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. :P

Audiences

IMO there are two major groups that we can help through the mentor program:

  1. Primary audience = Completely New Organizers. They’re pumped up and excited to get goin’, but they don’t know where to start.
  2. 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.

3. Day-Of

  • 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.

4. Ongoing

  • 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.

Support Material/Documentation

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.)

Thanks!

/am