Meetup Program Recap for 2014

Each year we send a survey to all MeetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. organizers and members within our chapter program and post a recap. I neglected to post a snapshot of the program at the beginning of this year, so you’ll see another survey right on the heels of this recamp to provide a snapshot of 2015. 🙂

Next year’s snapshot will be up by the end of February 2016. No foolin’.

2014 Snapshot

At the end of 2014, we had 120 groups participating in the chapter program with (roughly) 30,000 members in them. Of those ~30,000 people, about 18,000 (60%) actually attended any events.

Of those 120 groups, 106 (88%) held 1,119 events over the course of the year (averaging about 93 a month). Our most active month for Meetup events was October at 115 events during the month.

The most active groups in 2014 were:

  • The Albuquerque WordPress Group
  • The Austin WordPress Meetup Group
  • Seattle WordPress Meetup
  • WordPressKC
  • Greater Milwaukee Area WordPress Meetup

Survey Snapshot

Along with the data that came directly from Meetup.com, there is also a little information we can gather from the survey itself. The sample size was remarkably small compared to the pool of recipients (718 responses out of, ostensibly, 30,000 contacts bringing us to a response rate of 2%). As a result, these findings are specific to respondents and not applied to the program overall.

Respondent Stats
79% lived in the United States.
50% live in the city their Meetup group is in.
25% live in a suburb of the city their Meetup group is in.
20% live within driving distance of the city their Meetup group is in (it’s unclear whether this excludes all suburbs).

Most of the respondents have been members of their groups for over a year (53%) with those who had been members between three and twelve months coming second (33%) and those less than three months at 14%.

Of the top five reasons folks don’t attend, the most common was the topic. However there was a clear trend around scheduling conflicts and attendance.

  • 56% – The posted topic
  • 48% – Work schedule
  • 42% – Day of week
  • 39% – Time of day
  • 37% – Location/venue

Event types most are interested in:

  • 81% – Formal presentation with a speaker followed by Q&A
  • 77% – Workshop/training
  • 61% – Discussion groups
  • 58% – Show & tell of what people are doing with WordPress in the community
  • 47% – Working on your WordPress sites/projects at a coffeeshop with others

A scant quarter (23%) wanted to help with organizing events, but only 5% of respondents had actively planned something in 2014.

Who we, the respondents, are:

  • 48% – Developer
  • 46% – Small Business Owner
  • 42% – Site Admin
  • 40% – Blogger
  • 37% – Advanced User

62% of all respondents had never contributed at all. Common comments from those who hadn’t included concerns about lacking knowledge, not knowing how to begin, and general embarrassment that can potentially be defined as imposter syndrome.

Conclusion

While 2014 was generally a good year for the Meetup program overall, we saw a very low level of engagement ranging from events and attendance all the way to survey responses. After the push at the beginning of 2015 to open up event planning to any member, we’ve already seen a difference to date but you can expect to see the same encouragement from the team again this year!

Next week you’ll start to see surveys for this year in your inbox (for both organizers and members). Help us all to continue making progress by encouraging participation from your entire organizing team as well as your members!

#annual-survey, #meetups-2, #surveys