Organizer best practices: paths to leadership, or 11 ways to help your local meetup

As you all probably know, the global community team recommends a flat organizational structure for local WordPress community groups. Because open source projects depend on a large, diverse group of contributors to collaborate and iterate quickly, we encourage that community organizers “always be recruiting” (and welcoming, and training) new leaders.

When there are lots of people with leadership experience in a community, local organizers can take more breaks and avoid burnout. As new leaders join the community, they bring new ideas, perspectives, and methods. Because organizers tend to organize for people like themselves, recruiting a diverse group of leaders is especially important — so that the community can take into account a broader spectrum of backgrounds, needs, interests, and lived experience.

OK sure but how?

Most people are on board with the *idea* of a large, diverse leadership team but struggle with recruiting. And that’s not really a surprise! Not all organizations are as open to new leaders as ours, so even constant repetition that “we’re always looking for more organizers” at every meetup event might not result in people stepping forward.

One way to make the recruitment process more gentle and perhaps less intimidating is to offer a gradual path to leadership. Many groups have found success with inviting people to help out with smaller, accessible tasks at first. Small contributions can lead to more complex jobs as the volunteer’s confidence and understanding of the group continues to grow.

Here are 11 ways to contribute to your local WordPress meetup, which can also serve as a graceful path to community leadership:

  1. spread the word about the meetup (sharing photos on social media, word of mouth, flyers, blog posts, etc)
  2. greet & welcome new attendees
  3. take attendance (if your group keeps a record of who actually attended the event)
  4. deliver opening or closing remarks (easier if the points to cover are written down)
  5. facilitate a round-table discussion
  6. give a presentation
  7. help find a free venue
  8. record & post a presentation to WordPress.tv
  9. organize refreshments
  10. suggest or recruit speakers
  11. organize an event series

Add to the list

Community organizers, speak out! What can meetup members do to help your group thrive, which aren’t listed above? What does the path to leadership look like in your home community?

Once we collect as many examples as possible, we can create a new Meetup Organizer Handbook page to share these suggestions with current and new Meetup organizers. Please share your ideas and experiences in a comment on this post!

#leadership, #meetups-2

Meetup organizer newsletter suggestions for February 2019

It’s that time again, we’re starting to draft the February 2019 edition of the meetup organizers newsletter — if there are any topics you’d recommend we include, or any interesting meetup event formats you think are worth highlighting, please comment leave your ideas/suggestions in the comments on this post?

I will leave the comments open for one week until the 13th of February 2018.

The newsletter typically spotlights:

  • an interesting event format that organizers might want to try out
  • news about global community team projects
  • news about the WordPress open source project

Thanks! #meetups #newsletter

meetups organized
attendees around the world
let us help them out

#meetups-2

Meetup organizer newsletter suggestions for December

Howdy folks, we’re going to start drafting the December edition of the meetup organizers newsletter — if there are any topics you’d recommend we include, or any interesting meetup event formats you think are worth highlighting, could you please comment leave your ideas/suggestions in the comments on this post?

I will leave the comments open for one week until the 12th of December 2018.

The newsletter typically spotlights:

  • an interesting event format that organizers might want to try out
  • news about global community team projects
  • news about the WordPress open source project

Thanks! #meetups #newsletter

Meetup organizer newsletter suggestions for November?

Friends, we’re about to start drafting the November edition of the meetup organizers newsletter — if there are any topics you’d recommend we include, or any interesting meetup event formats you think are worth highlighting, could you please comment on this post by the end of this week?

The newsletter typically spotlights:

  • an interesting event format that organizers might want to try out
  • news about global community team projects
  • news about the WordPress open source project

Also, if anyone would like to volunteer to post a call for suggestions at or around the 5th of every month, that would allow us to keep collecting suggestions with a little more time to spare.
While this is a bit late in the month, so we will be publishing the newsletter on Monday, November 26 2018.

Thanks! #meetups #newsletter

Meetup organizer newsletter suggestions for October?

Friends, we’re about to start drafting the October edition of the meetup organizers newsletter — if there are any topics you’d recommend we include, or any interesting meetup event formats you think are worth highlighting, could you please comment on this post by the end of this week?

The newsletter typically spotlights:

  • an interesting event format that organizers might want to try out
  • news about global community team projects
  • news about the WordPress open source project

Some examples of newsletters are here and here.

Thanks!!! #meetups #newsletter

Meetup organizer newsletter suggestions for September?

Friends, we’re about to start drafting the September edition of the meetup organizers newsletter — if there are any topics you’d recommend we include, or any interesting meetup event formats you think are worth highlighting, could you please comment on this post by the end of this week? 🙂 Thanks!!! #meetups-2 #newsletter

Payment Intermission: 1-7 October 2018

The Automattic sponsored staff members of the Global Community Team, who routinely handle WPCS banking, will be at a company offsite meeting from 1-5 October 2018. During this time we’ll stop WordCamp and Meetup vendor payments, reimbursements, and sponsor payment attribution.

If you’ll need to pay for goods or services at the start of October, please submit all requests no later than Friday, 28 September 2018 at 16:00 UTC.

Payment requests submitted after that time will not likely be processed until Tuesday, 9 October 2018. Sponsor invoices paid during 1-7 October 2018 won’t be marked paid until 8 October 2018.

If you have an urgent payment request that must be handled that week, but did not submit your request prior to 28 September, please reach out to @kcristiano or @adityakane on Slack.

Deputies, mentors, and community members will still be available by email at support@wordcamp.org or on Slack in the #community-events channel as usual.

Normal vendor payment and sponsorship attributions scheduled will resume Tuesday, 9 October 2018, though it may take us a day or two to get fully caught up.

#payments #afk #wordcamps #meetups

Call for topic suggestions: monthly meetup organizer newsletter

Every month we try to send out a newsletter for meetup organizers in our program. As you can see from these examples (#, #, #), the newsletter typically spotlights:

  • an interesting event format that organizers might want to try out
  • news about global community team projects
  • news about the WordPress open source project

If you’d like to recommend an interesting event format (preferably tried and tested by a group in the chapter) or suggest an additional topic to include in the newsletter, please leave a comment on this post!

We try to send the newsletter out pretty close to the 15th of every month, so if we don’t get your suggestion in time to add it to this month’s email, we’ll consider it for next month’s email.

Also, if anyone would like to volunteer to post a call for suggestions at or around the 5th of every month, that would allow us to keep collecting suggestions with a little more time to spare. #meetups #newsletter

WordPress Meetup Roundtables scheduled for March

In an earlier post about how to assist dormant Meetup Groups, we kicked around some ideas on how to support meetup organizers in their essential community work, especially if they are struggling or suffer from burn-out.

As a test, experienced meetup organizers will host four Meetup Roundtables. Kathy Drewien, Roberto Remedios, Jim True and Ulrich Pogson have already agreed to be our hosts, and we are recruiting a couple more people right now!

The Meetup Roundtables are an opportunity for Meetup organizers to connect and discuss challenges and opportunities for their local Meetups. We’ll hold them via video chat, using Zoom.

Here are the dates and topics, all Wednesdays at 16:00 UTC

The format is quite informal. We’ll kick-off the meeting with introductions, name, and location. The hosts will talk about their experiences for this week’s topic for a few minutes, and then we open it up for general Q & A from participating organizers.

For this first round, we’ll plan for these video chat Meetup Roundtables to last one hour. We will record them and make them available for those that couldn’t make it.

We hope you can join the discussion! If you’re an experienced meetup organizer in the WordPress chapter program and would like to participate as a host, please comment below!

Interested in learning more about WordPress Meetups?

#meetups-2, #roundtables

Payment Intermission September 11-18

The Automattic sponsored staff members of the Global Community Team, who routinely handle WPCS banking, will be at a company offsite September 11-18. During this time we’ll halt WordCamp and Meetup vendor payments, reimbursements, and sponsor payment attribution. If you’ll need to pay for goods or services in mid-September, please submit all requests no later than 9am Pacific Friday, September 8, 2017. Payment requests submitted after that time will not likely be processed until Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Sponsor invoices paid September 11-18 won’t be marked paid until September 19.

If you have an urgent payment request that must be handled that week, but did not submit your request prior to September 8, please reach out to @kcristiano. He can be found on slack “@kcristiano“.

Deputies, mentors, and community members will still be available by email at support@wordcamp.org or on Slack in the #community-events channel.

Normal vendor payment and sponsorship attributions scheduled will resume Tuesday, September 19, 2017 though it may take us a day or two to get fully caught up.

#payments #afk #wordcamps #meetups-2