What makes a WordPress Meetup Great?

What makes a WordPress Meetup Great? This is a compilation from the Make WordPress Marketing Team meant to serve as a resource for the Community as a whole. Let us know what works for you.

WordPress Meetups are an essential part of the WordPress Community as well as the long-term self-learning path of any WordPress Professional. Local Meetups are varied and have different flavors — culturally and from a topic standpoint. We’ve put together a collection of resources and videos about what makes a Meetup a great experience for it’s members.

We hope you’ll be inspired to attend and also give back to your local WordPress Meetup!

Check out these helpful resources and videos for inspiration and tips:

  1. The WordPress and Open Source Philosophy
  2. Why you should attend a Meetup
  3. Improving Your Meetup

The WordPress and Open Source Philosophy

WordPress is a free and open source software used to build websites and blogs also called
as “CMS” (Content Management System) which is available at WordPress.org. You don’t have to be a coder to use WordPress and being open source helps. It has one of the largest open source communities and WordPress now powers 28% of all the websites on the internet.

Four open-source principles:

  • The freedom to use the software for any purpose.
  • The freedom to change the software to suit your needs.
  • The freedom to share the software with your friends and neighbours.
  • The freedom to share the changes you make.

Andrea Middleton: Stronger Together – How WordPress Communities Are Built
The WordPress community is built and maintained by volunteers, using the same methods — and many of the same tools — that are used to make WordPress itself. In this session, you’ll get a look at the WordPress community’s “source code” and learn how to contribute to the growth of your local community — or create a community if you don’t already have one.

Aaron Campbell: Community – Getting Involved
You love WordPress? Want to pitch in and help out? Not sure how? It doesn’t matter if you’re a designer, a developer, a translator, or just someone that uses WordPress on your own site. This presentation talks about how you can help make WordPress better.

Winstina Hughes: Community Spark – How To Start a Discussion on Community Engagement
Council meetings sit empty until a road closes, a subway schedule changes, or property taxes increase. Suddenly, meetings are packed with concerned residents. It’s often too late by that time. Use WordPress.com as an interactive digital communication tool to engage the public before meetings are crowded. Incorporate the public’s voice in your local planning process with simple steps outlined in this session

Josepha Haden: Communities and The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense
If you’ve ever had experience growing a community (WordPress, Open Source, or otherwise), you know that every community has its ups and downs. From trolls in comments sections, face to face name calling, and general toxic personalities, no group is perfect and no one knows how to deal with everything. In this talk, we will discuss the basic principles of healthy communication as laid out by Suzette Haden Elgin and how you can apply it to your community growth to keep your community happy and engaged all while keeping you safe and healthy.

Marc Benzakein: From Homeless to Hopeful
Throughout my years as a WordPress Developer, I’ve watched a Community grow and thrive by looking to lift others first before lifting themselves. In my talk, I’ll share the story of how I was able to leverage the knowledge I had, along with the relationships I’ve built throughout my time in the Community to help children who had no place to go when their families fell apart. My goal is to show you how you can take something that’s bigger than you (the Community) and use it to change lives for the better.

A quick look at the Swedish WordPress community – Johan Falk
Last year was important for our local WordPress community, and we’re excited for the possibilities that 2017 brings. We will talk about our current state and discuss how we can improve. We’ll also have a couple of exciting surprise announcements!

The WP Crowd: #WPLife 1 – WordPress Community
This week Roy talks about how important the WordPress community is to me. It is how he became the developer he is today, and how The WP Crowd was formed! What are your experiences? Made some good friends along the way?

Morten Rand-Hendriksen: Empathy and Acceptance in Design and Community
Working on and with the web is engaging in that most human of endeavors: Communication. Even so, it’s easy to forget that the people we interact with and those who access and interact with our creations are just that: People. Learn how to make empathy and acceptance driving forces for your interactions and designs to build great informational experiences for everyone.

Andrea Rennick: WordPress – Changing Lives
A look at people in our community that have had their lives changed by being involved with WordPress.

Shayda Torabi: 5 Ways WordPress Can Change Your Life
People are doing amazing things with WordPress every day. Whether it’s your friend at an agency down the road, or a designer across the world, WordPress is transforming peoples lives. It’s empowering. Whether you’re looking for ways to grow your business or trying to get more connected in your city, I believe that the tools to be successful exist within the WordPress community. I’m going to share insights from my experience at over 30 WordCamps, and teach you ways in which I believe you can build key business relationships while helping contribute your own story to the WordPress community. You showed up today, don’t you want to make the most of your weekend?

Rian Rietveld: WordPress Is What We Make Of It
You do not have to be a rockstar coder to contribute to WordPress. You can help in many ways, such as translation, captioning, documentation, code, testing, and support. Discover how you can contribute to WordPress and what you and the community get back to.

Rich Robinkoff: Take Care of Each Other – How to Contribute to WordPress Without Writing Code
So much attention is paid to the code that goes into making WordPress a stellar product, but you don’t hear much about the human side of it. While you will find the occasional blog post or random tweet talking about mental health and happiness in the WordPress community, most overlook the best way to contribute to WordPress…paying attention to your mental and physical health, and taking care of each other. Give back to WordPress by stepping back from the code and look around you.

Building #WordPress Community Through Meetups
Join some community members talking about their experiences building up their local meetup

Why You Should Attend a Meetup

Attending a WordPress Meetup is a great way to learn more about WordPress, as well as meet other WordPress users to connect with, and contribute to the WordPress community in meaningful ways. There’s always more to learn and do with WordPress and the best way is to get involved with your local WordPress Meetup. There are WordPress Meetups for all levels of users — from beginners to professionals.

Kel Santiago Pilarski: Contributing to WordPress for Business, Profession & the Community
This talk shares the impact of WordPress contributions to business, professional growth & our community. The four pointers “Five For The Future”, “Where to contribute”, “Community” and “Other contributions” give a walkthrough that may let you discover what you can enjoy sharing to WordPress & continue doing it & inspire others to share too.

Ricky Blacker: How WordPress Changed My Life!: How WordPress Changed My Life! – WordCamp Sydney 2016
This is the story of how Ricky became involved with WordPress, and the WordPress community, and also how attending WordCamp Sydney 2014 changed my life.

Marc Gratch: How To Make The Most Out Of The WordPress Community
The WordPress community is full of other users just like you! Regardless of how you use WordPress there are likely other folks in the community doing similar things with varying levels of experience. From total beginner to Advanced Developers, Discover ways to get involved while leveling up your skillset.

Naoko Takano: The Japanese WordPress Community
Did you know Japanese is the second active locale based on the number of active WordPress installs, following the default US English? In this talk, Naoko will share some stories from the Japanese WordPress Community to demonstrate what it takes to grow a local community.

Rich Robinkoff: Invest in WordPress by Investing in Yourself: The State of Wellness in the Community
So much attention is paid to the code that goes into making WordPress a stellar product, but you don’t hear much about the human side of it. While you will find the occasional blog post or random tweet talking about mental health and happiness in the WordPress community, most overlook the best way to contribute to WordPress…paying attention to your mental and physical health, and taking care of each other. Give back to WordPress by stepping back from the code and looking at the world around you.

Luca Sartoni: Unite and Prosper – How WordCamp Europe Helped Reinvigorate WordPress Communities
Three years ago, WordCamp Europe was held for the very first time. But besides bringing together thousands of people from all over the world, this international event had another unforeseen result. WCEU gave a few local WordPress communities unexpected momentum as a consequence of the unique environment it created. As a co-organizer of WCEU 2015 and a member of the Italian WordPress community, I will trace the extraordinary journey from stalling local community to thriving ecosystem of meetups and enthusiastic members, using real case studies from the German and Italian WordPress communities.

Shayda Torabi: How Giving Back to WordPress Grows My Network
Communities—like the one we have in WordPress—don’t just happen overnight. For them to be successful, they take people to show up, contribute back, grow with it and most importantly to incorporate new people into the fold. It is ongoing, it requires attention and it needs people like you and me to speak up. A small fraction of people carry the weight of helping it thrive, but the great thing is that despite all that, we all benefit from the community no matter who contributes. In this talk I will cover some known, and unknown tips and tools for making the community work for you and your business, and also help to put back more into the community than what you take from it.

WordPress Community: Giving Back at a Nonprofit Hackathon
This week on WPblab we’ll be talking with Natalie MacLees and Alex Vasquez of websiteweekend.la a non-profit hackathon that pairs digital creatives with local non-profits.

Community Service Through WordPress
This episode we’ll be discussing doing community service work using WordPress. From hackathons to community website drives we’ll inspire you to get involved and help a non-profit in your area.

Improving your Meetup

Whether you host or attend a WordPress Meetup, there are a number of things you can do to help improve your local Meetup. Some easy things you can do, for example, are to invite a friend to attend with you, or maybe offer to learn with someone else from your Meetup, or simply help share promotional materials with your friends and co-workers. If you are a more experienced WordPress user, you can offer to help less experienced users or maybe give a guest presentation (if you’re not already the presenter) on an interesting WordPress topic.

Francesca Marano: The rebirth of the Italian community
In 2015 a chain of encounters led a group of strangers to reorganize the WordPress Italian Community. After endless hours on Slack, we have regular monthly meetups in half a dozen cities, Contributors meetings and at least 3 WordCamps planned for 2016. This is our story and we hope it can be your community’s story too.

Sergey Biryukov: Managing a local WordPress community
Tips and tricks from my experience of managing the Russian WordPress community for 8+ years.

Judi Knight: Starting / Growing your WordPress Meetup Community
What are the ingredients needed to create a committed WordPress Community in your city. Learn secrets to choosing topics, getting speakers, creating camaraderie and keeping people active and involved. Then ask your questions!

Sam Hotchkiss: Be Part of the Global WordPress Community
Sam Hotchkiss took a few minutes at WordCamp Mumbai 2015, to speak about the Global WordPress Community and the different ways of contributing to WordPress. So head to http://make.wordpress.org and get started!

Shayda Torabi: You Have Two Hands
Community – WordPress doesn’t just happen overnight. For them to be successful, they take people to show up, contribute back, grow with it and most importantly to incorporate new people into the fold. It is ongoing, it requires attention and it needs people like you and me to speak up. A small fraction of people carry the weight of helping it thrive, but the great thing is that despite all that, we all benefit from the community no matter who contributes. In this talk I will cover some known, and unknown tips and tools for making the community work for you and your business, and also help to put back more into the community than what you take from it.

Taco Verdonschot: Your Local Meetup is Only a Few Steps Away
This talk consist of two parts.
1. Attending and organizing a local meetup. What is it that makes the tech industry so eager to meet up? Why are you here at WordCamp Torino? What hidden treasures can be found when attending a gathering of developers? What value do we all get from it? Even though there isn’t a single answer to answer all these questions, I’ll give a couple of answers to help you understand.
2. Organizing a local meetup So what if there’s no local meetup to attend? I’ll give some basic tips and tricks to help you start your own, successfully!

Dee Teal: Keys to Growing & Developing your WordPress Meetup
Many of us first got into the WordPress Community through MeetUps. Looking back at WordSesh tips on WordPress Meetups we see how to make it happen.

WordSeshTV – Growing your WordPress Meetup
Many of us first got into the WordPress Community through MeetUps. Looking back at WordSesh tips on WordPress Meetups we see how to make it happen.