Reviewing Meetup Venue Requests

From time to time, WordPress Community SupportWordPress Community Support WordPress Community Support PBC is a Public Benefit Corporation, created specifically to be the financial and legal support for WordCamps, WordPress Meetup groups, and any additional “official” events organized within the WordPress Community Events program. will receive a request from a 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. group to assist in paying for their venue from the application form. To review venue requests, you’ll need the following things:

First: Check the Reasons and the Research

When a request is received, check the following:

  1. Why the Meetup has left the previous venue (if there was one)
    • If they say they’ve outgrown the previous venue, then check attendance on Make sure they are doing the things we would expect to make outgrowing a venue reasonable (regular events, engaging with members, etc).
    • If this is their first venue (or first event at all), then email back to suggest trying out a low-key and free venue while they pick up speed. Exceptions include areas where we would like to see more community involvement and the lack of a formal venue is a cultural hindrance.
  2. Whether or not the organizer has asked the group as a whole for alternatives
    • If they have not emailed the group about venue options, then have them do that first.
    • If they have emailed the group and there are no other options, then continue to the second round of checking!

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Second: Check the Venue

If the reasoning behind needing funds for a venue checks out, and the organizer did the necessary background work, then it’s time to review the venue. Meetup venues have the same guidelines as WordCampWordCamp WordCamps 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. venues:

  • It’s easy to access both from a transportation and human mobility standpoint.
  • It’s in a relatively safe area of town (this is based on local sentiment, not US-specific sentiment).
  • It has whatever tech requirements the group deemed necessary (internet access, power outlets, projectors/beamers are common requirements)
  • Food/refreshments are not a factor for Meetup event spaces. That’s a nice-to-have, not a must-have.

Note: You can ask the organizing team questions about it, do your own online research, or reach out directly to the venue. It’s your call!

If it all checks out, it’s time to check the pricing! When at all possible, we want to group venue payments into as few payments as possible, in order to keep bank fees to a minimum. Below are a few guidelines and some best practices:

  • Aim for under $10 USD per person (adjusted for cost of living, via the Big Mac Index). This is an average and doesn’t have to be exactly right for every single event.
  • Ask the meetup organizer/requestor to work with the venue for the following:
    • Try to work with the venue to get billed with events as units rather than months as units (charging per event gives organizers flexibility and doesn’t force anyone to lose money if a month has to be skipped)
    • Ask for an invoice that includes multiple events/months rather than an invoice for each event.
    • Ask for a 5-10% discount when paying in bulk (since it’s a guarantee of funds, most venues will be happy to work with you on this). If no discount is available, that’s okay. It never hurts to ask.

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Finally: Approve & Request a Payment!

Once the venue is approved for an acceptable rate, tag the email in HelpScout as `needs-payment` and include all pertinent notes. Reply to the organizer with one of the “Meetup venue approval” saved replies, depending on their location.

When we receive payment details, a program supporterProgram Supporter Community Program Supporters (formerly Deputies) are a team of people worldwide who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about program supporters in our Program Supporter Handbook. that handles finances will then pick up and process the request.

That’s it! You’ve made a community’s life happier and healthier. Good work!

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