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Last active Jan 8, 2018

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Meetups

How to keep your Meetups attractive

Summary of the Twitter discussion started by https://twitter.com/kaktusmimi/status/947250255275483137

How do you organize speakers, topics, venues

  • Boyan Yordanov @specter_bg: I mostly talk to people at our events and a couple others and try to convince them to give speaking a shot. Trough this year pretty much all our speakers were speaking for the first time. For the venue we partner with the local hackerspace.

  • @Dragem: Mostly it's whatever I can get because it's hard to get in touch sometimes. And sometimes they contact me if they can come again. Still a lot of busy at that time.

  • johann romefort @romefort: I’m about to finish an article on how to find speakers as it’s always the #1 issue for meetup organizers; stay tuned! Topics, I read a lot and experiment a lot so I get my inspiration from there. Venues: just email companies who host Meetups frequently.

  • Daniel Wiegand @wiegimania: We‘ve a fix venue (italian restaurant with a great side room). I talk to them on other events/twitter/fb ... and ask if they like to talk at our events

  • Manuel Fink @ManuelFink: Organising digital experience behind the scenes #meetup in #Munich. Just starting. Setting topics, Inviting speakers with industrie expertise. Fixed location.

what is your ratio (in %) between a) introduction topics b) deep dives c) workshop / hands-on sessions d) drink-ups

  • Boyan Yordanov @specter_bg: Mostly depends on the speakers I can find. I’d say most are introductory and we’ve had a couple deep dives. When I can’t find a speaker we’ve done lightning talks and just drink-ups (1 lightning talks session and 2 drink-ups this year).

  • @Dragem: Try to get 60% intro, 30% deep. 10% something special.

  • johann romefort @romefort: Largely depends on the group and on the speakers I can find. I’d say a) 30% b) 70% c) rarely d) never

  • Daniel Wiegand @wiegimania: 60/40/0

  • Manuel Fink @ManuelFink: Focus on attendees interests and networking. Starting with lightning talks a) 15% b)15% followed by open barcamp workshop session c) 30% and networking d)30%

how much time do you normally spend for presentations vs. socializing / talking afterwards

  • Boyan Yordanov @specter_bg: Usually 20-30 minutes for socializing until people gather, 30-45 talk and then we move to a pub, and everyone is welcome to stay as long as they like.

  • @Dragem: 1:1 normaly

  • johann romefort @romefort: My agenda is generally quite fixed: 30 min socializing with pizza and drinks, 45 min talk, 15 min break, 45 min talk, 1h+ socializing

  • Daniel Wiegand @wiegimania: Normally we‘ve three to four talks, each about 20 minutes. Afterwards about two hours of socializing

  • Manuel Fink @ManuelFink: #meetup timebox. Company/speaker introduction: elevator pitches max 5 min, lightning talks 30-45 Min. Barcamp/Workshop followed by networking 1h+

  • Boyan Yordanov @specter_bg: Mostly word of mouth and Facebook. I post the events on meetup.com and Facebook and then share them on Twitter, our Facebook page and a couple of development focused facebook groups. The venue and the speaker also share the event on their social channels. I also try to go to as manny other events as I can and talk to people about our meetup and give out stickers etc.

  • johann romefort @romefort: I create a nice banner, post on Twitter, cross post on my other relevant group and relevant FB groups. If attendance is still low, I ask other organizers to cross promote. See an example of the graphic banner here : https://t.co/qn3qmWQIij

  • @Dragem: Slack + twitter

  • Daniel Wiegand @wiegimania: Twitter and Facebook are our main channels, beside I promote our events on a lot of other meetups I attend

  • Manuel Fink @ManuelFink: No promotion needed? :D ... Networking, tell everyone who disliked the meetup to send someone he dislikes and likers to bring a friend who could like the meetup.

if you do so: how do you collect feedback from your participants

  • Boyan Yordanov @specter_bg: Mostly by talking to people. I have though about posting the talks on joind.in. Sometimes there are also comments on the meetup.com page.

  • @Dragem: Not actively but planing to soon

  • johann romefort @romefort: That I could definitely improve but I look at the comments and also ask people directly after the talks how they liked it. I think sending once one a while a short feedback form can be useful.

  • Daniel Wiegand @wiegimania: Twitter/FB comments and from time to time we‘ll do some google surveys. Another important way of getting feedback is to talk directly to our attendees at the event

  • Manuel Fink @ManuelFink: Getting feedback by asking people personally, surveys (on & offline), sending every attendee personal message saying thank you and asking for feedback

further lessons-learned / best-practices / DOs and DONTs for meetup organization that I didn't mention in my previous questions

  • johann romefort @romefort: A lot :) I refuse sales/marketing talks. I don’t announce more than 3 weeks in advance (unless it’s a super known speaker) as it increases the no-show rate. Speaking of no-show I plan with 40-50% no show. Lots of organizers try to reduce no show by punishing no-showers but I dont. Also with sponsors, no long intros and HR pitches as it’s boring for everyone. Just tell them in advance to set expectations. Don’t compromise quality for sponsors.

  • Boyan Yordanov @specter_bg: The most important thing for me turned out to be consistency. I aim for every third Thursday of the month. No matter if there’s a talk lined up or not, no matter if very few people show up on a particular month an event is scheduled and I am there.

  • @Dragem: Contacting/connecting the local community is really hard when there is no local community and that means insourcing from other local communities nearby. Oh and even if attendance is not that high. I'm very proud in a less then 5% no-show rate.

  • Manuel Fink @ManuelFink: DON'T do commercial meetups. People are not coming for advertising or company intros! DO: focus on attendee's interests, issues, knowledge and create creative space.

Further References

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