Reengaging Local Communities

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From time to time unexpected things happen in our lives. Sometimes those things cause our planning to get a little off track. You, as a wonderful deputy, have the chance to get things back on track for organizers of Meetups and WordCamps alike.

  1. Start with the lead organizer. The lead organizer will be the most likely person to know what is causing planning of events to stall. A quick ping to ask how things are going or to offer to help sort out how to get over a hurdle can go a really long way. It can take a few weeks to get in touch sometimes, so don’t get discouraged. Of course, if something has happened in the lead organizer’s life that is making it hard for them to keep up, then it’s on to step two.
  2. Next, check in with the rest of the organizers. If the lead organizer has had to step back, then your next step is to reach out to the rest of the organizing team. The lead organizer can do this, or you can contact people on their behalf. For WordCamps you might find that you need to get this information from the lead organizer, though you might be able to find contact info for other people on the organizing team on the WordCamp listing on central.wordcamp.org, or even on the original WordCamp application in SupportPress. Meetups, though, can be reached through the meetup.com “Email Members” tool. Emailing the other organizers on a team can help you to find people who are already involved in planning who can help keep things moving in the absence of a lead organizer.
  3. If all else fails, it’s time to talk to the local community. If you’ve spoken with the whole organizing team and no one is available to keep things moving, then discuss with them how best to reach out to their local community. It’s important to make sure the organizers know that this isn’t a takeover and that they are welcome to return to organizing when their plates are less full.