafe or restaurant.

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Good ideas. Thank you.

It's actually my understanding that Fujianese is the dominant dialect in Chinatown at this time. Most of the time that I've spent there was with my Mandarin speaking ex gf, and I don't recall hitting a wall of Cantonese only situations. Perhaps that was due to selection, I'm not sure.

Thanks for the DC Meet Up link. I got a few good ideas already from a quick glance. It looks like it is well organized.

And we do have many, many Chinese students attending the nearby universities. That's a good suggestion.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to go for it and see if I can provoke some good ideas from the current membership with a well thought out survey. Philly certainly has a lot of supportive social infrastructure for such an effort, and I distinctly recall thinking that the now-former organizer was getting in the way of things by squatting at the top of a group and not making things happen.

Thanks again for the suggestions. I may be back with questions on finer points for group efforts amongst students with varied levels of proficiency.

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