Team Chat Agenda for September 4, 2014

Thought I’d post it early this week so people could have a couple of days to think about things and write up ideas in advance.

Topic: Meetups/other local events

  • Meetup Attendance Tracking. Data, stats, we want them. has a tool built in to confirm attendance or say they didn’t show up. We’ll talk about how to ask organizers to start using this tool, and what can we/they do to make it a simple after-event task rather than a pain in the butt. Sign in sheets? A laptop or tablet with “check in” button when you come in? Let’s come up with a few ideas so we can start organizers on the path to reliable attendance data. (Since funding has to be based on something, and number of people that show up is usually the the something.)
  • Women-only Meetups. The meetup rules say meetups need to be open to everyone, regardless of things like gender, race, etc. We have done some workshops and trainings for just women in the past as part of a diversity initiative, and want to do more of those, because it helps to overcome issues of societal bias. However, now Seattle is doing women-only meetup events in the regular meetup group. I told Morgan, the organizer, to see what the attendees said about why they would come to those and not the main ones so we could get some data. This is a touchy thing. On one hand, overcoming societal bias, increasing diverse involvement, etc. On the other hand, not segregating, meetups are open to all. Let’s discuss this issue.
  • Clearing the membership rolls. We all know that the number of members in a meetup group is almost always a lie, especially if the group has been around a while. People move, change emails and can’t access the old account, join just to see what’s going on even though they are not local (or join to attend one meetup event when they are traveling). For the remote lurkers who aren’t local but just want to see what the group is up to, there’s not much we can do about that, since doesn’t have a way to ‘watch’ a group rather than being a local member, but we could at least try to do an annual cleanup of people who joined but have no intention of ever coming to an event and possibly don’t even get the emails. Let’s figure out what a good threshold would be for inactivity (length of time with no activity) to trigger getting a “Hey, are you still interested in WordPress? What can we do that you might be interested in attending?” email. And at what point should we remove these people from the group so that we have realistic numbers (knowing they can rejoin at any time)? Why worry about this at all? Because groups with heavily inflated numbers look less and less effective at serving their communities, so getting more accurate ratios of what percentage of members are actually attending events will be helpful in identifying which group need more assistance.
  • Meetup Venue Budgets. Some meetups get free venues donated to the group, which is awesome, but some can’t seem to find them. In those cases we cover the venue costs out of the Foundation account. We need to have a general guideline about what is reasonable to pay for a venue based on number of attendees. Obviously we would have the wiggle room to take special situations into account, but there have been a couple of cities choosing venues that cost several hundred dollars to host 20-person meetups, which is a little excessive, so it would be good to have a general idea of what we think is reasonable/average for organizers to use as a starting point.
  • New Meetup Starter Packs. We’ve talked about doing these forever, keep not getting around to actually writing up the docs we want to include, signs, sizes, …. basically making an inventory and then assigning who is drafting the first version of each and putting together a timeline for completion. Let’s do that. Here’s an old post about it from May:

#agenda, #meetups-2, #team-chat