Report on the March Meetup Organizers Roundtable Experiment

In March 2018, we tested running weekly Meetup Organizer Roundtable Video Chats.

The recordings are now available on YouTube as well as on WordPressTV.

A big “Thank You” to all the organizers who joined us for these one-hour discussions, especially to the co-hosts: Kathy Drewien, Jim True, Ulrich Pogson, Karen Arnold, Roberto Remedios, Dreb Bits.

Courtney Patubo-Kranzke, Cami Kaos, and Andrea Middleton provided considerable behind-the-scenes support on top of their already full plates and ongoing day-to-day tasks. After the four weeks, Nisha Singh added the videos also to the WordPressTV. Thank you to all of you!

Organizer joined us from around the globe and it was a great joy to meet everyone and discuss the different aspects of community organizing in different parts of the World. We had meetup organizers from the US, from Europe, Latin America and the Philippines join us.

At the same time we ran the video chats, we were also reaching out to dormant Meetup group organizers, in an attempt to reenergize members as organizers again and listed them as a resource to get to answer and input from other organizers.

Attendance & Topics

To ensure any participation and include different voices, we recruited three experience meetup organizers, and I participated as a host.

March 7 “What were the more popular topics in 2017 and 2018?”  – 9 attended

March 14 “How did you find your venues and strategic partners?” – 5 attended

March 21 “How do you promote and cross-post meetups in the local community?” – 4 attended

March 28 “How did you find your co-organizers?” – 6 attended

Participants were asked to fill out our session survey with their input on the show and what we could do differently. The link to the survey was also available for viewers on YouTube.

Results of the Session Survey

About 39 people visited the survey, only 14 submitted their answers.

Who would you rate the event?

What did you like about the event?

  • I thought it was a very well organized event, good responses to all the questions and good feedback from multiple people who attended.
  • Easy of participating
  • it was a comfortable atmosphere
  • An opportunity to meet other WP meetup organizers.
  • We had a great group of folks this week. Roberto Remedios was incredibly helpful and open as was Page from Mexico City (they were new this time). Lots of good questions and ideas flowing. This one seemed a little less formal than last one so the conversation seemed to really flow.
  • Everybody being open, informal and sharing tips and smiles!
  • it is great to get to talk with organizer from all over the world. I loved the contributions and get to learn from other’s experience.
  • great conversation
  • talk with other organizers
  • The open exchange of ideas motivated me to be more intentional about seeking contributors from within the Meetups around the Atlanta area as well as moving forward with ideas that have been dormant.
  • I had a lot of takeaways from the meetup roundtables. It’s such a relief to know that there are people who are on the same as you in organizing meetups. Other organizers are welcoming as well and they are fun to (virtually) hangout with!
  • Exchange of ideas!
  • New ideas
  • The abundant knowledge of everyone and the willingness to share it; hey this is WordPress people we are talking about, right? 🙂

What did you dislike about the event?

  • Actually didn’t dislike anything ;)Nothing. Not a thing, this one was awesome! Nothing so far Nothing really, None,Nothing (8)
  • I just stumbled on it through twitter, maybe somewhere if this would have shared more people could have joined.
  • It would be good to find a better way to encourage audience participation as some may be uncomfortable speaking up
  • It would be so great to have more people
  • The time frame probably precludes the participation of Asian-Pacific groups.
  • Too long – want summary minutes
  • I feel that many more could join and share/learn; so it is not a dislike about the event per se.

How likely is it that you would recommend these Roundtable video chats to a friend or coworker?

How did you hear about the event?

  • Make Blog Post: (2)
  • Slack Community Channels: (5)
  • Twitter (1)
  • Per invitation of coordinator (Birgit) (4)
  • Recommendation of co-organizer (1)
  • Meetup Message to dormant Groups (1)

What topics would you most like to learn about or discuss at a future Video chat? 

(only listing additional ideas)

  • Dealing with conflict among organizers. Or maybe how to deal with people who don’t understand the meetup group guidelines or don’t want to follow it.
  • How to handle sponsorship.
  • I think we can start pulling off a list of topic/question ideas in our next meetups and bring in some additional topics. Building Community is a big one.
  • Tools outside the scope of the Meetup, how to we get to more people. Metrics we are following and things like that.
  • how to communicate with the local community. like, on the meetup.com site? or on Facebook? local slack? we talk about asking the community for ideas about topics or things like that and what are good ways to make that communication happen?
    ideal frequency of events. people in my community think we should have less events so more people come, but many communities have lots of events. related is that people here complain about too much noise from meetup.com, too many emails. is this a problem for others?
  • engage the community
  • Expanding Meetups from within an existing Chapter Meetup, inviting other speakers and topics
  • – Different format to do in meetups
    – How do you delegate or balance tasks among volunteers
  • We’re working on building a year-round community that bridges the silos of Meetups and WordCamp. I’m interested in talking with other large communities about this subject.
  • Pain points of everyone and where they are right now.

Call for volunteers:  

  1. Edit the audio-transcription
  2. add captions to WordPressTV.
  3. Summarize the video chats for blog posts.

If any of those tasks interests you, ping me on slack @bph or comment here.

Stay tuned for Part II on this topic with “Conclusions and Next Steps” in a couple of days.

#meetup-organizers, #video-chats