2020 Meetup Organizer Survey results

We recently published the 2020 Meetup survey results, which shared several insights and statistics about our 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 members. It’s time to analyze the results of the 2020 Meetup Organizer survey. This year’s survey is unique because it is tailored for online meetups in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have removed some questions on in-person events and added some questions about online events.

2020 Meetup Organizer Survey Participation

  • Total organizer respondents: 65
  • Total countries participated: 26

Key Insights from the survey

  • Most of our meetup organizers are experienced folks. Most respondents have been an organizer of the group for the past 2-4 years (37%). While 22% of respondents have been involved for 4-6 years, only 13% have been a part of their local group for the past 1-2 years. Additionally, a whopping 49% of respondents had been using WordPress for over 10 years!
  • Most meetup groups have pivoted online during the pandemic. 82% of respondents had organized at least one online event for their group in 2020, with 42% of folks organizing at least one event per month. 26% of the respondents stopped organizing events due to COVID-19. 85% of organizers intend to continue organizing online meetupsMeetup 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. in 2021 and beyond. 
  • Zoom is the favored online meetup platform amongst organizers. Like the meetup member survey results, Zoom emerged as the most preferred tool amongst meetup organizers, with 55% voting for the service. Google Meet achieved a close second, with 23% of respondents choosing that tool. StreamYard, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and Jitsi were also the top contenders. 
  • Learn WordPress and Meetups: 66% of organizers expressed interest in contributing to learn.wordpress.org, and 71% of organizers expressed interest in organizing discussion groups based on Learn WordPress for their meetup. This shows that given enough support and encouragement, meetup organizers can offer support for Learn WordPress by organizing workshops and discussion groups!
  • Online event fatigue seems to be one of the top blockers faced by organizers while planning WordPress events. Many organizers cited a general lack of interest and high cost of online tools and captioning services as blockers faced by their meetup group. 

Want to explore the results of the 2020 Meetup Organizer survey in detail? Read on!

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#meetups, #annual-survey, #meetup-organizers, #survey

2020 Annual WordPress Meetup Organizer Survey

A similar message to this post was sent to all WordPress Chapter 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. Organizers via meetup.com, but we are also sharing below.

If you are a Meetup Organizer, please feel free to share the survey link with your co-organizers.

Hello Meetup Organizers!

It’s time for the annual meetup organizer survey, and we have a bunch of other stuff to tell you about, too! 

Organizer Survey

The annual survey is how we track progress in the meetup program. Because of the pivot to largely online events in 2020, this year’s survey is a little different from previous years, so be sure to share your thoughts in the survey!

Here’s your organizer survey:
http://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/annual-meetup-organizer-survey

If your meetup group has multiple organizers, each organizer should fill in the survey, but please decide among your group who will be the main point of contact with WordPress Community SupportWordPress Community Support WordPress Community Support PBC is a subsidiary of WordPress Foundation. It is 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. in 2021 — we ask for that information in the survey. 

In order for your feedback to be included in the results, please complete the survey by 30 April, 2021.

Meetup Program Survey

We’ve recently shared the annual meetup program survey with all members. We’ve revised the questions due to the pivot to mostly online events in 2020, and the survey takes less than 5 minutes to complete. It would be great if you could mention it at your next event and encourage people to respond! In the email to members, we’ve reminded them that all meetup group members are encouraged to plan events that interest them so that there are more things happening in each group without the primary organizers having to do more work. If members of your group offer to organize events, we hope you will encourage them and make sure they feel welcome on the organizing team!

Organizing Team

Speaking of the organizing team, it’s time for a round of clean-up on your meetup.com leadership team. If there are any organizers on your team who haven’t planned an event in 2020, please communicate with them about changing their role to Member so that people can see who is active and can help answer questions. 

WordPress Global Community Sponsors

A big thank you to our 2020 Global Sponsors!

Their generous support keeps the meetup program free for the whole community and helps to make sure ticket prices for WordCamps (when in-person events return) stay affordable.

The 2021 Global Community Sponsorship program was recently announced, and is offered on a quarterly basis to keep the program nimble, if our path to global in-person events accelerates in ways we don’t currently expect.

Meetup Sponsorship

  • If a company is donating an online event tool or a venue to your meetup group, it is appropriate to list them as a sponsor.
  • It is not appropriate to list any company as contributing to the meetup.com dues, since WordPress Community Support pays for those through the central account.
  • Companies providing financial support to cover the cost of a Meetup group’s expenses are appropriate to thank, but should be recognized on an even level with their support. Paying for snacks all year? SidebarSidebar A sidebar in WordPress is referred to a widget-ready area used by WordPress themes to display information that is not a part of the main content. It is not always a vertical column on the side. It can be a horizontal rectangle below or above the content area, footer, header, or any where in the theme. recognition is great. One-time sponsor? Leaving them listed as a sponsor all year doesn’t quite match; it’s better to thank them in the event listing for the event they are sponsoring.
  • Organizers of the meetup group and its events are volunteers, and should not be listing their businesses as sponsors unless they are providing a venue or financial support/refreshments like an outside company. 

Event Host Designation

This is a small thing, but sometimes meetup organizers set the “WordPress” user as the event host for their meetup events. Please set the actual event organizer as the event host — when the user named “WordPress” is designated as the event host, people send the Community Team DeputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. questions about the event that we cannot answer.

Community Team Blog and SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/.

Meetup organizers are considered part of the Community Team at WordPress.orgWordPress.org The 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/. If you haven’t stopped by the community team’s blog in a while, check that out! In addition, if you haven’t joined the WordPress Slack instance, you can do so at https://chat.wordpress.org. The #community-events channel in Slack is where Meetup and 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. organizers can chat with each other, ask questions of Community Team Deputies, ask for community feedback, etc. 

Thank you for your efforts in 2020, and your continued contributions to the WordPress Community in 2021!

–The WordPress Global Community TeamGlobal Community Team A group of community organizers and contributors who collaborate on local events about WordPress — monthly WordPress meetups and/or annual conferences called WordCamps.

#meetups, #survey

#meetup-organizers

Report on the March Meetup Organizers Roundtable Experiment

In March 2018, we tested running weekly Meetup Organizer Roundtable Video Chats.

The recordings are now available on YouTube as well as on WordPressTV.

A big “Thank You” to all the organizers who joined us for these one-hour discussions, especially to the co-hosts: Kathy Drewien, Jim True, Ulrich Pogson, Karen Arnold, Roberto Remedios, Dreb Bits.

Courtney Patubo-Kranzke, Cami Kaos, and Andrea Middleton provided considerable behind-the-scenes support on top of their already full plates and ongoing day-to-day tasks. After the four weeks, Nisha Singh added the videos also to the WordPressTV. Thank you to all of you!

Organizer joined us from around the globe and it was a great joy to meet everyone and discuss the different aspects of community organizing in different parts of the World. We had 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. organizers from the US, from Europe, Latin America and the Philippines join us.

At the same time we ran the video chats, we were also reaching out to dormant Meetup group organizers, in an attempt to reenergize members as organizers again and listed them as a resource to get to answer and input from other organizers.

Attendance & Topics

To ensure any participation and include different voices, we recruited three experience meetup organizers, and I participated as a host.

March 7 “What were the more popular topics in 2017 and 2018?”  – 9 attended

March 14 “How did you find your venues and strategic partners?” – 5 attended

March 21 “How do you promote and cross-post meetupsMeetup 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. in the local community?” – 4 attended

March 28 “How did you find your co-organizers?” – 6 attended

Participants were asked to fill out our session survey with their input on the show and what we could do differently. The link to the survey was also available for viewers on YouTube.

Results of the Session Survey

About 39 people visited the survey, only 14 submitted their answers.

Who would you rate the event?

What did you like about the event?

  • I thought it was a very well organized event, good responses to all the questions and good feedback from multiple people who attended.
  • Easy of participating
  • it was a comfortable atmosphere
  • An opportunity to meet other WP meetup organizers.
  • We had a great group of folks this week. Roberto Remedios was incredibly helpful and open as was Page from Mexico City (they were new this time). Lots of good questions and ideas flowing. This one seemed a little less formal than last one so the conversation seemed to really flow.
  • Everybody being open, informal and sharing tips and smiles!
  • it is great to get to talk with organizer from all over the world. I loved the contributions and get to learn from other’s experience.
  • great conversation
  • talk with other organizers
  • The open exchange of ideas motivated me to be more intentional about seeking contributors from within the Meetups around the Atlanta area as well as moving forward with ideas that have been dormant.
  • I had a lot of takeaways from the meetup roundtables. It’s such a relief to know that there are people who are on the same as you in organizing meetups. Other organizers are welcoming as well and they are fun to (virtually) hangout with!
  • Exchange of ideas!
  • New ideas
  • The abundant knowledge of everyone and the willingness to share it; hey this is WordPress people we are talking about, right? 🙂

What did you dislike about the event?

  • Actually didn’t dislike anything ;)Nothing. Not a thing, this one was awesome! Nothing so far Nothing really, None,Nothing (8)
  • I just stumbled on it through twitter, maybe somewhere if this would have shared more people could have joined.
  • It would be good to find a better way to encourage audience participation as some may be uncomfortable speaking up
  • It would be so great to have more people
  • The time frame probably precludes the participation of Asian-Pacific groups.
  • Too long – want summary minutes
  • I feel that many more could join and share/learn; so it is not a dislike about the event per se.

How likely is it that you would recommend these Roundtable video chats to a friend or coworker?

How did you hear about the event?

  • Make Blog Post: (2)
  • SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. Community Channels: (5)
  • Twitter (1)
  • Per invitation of coordinator (Birgit) (4)
  • Recommendation of co-organizer (1)
  • Meetup Message to dormant Groups (1)

What topics would you most like to learn about or discuss at a future Video chat? 

(only listing additional ideas)

  • Dealing with conflict among organizers. Or maybe how to deal with people who don’t understand the meetup group guidelines or don’t want to follow it.
  • How to handle sponsorship.
  • I think we can start pulling off a list of topic/question ideas in our next meetups and bring in some additional topics. Building Community is a big one.
  • Tools outside the scope of the Meetup, how to we get to more people. Metrics we are following and things like that.
  • how to communicate with the local community. like, on the meetup.com site? or on Facebook? local slack? we talk about asking the community for ideas about topics or things like that and what are good ways to make that communication happen?
    ideal frequency of events. people in my community think we should have less events so more people come, but many communities have lots of events. related is that people here complain about too much noise from meetup.com, too many emails. is this a problem for others?
  • engage the community
  • Expanding Meetups from within an existing Chapter Meetup, inviting other speakers and topics
  • – Different format to do in meetups
    – How do you delegate or balance tasks among volunteers
  • We’re working on building a year-round community that bridges the silos of Meetups and 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.. I’m interested in talking with other large communities about this subject.
  • Pain points of everyone and where they are right now.

Call for volunteers:  

  1. Edit the audio-transcription
  2. add captions to WordPressTV.
  3. Summarize the video chats for blog posts.

If any of those tasks interests you, pingPing The act of sending a very small amount of data to an end point. Ping is used in computer science to illicit a response from a target server to test it’s connection. Ping is also a term used by Slack users to @ someone or send them a direct message (DM). Users might say something along the lines of “Ping me when the meeting starts.” me on slack @bph or comment here.

Stay tuned for Part II on this topic with “Conclusions and Next Steps” in a couple of days.

#meetup-organizers, #video-chats