Proposal re: mentoring new meetup organizers.
Here’s my first pass at how we could tackle mentorship in the Meetup.com chapter program.
Please beat it up.
IMO there are two major groups that we can help through the mentor program:
- Primary audience = Completely New Organizers. They’re pumped up and excited to get goin’, but they don’t know where to start.
- Secondary audience = Existing Organizers: They’ve run some meetups before, but still stand to gain from the opinions/experiences of others. e.g. ideas for different meetup group activities.
Mentor/Mentee Google Hangouts
The first big piece is similar to what Andrea’s been doing with WordCamps. We’ll provide new Meetup organizers with a series of orientation sessions spread over four weeks. Topics to cover:
1. Meetup.com 101 (Ninja Edit: Focus on the tools in this step, friendly reminders about the Spirit of WP + level of commitment.)
- Representing WordPress: Embrace the spirit of WP!
- Commitments: Friendly reminder that Meetups take a lot of effort.
- Using Meetup.com: The tools at your disposal.
- Organizer Levels: Co-organizers, event hosts, assistants, etc…
2. Planning & Preparation
- Selecting a Venue: Transit, parking, capacity, directions, accessibility, et al.
- Content & Activities: Presentations? Social? Workshops? What’re you doing?
- Setting RSVP Limits: The delicate balancing act.
- Supplies & Equipment: Making a list and checking it twice.
- Handling Expenses: Saving Cami from going insane with receipts.
- Communication: Keeping your members in the loop.
- Signage & Access: Where’s the door, and how do I open it?
- Registration/Signing In: Identifying the no-shows.
- Welcoming Attendees: e.g. Tell them where the washrooms are.
- Recording/Streaming (if possible): More good stuff for WordPress.tv.
- Follow-Up House Cleaning: e.g. post video, send out slides, contact the no-shows.
- Growing & Adapting to Your Local Community
- Diversifying Activities: Something for everyone.
- Bringing In Other Organizers: Share the load!
- Larger Initiatives: Getting involved with the WordPress project.
Think of this next piece as a “Starter Kit” for organizing meetups.
These are assets that we’d create. They should be short n’ actionable. Some ideas to start:
- Organizer’s Checklist: A “cheat sheet” that helps you prep for a meetup.
- Templates: For Meetup groups & individual event pages. Could include:
- Image Templates (header art, group image, images for event pages)
- Boilerplate text (for harassment policies and other such things)
- Project spreadsheets (similar to the budget template for WordCamps)
- Organizer Tips: Advice from other organizers, clean n’ simple. (Inspiration)
There’s more that we can do, but this list seems long enough for now. (I once joked with a friend about preparing Meetup.com tote boxes, but the shipping costs might make that a bit unreasonable.)