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The WordPress annual meetupMeetupMeetup 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. surveys were open for responses from August 2 through October 15, 2022. The following Make Community posts relate to the survey creation and distribution:
There were two 2021-2022 meetup surveys (the Meetup Member Survey and the Meetup Organizer Survey), each translated to 14 different languages – for a total of 28 different surveys!
Number of Responses
2021-2022 Meetup Member Survey
2021-2022 Meetup Organizer Survey
This post summarizes key findings from the surveys, and offers recommendations for how we can improve the design of future meetup surveys.
Ideas to Simplify Future Annual Meetup Surveys
This was the first year that the survey was available in a variety of languages. However, it took a huge amount of time (hundreds of hours) to translate each survey to different languages, create 28 different surveys on Crowd Signal, and then translate all of the survey responses back to English. This time investment was disproportionate to the surveys’ benefit to the meetup program.
Moving forward, it will be important to find a balance between language accessibilityAccessibilityAccessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) and time investment. To do so, we recommend offering future surveys only in the languages that received the most survey responses:
Languages to Offer for Future Meetup Surveys (# member responses / # organizer responses)
Languages to Omit for Future Meetup Surveys (# member responses / # organizer responses)
English (1,887 / 73) Spanish (338 / 18) German (158 / 4) Italian (115 / 7) French (76/ 2) Portuguese (76 / 2) Japanese (57 / 15)
Indonesian (44 / 3) Serbian (34 / 1) Greek (33 / 1) Persian (17 / 1) Bengali (16 / 0) Nepali (9 / 0) Lithuanian (9 / 1)
Know the Questions that We Want to Answer, and Eliminate Extraneous Survey Questions
Each additional question included in a survey demands more time from respondents, thereby reducing the response rate; and requires more time for survey translation and analysis. Therefore, we should be more intentional about which questions to include in future meetup surveys.
At the outset, the survey creators should identify the strategic questions that we want the survey to help us answer, and then design each survey question to help answer these overarching questions. If a survey question doesn’t help answer our key questions, it’s best to omit it.
In sum: A short and sweet survey will most likely yield more responses, and make efficient use of the surveyor’s time. Every question should be deliberate.
Structure Survey for Ease of Analysis
For a survey that receives thousands of responses, free text fields are difficult to meaningfully analyze. We recommend entirely eliminating free text fields in future meetupsMeetupMeetup 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. surveys. Instead, design questions as multiple choice or another other easy-to-analyze format.
Findings: 2021-2022 Annual Meetup Program Survey
We sought to answer the following questions through the meetup program survey:
How can we increase meetup attendance and member engagement in 2023 and 2024?
What are the blockers to participating in meetup events?
How can we motivate members to take on more responsibilities within their meetup group?
1) Participants find value in meetups
Good news: 94% of survey respondents are very likely (61%) or somewhat like (33%) to recommend WordPress meetups to others.
2) Let’s strengthen avenues to spread the word about WordPress meetup
The most people (600 respondents) indicated that they were first a meetup.com user and discovered WordPress meetups there. 500 people heard about WordPress meetups from a friend or colleague. 250 people learned about meetups while attending a WordCampWordCampWordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more.. 200 people followed the “Find a local WordPress community” link on the “Community” section of the WordPress.orgWordPress.orgThe community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ homepage. 150 people saw an event listing n the Online Events page on WordPress.org. Fewer than 50 people learned about WordPress meetups through the list of local events on their WordPress dashboard.
Since the vast majority of people don’t use meetup.com (and thus won’t find their local WordPress meetup via that platform), there is a significant opportunity to strengthen other pathways for WordPress users to discover the WordPress meetup program.
3) Satisfaction with WordPress meetups
Half of respondents indicated that they were 100% satisfied with their meetup, while half were not. Here is why they were not 100% satisfied:
More information about those who were not 100% satisfied
Lack of in-person events
Many respondents expressed a preference for in-person meetups rather than online events, and some felt that there were not enough face-to-face events happening in their area. Some suggested that there should be more events on weekends or at times that are more convenient for working professionals. Others felt that the pandemic had led to a decrease in the number of events and were eager for in-person meetups to resume. To combat this, organizers could try a mix of weekday and weekend events; daytime and evening events; and online and in-person events.
Lack of promotion
A significant number of respondents expressed frustration with the lack of information about upcoming events and felt that there should be better promotion of WordPress meetup events. Some suggested that there should be more communication about the events through email, social media, or other channels. Others felt that the organization could do more to disseminate information about the events.
This was evident throughout the survey responses. Given that MailChimp and meetup.com are the main ways we share information, is there another option that we could utilize?
4) Top factors affecting member attendance
Topic of meetup is the top factor impacting attendance (29%). Time of day (26%), day of week (24%) and location (21%) also significantly impact attendance. Additionally, many attendees want meetups streamed/virtual, and many noted ‘lack of communication’ as an issue impacting their attendance.
5) Meetup formats: Attendees want to learn!
A lot of people expressed interest in meetup event formats that facilitate group learning, such as a workshop/training, formal presentation followed by Q&A with the speaker, discussion groups, show and tell.
Types of Events that Sound Appealing
# of Responses
Formal presentation with a speaker followed by Q&A
Show & tell of what people are doing with WordPress in the community
Working on your WordPress sites/projects at a coffee shop with others
WordPress help desk (either as a volunteer or seeking help)
Happy hour/purely social gatherings
Social Learning Spaces
Get together and watch livestream of a WordCamp somewhere else in the world
Watch videos from WordCamps on wordpress.tv and discuss with group
6) Online, In-Person, Hybrid
Notably, there is a nearly even desire for online and in-person meetups.
There is also a strong desire for hybrid online/in-person events, though a hybrid event can be challenging for organizers to implement well.
How can we increase meetup attendance and member engagement in 2023 and 2024?
Based on survey responses here are some ways that meetup organizers could increase member attendance and engagement:
Increase the number of events
Provide better communication
Offer a wide variety of events (formats and topics)
Increase the level of engagement during events
What are the blockers to participating in Meetup events?
Lack of interest in event topics
How can meetup organizers and the Global Community TeamGlobal Community TeamA group of community organizers and contributors who collaborate on local events about WordPress — monthly WordPress meetups and/or annual conferences called WordCamps. motivate members to take on more responsibilities within their meetup group?
Recognition and appreciation
Provide clear roles and expectations
Offer training and support
Empower Meetup Members
A survey question asked, “Would you be interested in organizing an event within your local WordPress group?” to which 1041 respondents answered ‘Maybe’ and 691 respondents answered ‘Yes.’
The Community Team should reach out to these 1,732 respondents who responded ‘Maybe’ or ‘Yes,’ and encourage them to do so.
Organizers shared their top difficulties, which include lack of interest (56), and the challenge of finding a speaker (29). Better communication can help address lack of interest. Educating organizers about how to use Learn WordPress content for meetups could help fill the programming gap and reduce the need to find meetup speakers. Additionally, Michelle Frechette (@michelleames) created a new online database of WordPress speakers (WPSpeakers.com) to assist organizers with finding speakers for their WordPress events.
In the comments, please share your reflection on the following questions:
What stands out to you in these findings?
What questions emerge from these findings?
Based on these findings, what actions would strengthen the WordPress meetup program?
What should we focus on in this year’s annual surveys?
Thank you to the many contributors who helped design, translate, and analyze these surveys. And enormous thanks to @harmonyromo and @peiraisotta for your partnership in translating and analyzing the survey results. Your efforts made all the difference.
Community Event Supporters, Program Supporters, and Program Managers are a team of people from all over the world who support WordPress community events. They mentor, review applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep events moving.