Does anyone here have experience starting a meetup? Along with some friends and colleagues in the area, I'd like to start a recurring animator/designer/whatever get-together, but I'm not sure where to begin. Ultimately, I'd like for us to have screenings, critiques, collaborative projects, guest speakers, micro-festivals and just good conversation about the industry and our work.
What does a meetup group even look like? How are they organized? What can we do to keep the meetings at least somewhat productive and on-topic, while not taking ourselves too seriously?
Part of me wants to just hang at a bar with these awesome people, but the other part wants to emulate those dinner parties from Harry Potter where the teacher gathers the best and brightest from Hogwarts and talks about, like, magic and stuff. Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about.