Handling Dormant Meetup Groups

With 575 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. groups on the chapter account (and always growing!) we like to check in every so often to confirm if the groups are active. However, there are some meetup groups in the program that are inactive or dormant, and we need to figure out how we should manage them going forward.

A few weeks ago, I exported a list of current chapter meetup groups to a spreadsheet and sorted them by the date of their last event. A quick guide to this spreadsheet:

  • Groups highlighted in Red haven’t had an event in over a year.
  • Highlighted in Orange haven’t had an event in 6–12 months.
  • Highlighted in Yellow haven’t had an event in the past 3–6 months.
  • You’ll notice a column titled “Upcoming Events”, which we’ll need to investigate for each group, as it can mean they have an event listed, but don’t have a location and/or date yet.

In some inactive groups, organizers are still interested, but they are struggling with attendance and/or finding event topics. We should check if this is the case, and if we can help advise/support them in any way.

I propose the following plan:

  • Email existing organizers of dormant groups that we have contact info for (according to the Meetup Status doc).
  • Also reach out to the organizing team via message on Meetup.com (this will help ensure that the message reaches organizers that we don’t have email addresses for, and/or if their contact information has changed).
  • If we don’t hear back from any organizers for a particular group by 5 March 2018, we will then reach out to all the members of the group via Meetup.com message to ask if anyone is interested in organizing.
  • If no members of the group volunteer to organize the group by a 12 March 2018, we will remove the group from the chapter account.

Below is the email that I’ve drafted, which is based on an old annual survey email that we sent to dormant groups. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for changes and/or additions.

Continue reading

#meetup-com, #meetups-2

This Week in Meetups

Rolled in two meetups to the chapter program this week:

Scheduled a couple of chats for next week to roll in more groups.

#meetup-com, #meetups-2

This Week in Meetups

I’m hoping to begin posting what happened with meetups each week as a recap so everyone can stay up to date and get involved if they’re interested. So here it goes:

  • Rolled in Cumbria meetup to the chapter program
  • Created Lehigh Valley meetup group.
  • Processed all remaining applications that were in the 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. queue
  • Scheduling chats for creating and/or rolling in other meetups to come

#meetup-com, #meetups-2

New Process for Existing Meetups

As you know, the process for existing meetups to join the chapter account has been a pain since day 1. They apply, we say yes, they go on a spreadsheet, we wait for meetup.com to contact them, 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. org has to reply to email and fill out form, half the time the meetup email goes to spam, we ask meetup to resend, repeat, repeat, and eventually meetup.com adds the group to our account. ARGH! (says any meetup organizer who had to go through that)

Shiny new process:

  • Existing meetup org applies (same as before)
  • We review, chat with them, approve (same as before)
  • We have the WordPress account join the meetup group
  • The current owner uses meetup.com tool to nominate WordPress to be the new primary organizer (pay the dues) following the meetup.com instructions in the section labeled Nominate a new organizer.
  • We receive email from meetup.com and accept the role.

Donezo!

Why did we have to follow the old process for so long? No one seems to know, and the person who started us doing it that way has moved on from the company. In any case, now it’s easier. @chaselivingston has been handling meetup applications, but we could use another volunteer or two to help.

If you’d like to volunteer to help:

  • You should have excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • You should be capable of recognizing when someone is not respecting the WP trademark and/or license.
  • You should be someone who’s known to Jen or Andrea and considered trustworthy (via this team is fine, doesn’t need to be known in person), since the limitations of meetup.com require us to share a username/password with this volunteer.
  • You should be part of a meetup group that’s on the chapter account, unless you are in an area that doesn’t use meetup.com, in which case you should be part of a meetup group that can be approved as meeting the guidelines (since we’re now starting to approve non-meetup.com groups outside the US).

If you’d like to volunteer, leave a comment and/or mention it in tomorrow’s meeting.

#meetup-com, #meetups-2

Meetup.com Update — April 24, 2014

Good news on the meetup.com front: the personnel change that had us in flux has turned out to be a good thing. Now that Laura at Meetup.com is handling the chapter program, she has agreed to let us do existing group roll-ins monthly rather than quarterly. This is great news, because the once-every-3-months thing was a pain in butt logistically, and sometimes meant that dues came up for renewal before the next roll-in (though meetup.com has generally been good about prioritizing people in that situation). With this new schedule, we can keep forward momentum going a lot easier from the moment someone applies to join the program.

Emails were sent from meetup.com to everyone on the current quarterly roll-in list. So far in this round, these 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. groups have been added to the WordPress account:

These groups were sent the opt-in form at the same time by meetup.com on 4/21 but have not yet responded.

#meetup-com, #meetups-2

Meetup.com Status Update

The quarterly roll-in is a little behind. For some reason we didn’t get confirmation of our payment until April 8 (about a week later than expected), and the person who does the roll-ins of existing groups hasn’t been in touch (normally that happens immediately upon payment of the quarterly bill). I contacted that person and the person who runs the chapter program yesterday expressing my nervousness about the timing, especially since a couple of the groups joining the program had expiring dues and were marked in red on the spreadsheet. I’ll do everything I can to make sure no group has $$ trouble because of this delay.

There are 18 existing meetups waiting to be rolled in (some were from the last time who filled in the application so close to the end that they didn’t make it in that round). There are about half a dozen new 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. (no existing group) applications in process.

#meetup-com, #meetups-2

New Team Member Chase Livingston from South Carolina…

New Team Member! Chase Livingston from South Carolina (@chaselivingston) will be starting to help out with 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. administration as well. Trained him on processes like I did with @andymci a couple of weeks back, and will likely have have him focus on reaching out to existing groups in between-roll in periods.

Note: We are smack in the middle of the quarterly roll-in period for existing meetup.com groups, so I’m working through all the outstanding requests to join the chapter program. To that end, I’m going to start a series of meetup organizer hangouts similar to the ones being done around WordCamps. Will start out with a split between existing groups who want to join the chapter account and people who want to start a new group from scratch, since the orientations are so different. Once we get those started, I’m hoping we can standardize a few other topics (esp as tied to the mentorship stuff @andymci is working on), and where applicable, have some that work for both WC and meetup organizers (how to find a venue, budgets and running money through foundation, etc).

We’ll use the WordPress google+ account for these, and I’ll post details on this blog later today with dates and times.

#hangouts, #meetup-com, #meetups-2

Meetups Update, December 17, 2013

  • 10 of the existing 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. groups that we invited to join the central account haven’t responded to the meetup.com opt-in email yet. Have contacted them again to make sure they got the emails, will have meetup.com re-send as needed.
  • Rolled in another 8 new groups.
  • 12 pending groups that are either complicated (competing groups) or new without enough information.
  • Billing cycle for next quarter coming up, we’ll be paying for a total of 100 groups for the Jan-Mar period.
  • Planning to send a year-end email to all organizers on the central account to get input into a plan for the meetups program in the coming year (monthly newsletters from central, speaker matchups, etc).

#meetup-com, #meetups-2

Meetup com transfers These applications to join the…

Meetup.com transfers! These applications to join the central account have been getting done in batches each week based on their various statuses. I’ll start posting weekly updates on this program, and will tap someone else to take point on transfers/new setups in the nearish future.

Today’s update:

  • 18 existing groups: Submitted to meetup.com for immediate transfer on account owner confirmation.
  • 9 “complicated” existing groups (inactive, wanting to compete with an existing group, owner isn’t the one who applied, etc): Emailed applicants and/or owners for more info before proceeding
  • 2 new groups: Created new 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. groups in areas where one did not already exist, applicant seemed to know what they were doing, and they included all the necessary information in the application form.
  • 6 “pending” new groups: Emailed the organizer applicants to get more info or make sure they knew what they were signing up for, but ready to set up on response based on what we know so far.
  • 17 “complicated” new groups: Still researching the situation in the area and/or the applicant, will reply this week as situation is understood.

With this round, we’ll be hitting the 80 groups we currently have room for on the central account, so in the Jan-Mar invoicing cycle, I’ve upped the count to 100 to allow for more new meetups in the coming quarter (we only get to change the number of groups on our account once per quarter due to billing).

I’m ready to train a couple of volunteers on responding to the meetup applications to help speed up the process. Interested? Required qualifications:

  • Experience running a WordPress meetup
  • In good standing with the community
  • Available to work on this around 1-2 hours a week
  • Reliable
  • Able to communicate it English, but international folks welcome

Leave a comment if this sounds like something you’d want to help with. For that matter, these are the same qualifications that will be desired for helping with overall meetup program management (creating starter packs, etc), so if you’re interested in another area of meetups, post in the comments. Thanks!

#meetup-com, #meetups-2