Tuesday Trainings: How can I keep my meetups interesting and fun?

This year we’ve changed the format of Tuesday Trainings to better get directly at the issues that seem to be on the minds of folks in our community. How are we doing that? Great question. We’re either seeking to answer commonly asked questions or address commonly heard complaints, concerns, and confusions.

If there’s a question you’d like to see answered or a topic you’d like to see discussed, please share it in the comments or email me at support@wordcamp.org with the subject line Tuesday Trainings. Now onto this week’s topic.

How can I keep my meetups interesting and fun?

Well that is the question, isn’t it. Even when things were “normal” and we were able to meet in-person organizers were already asking this question. Now that most of us are entering a second year of pandemic prompted online meetups this question is more relevant than ever.

And to this question, for once, I have a simple answer! I believe the saying goes something like, “Variety is the spice of life.”

Try a new format!

There’s practically an endless list of possible formats to choose from. Some tried and true, some never before thought of. I obviously can’t share ones no one has yet thought of, but if you haven’t already, try these alternate 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. formats. They work in-person as well as online!

Update Parties
Forums Friday (answer questions in the forums)
Help Desks
Social Hours
Discussion Groups
Contributor Events

Those are just a few. I’d love for you to share in comments what other formats have worked for your community!

But wait, there’s more.

Try a new time

Many meetups are pretty set in their ways when it comes to when they meet. There are two ways to look at that. The consistency can provide an easy way for Meetup members to know when and where they’re meeting and avoid other scheduling conflicts. But I guarantee you that the time you’re meeting doesn’t work for everyone who would like to attend. Try changing up the time, the day of the week, and when we’re back to in-person meetups where you host the event. Whether it’s because of their work, their family, or other life priorities sometimes people aren’t able to make your schedule their schedule.

Make it accessible

If you’re meeting online, make sure you’re using a platform that is accessible and don’t be afraid to welcome would-be attendees to let you know what accommodations you can make so they can attend and get the most out of the event.

When you’re looking at venues, make sure that they are accessible to everyone. If there are separate entrances, elevators, or bathrooms for people in mobility devices or unable to use stairs let people know in advance how to access those areas. 

Be open to feedback

Ask your community members what they would like to experience in your meetups. Who knows, they might have a great idea to share or even be your next co-organizer.

What else is there?

I’m sure you all have some great tips and tricks to make Meetups interesting and fun. I’d love to read them, and I’m sure others would too. Please share in the comments!