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.)