GWC meetups are hard to describe, because they are some of the happiest, silliest, and most profound moments in life — getting to meet people you’ve talked to on the forum, on Twitter or Facebook, or in a Skype chat, or perhaps you’ve only seen their handles online — it makes you kind of giddy. Why? Because GWCers get your jokes, laugh knowingly at your movie references, and finish your sentences when you quote a film or TV show. GWCers come from all over, with different backgrounds and histories and perspectives, but when we get together it’s one massive, hilarious hive mind, and it’s something to behold.

Meetups are your chance to meet the friendliest, funniest people in geekdom, and share a meal, a movie, a sci-fi convention, a museum tour, a planetarium show, or a beer — and realize that all those times you wished you could share your enthusiasms and hobbies with someone with similar interests, another person just like you was out there, just waiting to have that same conversation.

Sometimes people hesitate to go to meetups because they worry they won’t fit in, that they won’t know anybody, or that it’s not prudent to meet people from the Internet in real life. While these concerns are normal and valid, it’s worth noting that most GWC meetups begin with shy introductions and end with hugs. (Okay, sometimes they begin with hugs, too). In the last few years, we’ve forged lasting friendships because we took a chance to just be ourselves — and we found that we are not alone. In fact, we are a family, and we are proud to welcome anyone who wants to join!

If you’re interesting in meeting one or more fellow GWCers, check the meetup forum thread for more information.