It's one of the questions that we get about our Doctor Who Meetup - in fact, we were asked that an individual asked that at our last Third Coast Comics Meetup...
...and then pushed the issue when we said a hard "no, we don't have the resources." So this is an attempt to help clarify the issue and drive.
First, we hold some events in the suburbs...but suburbs close enough to Chicago, like Oak Lawn. We've worked with partners on larger events in the suburbs...but our Chicago members complain that those events aren't "in the city".
And they're fair, because according to Meetup.com data, over two-thirds of our membership resides in the city. Here's the breakdown from our 2017 annual report:
Even in Chicago, most of our members live on the north side - from River North all the way to Skokie/Evanston (with a huge cluster), from the lake to Kedzie on the west. (Think Logan Square). We're planning on surveying the membership later this summer for more accurate numbers, but this number makes it clear: there are plenty of Doctor Who fans in Chicago.
The other factor is a little more complicated, since Chicago Doctor Who Meetup is completely volunteer-run. Although we have a Patreon page for support (and some members often opt to donate directly via PayPal), those funds are used towards Meetup expenses. Many of our expenses are out-of-pocket, so we're always looking to expand our potential resources.
Like many members, we are dependent on public transportation. Many of the suburbanites who are asking for Meetups do not live close; in fact, we are limited in our ability to work in remote suburbs. (For a strong analogy about travel distances, please check out this "Illinois Mitten Trick" tweet, along with a Tweeted photo). So traveling to the suburbs to run events is more effort than traveling into the city for events)...without the additional time commitments. (See below from 2014 - the time commitments have not changed)
Running three meetups in three far-flung locations was a challenge...and we've learned our lesson: we're focusing on quality of meetups and engaging the greater community than serving as someone's go-to Doctor Who delivery system.
But it's completely understandable why people ask that we hold events in the suburbs: we all like our events as close to home as possible. Nobody likes travelling, but the whole point of a meetup is about risk.
We risk our time, resources, and effort to put on inclusive, accessible, and affordable events for local Doctor Who fans. All we ask is that you share the risk and join us...because we're not just a fan organization, we're a community.