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Saying no to a friend (NOT DATING RELATED)

KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
I find myself in a awkward situation.

I run a fairly active meetup here in Dallas. We don't really have any sort of mission statement apart from people meeting others and exploring the city. Pretty much I put up events that I think will be fun, unique or a good way to hang out, as well as a monthly happy hour (cause drinks always help). It's been going on for five years now, with me having taken over 3 years ago. People seem pleased with it, and most of the events have good attendance.

A friend recently started her own travel website, where she and her partner give out tips about how to travel cheap, though behind a paywall. Yesterday she told me she had a great idea for an event, and I was hoping it wouldn't have something to do with her business. Sure enough it did.

She wants to do a happy hour where she and her partner "Give out" 7 tips about how to travel for almost free (While pimping their website I'm sure). Her idea is 30 minutes of socializing, followed by their powerpoint presentation, followed by more socializing. It basically sounds like a timeshare presentation to me and I feel it doesn't really jive with what the group is about. Not to mention I don't want members thinking I'm using the meetup to spam them.

So how do I basically tell a friend that the meetup is more important than helping her business?

Posts

  • RendRend Registered User regular
    I'd focus on the whole "Hey I'd love to help you out but I really don't think the meetup is the right place for that." You can mention that people might feel spammed if you want to try and deflect a bit of responsibility. Or, in the other direction, you can try and separate "friend" you from "meetup dude" you, and be like "This isn't a meetup-y sort of thing, my hands are tied!"

  • ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    I don't know how these meetup things work, so sorry if this is not helpful.

    Is it possible to poll the members of your meetup group to see if they would be interested in this sort of thing? Then you could go back to your friend and say that the group is or is not interested in that sort of thing?

    I would think that she would want people to attend knowing full well what they are entering into and not tricking them into thinking its another happy hour meetup.

    tapeslingerThe EnderGnome-Interruptus
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Yeah... You'll just have to say no. She sees you have a consistent group and she wants to use that opportunity for advertising, I wouldn't try and sugar coat it or offer an alternative, either. You aren't saying no because its just one bad event idea, you are saying no because your meetup isn't a captive customer base that she can freely advertise to. Its not what they are coming for, and it would leave a bad taste in their mouth.

    KyouguDarkewolfeceresMahnmutInquisitor77tynicLostNinjaAngelinaDerricktapeslingerThe EnderMrVyngaardPsykomacabsy
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Don't let her hijack your/the-existing nice regular thing. Tell her to setup her own meetup/event or whatnot and you'll forward a link to the meetup circle you manage.

    I don't well know how meetup works, but sounds like she wants to take advantage of this collective of potential marks who will reliably show up somewhere.

    Treat her like an amway drone.

  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    Djeet wrote: »
    Don't let her hijack your/the-existing nice regular thing. Tell her to setup her own meetup/event or whatnot and you'll forward a link to the meetup circle you manage.

    I think even the promise of a link would be iffy, just because it still would feel spammy. I would say something like 'if you want to print out flyers, I'll put a stack of them by the door of our next get together for people to grab if they feel like". Anything else, and you'll ran into people thinking this is less a meetup and more of a way to advertise.

    Plus powerpoint? Really? Fuck off.

    MahnmutBouwsTLovelytapeslingerHollerNarbus
  • PacificstarPacificstar Registered User regular
    Kyougu wrote: »
    I find myself in a awkward situation.

    I run a fairly active meetup here in Dallas. We don't really have any sort of mission statement apart from people meeting others and exploring the city. Pretty much I put up events that I think will be fun, unique or a good way to hang out, as well as a monthly happy hour (cause drinks always help). It's been going on for five years now, with me having taken over 3 years ago. People seem pleased with it, and most of the events have good attendance.

    A friend recently started her own travel website, where she and her partner give out tips about how to travel cheap, though behind a paywall. Yesterday she told me she had a great idea for an event, and I was hoping it wouldn't have something to do with her business. Sure enough it did.

    She wants to do a happy hour where she and her partner "Give out" 7 tips about how to travel for almost free (While pimping their website I'm sure). Her idea is 30 minutes of socializing, followed by their powerpoint presentation, followed by more socializing. It basically sounds like a timeshare presentation to me and I feel it doesn't really jive with what the group is about. Not to mention I don't want members thinking I'm using the meetup to spam them.

    So how do I basically tell a friend that the meetup is more important than helping her business?

    If your friend is really a professional, then she'll understand when you say no. Or she'll offer to HOST the event with drinks or something. Then, if you want, you can send a message to your meetup saying "My friend has this business about travel, they want to host an event with booze. If you all would like to attend, these are the details. This does not take the place of our normal meetup."

    a5ehrentapeslingerTofystedethThe EnderGnome-Interruptuscabsy
  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    Kyougu wrote: »
    I find myself in a awkward situation.

    I run a fairly active meetup here in Dallas. We don't really have any sort of mission statement apart from people meeting others and exploring the city. Pretty much I put up events that I think will be fun, unique or a good way to hang out, as well as a monthly happy hour (cause drinks always help). It's been going on for five years now, with me having taken over 3 years ago. People seem pleased with it, and most of the events have good attendance.

    A friend recently started her own travel website, where she and her partner give out tips about how to travel cheap, though behind a paywall. Yesterday she told me she had a great idea for an event, and I was hoping it wouldn't have something to do with her business. Sure enough it did.

    She wants to do a happy hour where she and her partner "Give out" 7 tips about how to travel for almost free (While pimping their website I'm sure). Her idea is 30 minutes of socializing, followed by their powerpoint presentation, followed by more socializing. It basically sounds like a timeshare presentation to me and I feel it doesn't really jive with what the group is about. Not to mention I don't want members thinking I'm using the meetup to spam them.

    So how do I basically tell a friend that the meetup is more important than helping her business?

    If your friend is really a professional, then she'll understand when you say no. Or she'll offer to HOST the event with drinks or something. Then, if you want, you can send a message to your meetup saying "My friend has this business about travel, they want to host an event with booze. If you all would like to attend, these are the details. This does not take the place of our normal meetup."

    I was thinking along these lines as well. If there's some benefit to the group and you're super upfront about what is going on and why, then no one should get too upset.

    ceresQuidBouwsTInquisitor77tapeslingerGnome-Interruptus
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    Is her website world ventures? Because that's not a travel website, it's a straight up scam/pyramid scheme.

    e: And they tend to sell their people on it being an entrepreneurial venture, and how they are all there own bosses and that kind of BS. I know a guy suckered into that and from his FB posts you'd think he invented twitter & instagram.

    tinwhiskers on
    How do you spell Justice?B D S Non-Violent Resistance to Israel Apartheid & Occupation.
  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    No, luckily it's not that site.

    Right now I'm leaning towards what @Iruka and others have mention. Just flat out say no and not offer alternatives.
    Iruka wrote: »
    Its not what they are coming for, and it would leave a bad taste in their mouth.

    This is what's behind my thinking. I worked with business before but that's usually them providing a discount on something (Kayaking lessons, FC Dallas tickets) that I think is tangible and beneficial to my members. Right now her pitch (which she sent me) is mainly "Here's 7 ways I fly for cheap. Sign up for our website to get more!" which doesn't strike me as either.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    The best option offered so far (other than leaving a stack of flyers) is basically offering your friend free use of your mailing list to distribute info to folks. If you do that, be prepared to have other people ask to be able to do the same. I wouldn't recommend it.

    You could also tell her that you'd absolutely let her give a seminar, but it would legitimately need to be a seminar on something GOOD. I know a guy around here, for instance, gives a seminar on backpacking around Greece. He gives legitimately good tips on backpacking in general, on traveling in this situation, and then on what sites to see in Greece specifically. At the end of it, he does a sales pitch on the fact that he also gives guided backpacking tours all over Europe. It's still salesy, but because it's at the end of a legitimately good presentation he gets away with it.

    What is this I don't even.
    tapeslinger
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Just keep in mind that even sending out a single, one-time email just for your friend for this super special occasion is either hypocritical (why can't other people use the email list to send their friends' sales pitches) or will give other people the idea and open up the floodgates for their own super-special spam. At the very least there will be folks who will get turned off enough to simply drop off altogether, or worse, will publicly voice their concerns, causing a lot of unnecessary drama, which will cause other people to get turned off.

    Offering to send something out is "nice", but it's perfectly acceptable to just say no, this is a social event, and leave it at that.

    Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.
  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    Yeah, I worked pretty hard to build a good reputation for me and my group, and even though I hate putting it up above a friend, I'm just going to plainly say no.

    Each meetup group does have a discussion board which I'm tempted to tell her she can post in oif she wants to set up something independently but llike Inquisitor77 says, that opens the floodgates to me letting anyone post any sorts of soliciations. So I may just not even offer that.

    The Ender
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    "I hate putting it up above a friend"

    You're thinking about this wrong-way. Your not wanting to commercialize this regular social thing you got is normal. If she gets upset that you won't pimp her site in your Meetup then she's putting her business over your friendship.

    LostNinjatapeslingerT. J. Nutty Nub LovelyNarbusBouwsTcabsyV1m
  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    It might be worthwhile if she's actually going to contribute something, like drinks are on her all night at the bar. Shit man, if I've gotta listen to a pitch, then give me free breakfast at least.

    a5ehrenGnome-Interruptus
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Don't do it.

    And yes if you let her post or email, it will only go downhill from there.

    Mugsley wrote:
    So now I need to get it trimmed and adjusted, and all in.

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    Don't even open the door on this, if she is really a friend she'll understand and accept it that your fun thing isn't a place to shill her stuff.

    that's it, I'm shutting this entire forum down, everyone thank buttcleft
  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    Think of it like a message board, and you're the admin.

    She's asking to come on your board and spam your members, so to speak, and is trying to use the friendship you have as leverage to do so. If you refuse, she wants to PM your members, as a "less-intrusive" method of contact. Letting her have her way- even if it's just to distribute flyers- will damage your reputation and open the door to other requests from other people, and will drive members away because nobody goes to these things to get locked into a seminar to listen to sales pitches.

    So yeah, tell her thanks but no thanks- and remain firm.

    steam_sig.png
    ceresPsykomaBouwsT
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