Friendships can be made at unexpected times especially at 99designs, where designers have a platform that not only connects them with creatives worldwide but also in neighboring cities.

The designers living in Solo and Yogyakarta, Indonesia have been competing with each other in contests for over a year and, through a Facebook group, have shared their successes and struggles. But it wasn’t until last month they finally met each other in person!

You don’t need an official Meetup to get together with your fellow designers — this meeting was unplanned, last minute and still just as exciting. Check it out!

Here is what 99designer Nico Strike, had to say about the midnight Meetup.

We didn’t plan, at all, to have this pleasant little get together. Ajikriwil and I were on our way to the airport in Yogyakarta. We were flying to Bali to meet with OnlydeeStudio (also for the first time). Because we arrived in Yogyakarta too early, I decided to visit our friend Fathury (aka joZ-joZan). It turns out this is also a hangout place full of other designers.

When we arrived, Andreas (genrobo), Dewa (dewaaa), Kenyot (bintang_designs), Darwis (Darius Thazulin), and Probo (Remonnande) were there. We often talk via Facebook or 99designs, but it was such a great surprise to be able to meet them in person!

We became more than just avatars and profiles to each other. We were real people! Although it was our first meeting, it didn’t seem like we were strangers to each other. We realized that we had been good friends all along. For those few hours, we shared stories of our lives… everything from families, school and of course, 99designs.

Many of our designers pointed out that one of the greatest value in 99designs is the community. And we agree!

If you know any 99designers in your area, reach out and start a conversation — you may form closer friendships than you could have ever expected.

Need help connecting with local designers? Check out your city at 99designs Meetups Everywhere.