30 Organizing Meet up Tips

Random Observation/Comment #576: There was a time when I lurked meetups around NYC to meet new interesting people and pick up women. The picking up of women didn’t work very well.

Why This List?

If you’re organizing meetups for your company around software or specific industry trends, it’s always a good idea to follow the lessons learned from some very experienced meetup organizers. Even if this list was available (because I’m sure plenty of people have written about it), I didn’t internalize it until I wrote the list myself. Thus is life.

  • Marketing
    1. Provide at least 3 weeks prior to the date of the event basics (hopefully you already have recurring venues booked)
    2. Set up reminders from the system or directly with 3 weeks, 1 week, and 72-48 hours before event. Have the reminder include more details or interesting facts.
    3. Tell people who else will be attending as people will be more inclined to join if there are opportunities to make connections during the networking
    4. Consider giving pre-reading material (but know that it will likely not be read)
    5. Consider telling people to bring their laptops! The focus of a technical meetup could be more hands-on coding
    6. Consider not doing a dial-in as this encourages more people to show up in-person
    7. If you have a global audience, consider buying a USB conference microphonehttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G2Y44ZK/ref=psdc_7073956011_t3_B00G57DFDG (Jabra)
    8. Even if you’ve created a meet-up signup, also create an outlook invite so people can see it on their work calendars (also, meet-up might be blocked on bank computers)
    9. Advertise on the correct internal and external calls
    10. Take photos during the event, but also use photos from previous events (if recurring)
    11. Think of contests with incentives
    12. Use a venue that is close to subway/metro stations if hosted in the city
    13. Encourage people to present their work
    14. When selecting the date of the meetup, never do weekends and never do events too early. Wednesday to Fridays are usually best days after 7PM and also check for conflicting days with any other major events
    15. Setup meetups where you’re not the main presenter, but a facilitator to bring others in the industry together. “Special Guests” are always cool.
    16. In the meet up page, be specific to the type of audience and material you’ll be covering
  • Important people to attend from your company
    1. General meeting logistics manager – someone that has some experience in this space and thinks about printing event signs and bringing tape
    2. Invite all people in your office if this is work related – Could also be a great group networking opportunity
    3. Salesperson – if your meet up is hoping to bring some broader interest of investers or potential partners, be sure to have the right internal representatives
    4. HR (or method of collecting interest) – we should keep track if people are interested in joining a dev team or at least working as partners
  • Day-of event
    1. Bring Music! Really awkward to not have any
    2. In the beginning, introduce the people from your organization in the room so they can start conversations during networking timespan
    3. Consider bringing name tags – suggest your name and “things to talk to me about”
    4. Spread out in networking events. Talk to new people and include others who are just on their phones
    5. Start the event with an Ice breaker or a raise of hands to gauge technical ability of the audience
    6. Depending on the size of the group, have people introduce themselves around the room and which company they’re from
  • Content (ordering of content)
    1. Try not to focus the presentations on the company in the beginning
    2. If this is a software pitch, make sure it’s explained with a short analogy for usage and latest developments
    3. If you have a demo, consider reversing the order: Analogy, Demo, Concepts, Call to Action
    4. Tangible project examples always resonate better

~See Lemons Organize Meetups

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