Going to meet a roomful of people that you don’t know can be intimidating. Even worse—going alone.  The best advice I could give you is to smile, be confident and maybe throw down a quick drink.  That’s how I handled meeting 30 of MEETinHONOLULU’s members at its ‘Wine Tasting at Honolulu Design Center’ meet-up on May 27. is a national social networking organization with regional groups around the United States, including Honolulu.  It’s completely free and run by its own members voluntarily. Meet-ups are planned around the city and posted to its website, so you can choose to RSVP or decline.  Local activities have included night snorkeling excursions, happy hours, hikes and beach clean-ups. Or, if those don’t interest you then you can plan your own event and let others join you.

The great thing about this group is that everyone is invited, no one is left out and it’s purely social, not a dating or singles club.  And although after talking to a few members and learning that many were new to the Island, I did learn that it’s not just for newcomers.  “It’s also for people who want to expand their own circle of friends,” says Michael, who’s been a member since 2005.

And, with around 1,800 members listed in its Honolulu directory, “you’ll meet different people at different events,” notes Tony, a new member.  “The people you see at a kite flying event may not be the ones you meet at a club or happy hour event.” 

Mingling around the room soon became easier as people greeted me with friendly smiles and strangers became friends.   It really wasn’t so hard after all.  The event was a success, everyone was very welcoming and I even made a few hiking buddies. 

For more information and to become a member, visit