Meetup Group Inventory Work

Every year, we like to review our groups and tools to make sure we’re remaining up to date and relevant. While going through that process with the WordPress chapter meetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. accounts this year we had some interesting findings I thought would be good to share with all of you.

The Purpose

@harishanker and @harmonyromo have been hard at work for the past several weeks, reviewing all of the groups in the WordPress  Chapter Meetup Program and reaching out to those who haven’t held an event since the end of 2019 (many earlier than this). The goal was to either prompt more activity in the communities that have been inactive, or remove any groups who do not currently have an interest in holding meetup events.

One of the primary motivators here is the fact that, due to COVID-19, the global sponsorship program has been pulled back so there are less funds available than in previous years.

The Savings

When we started this project, we had a total of 854 official chapter meetup groups at $73.50 per group per quarter (which includes a discount of $31.50 per group). After our process of reviewing and reaching out to inactive groups, the total number of groups who reached out for guidance on some level was 111 and the total number of groups removed was 150. Our total number of groups as of August 27, 2020, is 753, considering that many new groups have also been added during this process. The reduction in total number of meetup groups will lead to savings of $11,025 per quarter or $44,100 per year. 

The Process

For the process of contacting inactive groups, we began by sending messages to organizers of these groups to ask if any events are being planned, or if the group needs guidance on how to conduct events in the online space. If there were no organizers listed, a message was sent to the entire group to ask if anyone had an interest in stepping into the organizer role, in addition to the other questions about activity. Links to our Meetup resources were also provided in the messages.

After sending the initial email to organizers, we allowed 2 weeks for responses. If there was no response, an email was then sent to all members of the group who subscribe to messages from the organizer, and if the message board was active, a message was posted there as well. Another 2 week period was allowed for responses from members.

After the 4 week period, we completed a final check of those groups who did not send a response, to verify there had not been activity in their meetup group that wasn’t communicated to us. Once it was confirmed there had been no recent Meetup events and none were scheduled, the meetup group was added to a list for removal. If there was a response from the group, no matter what it was, they were not removed.

The Wrap Up

Overall, this has been a valuable project, not just from a financial savings standpoint as noted above, but also due to the invaluable contact with many of the groups who felt lost in the current landscape and needed guidance on how to become more active with online formats. 

If a meetup group was removed from the chapter, and members feel this was in error, or there is a desire to reactivate the group, please reach out to the Community Team. There are a myriad of resources that can help with ideas for events, and if you have the desire to step into the organizer shoes, we can also offer guidance on that process as well.

If you have any questions or thoughts on how we can streamline processes like this in the future, or additional comments on how we reviewed the groups this time please share them in the comments!