Tuesday Training: How to Promote WordPress Meetup In Your Local Tech Community To Get More Attendance [Meetup Marketing Guide]

If there’s a question you’d like to see answered or a topic you’d like to see discussed, please share it in the comments or email support@wordcamp.org with the subject line “Tuesday Trainings”. Now onto this week’s topic!

Promoting your WordPress 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. and getting enough attendance might look more challenging at this moment because of COVID-19, but there are a handful of things that you can do and increase participants. The Marketing team previously published WordPress Meetup Tips & Tricks to help you promote your meetup and we hope it helped you. 

In this guide, we will focus more on how to promote your Meetup Event in a non-WordPress community and reach a new audience in order to increase attendance.

First Things To Do: Tailor Your Meetup Event Page For New Audience

  • Catchy Meetup Title & Featured ImageFeatured image A featured image is the main image used on your blog archive page and is pulled when the post or page is shared on social media. The image can be used to display in widget areas on your site or in a summary list of posts.: Meetup titles and featured images are very important to grab initial attention. Make sure you are utilizing that properly to make people sign up. 
  • Compelling Description to Welcome Anyone: Please make sure you have a proper description for your meetup event and a basic agenda. Mention clearly that anyone, even folks that are new to WordPress, is welcomed to join.
  • Information About Speakers & Expertise: Gather diverse speakers with different expertise to make people interested in the event.
  • Pick a Suitable Time & Date: Consider adjusting the time and date for your event to ensure that it is convenient for your targeted audience. Even though many organizers prefer hosting their events during weekends, the perfect date/time for scheduling a meetup changes from place to place.

10 Ways to Promote Your Meetup To Non-WordPress Community

1. Embrace The Power of Social Media

  • Share on Facebook Local Groups: In many countries, Facebook groups are very popular and a great way to engage with people. Find the relevant tech groups in your local area and share your meetup links with some customized caption to connect with that specific community.
  • Share in LinkedIn Feed: Unlike other social media, LinkedIn is popular among professional people. So sharing WordPress 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. on your LinkedIn feed might be helpful to spread the word to different professional individuals. 
  • Share on Instagram: In these days, people love to share about attending events and their experiences on Instagram with images. A photo from a previous meetup can be intriguing and could be a great way to invite people to join your next event.
  • And Tweeeeet: Twitter is commonly very popular among the WordPress community and you should leverage this to promote your meetup. Use hashtags and share them multiple times on Twitter with your meetup event link.

2. Find Diverse Speakers & Empower Them To Promote Meetup

There are a lot of people who are involved in more than one technology community or use CMSes other than WordPress. Find them and invite them to participate in your WordPress Event. Once they are onboarded, ask them to share about your meetup with their networks, especially out of the WordPress community. Help the speakers with blurbs to share on social media to promote to their followers. You can check out WordPress Diversity Speaker Training Workshop to learn more.

3. Leverage Your Sponsors To Spread The Word

It’s very common to accept sponsorship for the venue or refreshments for in-person meetups. Ask your sponsors to spread the news about upcoming Meetup events.

4. Partner With Local IT/Tech Companies

Reach out to local IT companies, even those that are not focusing on WordPress. Invite them to join your WordPress meetup for FREE and connect with fellow programmers

5. Help Attendance to Promote With Pre-written Text Messages

We are all busy. If you can prepare some pre-written text messages that anyone can easily share to promote your event, then it can be very helpful and a lot of people can quickly share with their networks. 

6. Collaborate With Other Local Communities

In most countries, there are multiple tech communities. You can partner up with them and promote your WordPress meetup in their community to get some new attendees. 

7. Reach Out to WordPress Experts In Your Locality

As they are passionate about WordPress and have long experience, request them to spread the word or ask for suggestions if they have any plan to promote WordPress.

8. Invite With Local Universities Or Educational Institute

Reach out to the IT department or club of the local institute and invite them to attend the meetup. It could be helpful and eye-opening for students and potential users.

9. Utilize The Meetup.com Message Feature

Request your existing member to join and share your event with their friends and colleagues. Using the Meetup.com ‘Contact Members‘ feature, you can easily send emails to current members of your meetup chapter.

10. Turn Attendees Into WordPress Ambassadors

Your attendees liked your event enough to register in the first place and they are the most passionate advocates of WordPress. So, it should be easier to convince them to spread the news and become WordPress Ambassadors.

Questions?

Contact the Community Team, or come join the conversation in the #community-events channel in the Making WP Slack!

Are you a Meetup or 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. organizer and have more tips for promoting WordPress events? Please share your ideas in the comments!

#meetups, #tuesdaytrainings

In-person meetup events for vaccinated community members

Thank you to everyone who participated in the discussion of the proposal to allow fully-vaccinated people to hold in-person meetups, where local health authorities permit. I’ll summarize the concerns and opinions shared in the post, and then discuss a decision.

If you don’t want to read that far, here’s the tl;dr:

The WordPress community team is removing the barrier to organizing in-person 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. events for fully-vaccinated people, in places where vaccines are freely available. 

Discussion Summary

Some commenters mistakenly thought that local organizers would be collecting health care data from group members, and expressed concern. It was clarified that while the community team would encourage local organizers to set the expectation that only fully-vaccinated people should attend in-person meetup events, no organizer should request or collect information from members about their vaccination status. Meetup events for fully-vaccinated people would operate on the honor system. 

A question was raised around what should happen if organizers somehow discovered that someone who was not vaccinated, was attending in-person events intended for fully-vaccinated people. While it’s certainly possible that this will happen, I think it should be handled just like any other mismatch between expected behavior and actual behavior — with a private discussion to explain the expectation and a direct request that someone meet that expectation next time. Again, local organizers should not request or collect vaccination status information from members. 

Some people shared deep concerns that this would result in a “two-tier” meetup program, dividing local communities between the vaccinated (meeting in-person) and unvaccinated (meeting online). It was pointed out that as vaccination rollout continues, transmission risk will inevitably fall. The research seems to support this, showing that vaccination is effective in “preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death.” (See also this example.)

Holding in-person 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. for fully-vaccinated people would only be possible in local communities where vaccines are freely available to all. And when infection levels fall to a point that a local community would pass the safety checklist, then both vaccinated and unvaccinated people would be free to meet (with the appropriate precautions). So while I agree that it’s only a matter of time when fully-vaxxed-only meetups are a thing of the past, I do think it’s important to make that possible for our communities. If nothing else, it might encourage WordPress enthusiasts to get vaccinated as soon as they can! Organizers are welcome to include an online component to in-person gatherings if the event format and venue allow it. 

Some tenured community organizers shared their support for this idea, and at least one person shared that they would not yet be comfortable with organizing in-person events, even for fully-vaccinated people. I think it’ll be important to share with organizers that local communities can continue to meet online, or organize online event series, for the foreseeable future — if we ever go back to an expectation that WordPress meetup groups meet in-person only (and I doubt that we will), then I think that will happen a long time from now. 

Context

When COVID made it unsafe to meet in person, WordPress event programs responded more quickly than many public health authorities were able to. In fact, many governments didn’t provide safety recommendations until long after WordPress had asked local organizers to refrain from gathering people in-person. It’s not unusual for governments to move slowly in response to new crises, but luckily our organization is a little more nimble. 

As we all know, the world has spent more than a year responding to the pandemic, and vaccines continue to roll out globally. 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. must eventually return to our previous expectation that local organizers will simply follow local laws and public health guidelines. 

Many countries are still fighting a pitched battle against COVID, and not all of their governments are willing or able to set safe public health standards. For organizers in those countries, please know that the global WordPress community is concerned for your health and safety. You are welcome to continue to use the in-person safety checklist if it is helpful, even when all WordPress program-based limits on in-person gatherings are lifted globally. We trust our organizers to make wise choices, and hope to provide you all the tools you need to make those choices easier. 

Decision

This proposal is somewhat contentious, and one of the ways I serve the community team is to make potentially-unpopular decisions. I am comfortable doing so in this case, as enough tenured, active members of the community team seem to agree with this proposal. I realize there are some on the team who do not agree, and I hope that these guidelines are flexible enough that you are able to disagree and commit in this case.  

The WordPress community team is not expecting or requiring local organizers to organize in-person events for fully-vaccinated people — we’re simply removing the barrier to doing so. That barrier is removed only under certain conditions, though, so I want to communicate those clearly. 

If:

  1. local public health authorities say people can gather in person, AND
  2. your region passes the in-person safety checklist, THEN
  3. go ahead and hold in-person events, following local health guidelines!

ALSO… If:

  1. local public health authorities say people can gather in person, AND
  2. your region doesn’t pass the in-person safety checklist, BUT
  3. vaccines are available for anyone who wants one in your region, THEN

Local community organizers can (if they want to) plan in-person meetup events for fully-vaccinated people, following local health guidelines! 

Here’s a visualization of those conditions, in case it helps:

This decision tree visualization indicates that if local public health authorities permit in-person gatherings, and the region passes the in-person safety checklist, then groups can organize in-person meetups for anyone. If the region does not pass the in-person safety checklist, but vaccines are freely available to all, then the group can organize in-person meetups for fully vaccinated people. If there is limited vaccine access in a region that does not pass the in-person safety checklist, the group should organize online meetups for now.

Important:

  • No organizer should request or collect information from members about their vaccination status.
  • Additional safety measures that go beyond local health guidelines are OK! Organizers should consider meeting outside, asking attendees to wear masks, or limiting attendance of indoor events. 
  • Online meetup events can continue for the foreseeable future.
  • Keep in mind that we are still learning about the effectiveness of vaccines for people with weakened immune systems or against new variants of the virus. If there are meetup group members who feel uncomfortable going to in-person meetups but want to continue attending events, organizers can encourage and help people host online events.

Next Steps and Feedback

I’ll add the new guidance to all the appropriate places in the meetup organizer’s handbook, and write a summarized version of this decision for the next meetup newsletter. If you have questions, concerns, or feedback… please share them in a comment on this post! 

Thanks to @rmarks, @angelasjin, @kdrewien, @kcristiano, @hlashbrooke, @tacoverdo, @harishanker, @evarlese, @_dorsvenabili, and Megan Rose for their feedback on this post!

#meetups

Meetup group resources: Talking points for WordPress 5.8

WordPress 5.8 is shipping soon! Beta 1 and Beta 2 are available for testing. 5.8 is a major releaseMajor Release A set of releases or versions having the same major version number may be collectively referred to as “X.Y” -- for example version 5.2.x to refer to versions 5.2, 5.2.1, and all other versions in the 5.2. (five dot two dot) branch of that software. Major Releases often are the introduction of new major features and functionality. with some exciting new features coming with it! As we approach the release, we ask that all our community members and 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 contribute:

  • Meetup Organizers can plan release-focused 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. to share the latest features in 5.8 with their community.
  • Meetups can organize 5.8 testing sprints to test the release features.
  • Organizers can email their local groups to inform members about the upcoming release.
  • Contributors can individually test 5.8 release features, share their feedback, blog about release features, and amplify them on social media. 

This post highlights some of the most exciting features of WordPress 5.8 that local meetup organizers might want to highlight to their local communities. 

Updates for Publishers and Users

New Theme Blocks and The Query BlockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience.

With WordPress 5.8, you’ll now have the ability to edit even more aspects of your site with the following new blocks: Site Logo/tagline/title, Query LoopLoop The Loop is PHP code used by WordPress to display posts. Using The Loop, WordPress processes each post to be displayed on the current page, and formats it according to how it matches specified criteria within The Loop tags. Any HTML or PHP code in the Loop will be processed on each post. https://codex.wordpress.org/The_Loop., Next/Previous post, Post title, content, author, date, excerptExcerpt An excerpt is the description of the blog post or page that will by default show on the blog archive page, in search results (SERPs), and on social media. With an SEO plugin, the excerpt may also be in that plugin’s metabox., featured imageFeatured image A featured image is the main image used on your blog archive page and is pulled when the post or page is shared on social media. The image can be used to display in widget areas on your site or in a summary list of posts., categories, and tags – along with login/out blocks and the page list block. When combined with creating custom templates, these blocks will unlock several possibilities for content creation that was not possible before! You can read more about theme blocks here.

Image showing list of new WordPress 5.8 blocks

The most powerful amongst this set of new blocks is the Query Loop block. It unlocks the ability to easily display posts from a specific categoryCategory The 'category' taxonomy lets you group posts / content together that share a common bond. Categories are pre-defined and broad ranging., allowing you to quickly create a portfolio or a favorite recipe page. Think of it as a more complex and powerful Latest Posts Block! You can read more about the Query block in GitHub.

Block Pattern Directory

Block Patterns are a streamlined way of setting up layouts of blocks through themes and plugins. With WordPress 5.8, everyone will now access a Block Pattern Directory, similar to the PluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party and Theme directories. This will let anyone create and share a Block Pattern with any WordPress user and for any WordPress user to use these patterns to make beautiful content. You can find new patterns in the Block Inserter or by browsing the patterns here: https://wordpress.org/patterns/. For now, patterns previously bundled with CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. are the only patterns available in the Inserter; in the future, all patterns in the directory will be searchable from the Inserter too!

Dropping Support for IE 11

With WordPress 5.8, Internet Explorer 11 will no longer be supported. For anyone currently using IE11, it is strongly recommended that you switch to a modern browser, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. IE11 users have been shown a warning that IE11 is considered outdated in the WordPress dashboard for the last 17+ months.

Template Editing Mode

Template Editing Mode is a feature of Full Site Editing that unlocks the ability to switch between editing the content of a post/page and the template elements that the post/page uses. Essentially, this allows you to switch between the Post Editor and the Template Editor. 

  • For block themes, users will be able to create a new block-based template and edit existing ones. 
  • For classic themes, users will be able to only create new block-based templates. 
  • Any custom block template created is theme-dependent and won’t transfer across themes.

You can read more about Template Editing mode in this dev note.

Block Widgets Editor & Widgets in CustomizerCustomizer Tool built into WordPress core that hooks into most modern themes. You can use it to preview and modify many of your site’s appearance settings.

WordPress 5.8 brings blocks to both the Block Widgets Editor and the Customizer. Users will now be able to directly edit widgets just like how they would edit blocks in a post/page. Widgets in the customizer have additional features such as live preview, schedule, and sharing – all using blocks and widgets. This feature opens up several possibilities, from no-code mini layouts to tapping into the vast block library to create content. Developers are encouraged to phase out their widgets in favor of blocks, which are more intuitive and can be used in more places. Developers can allow users to easily migrate a Legacy Widget block containing a specific widget to a block or multiple blocks. 

Widgets screen within the customizer
WidgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user. customizer
Widgets screen in WP-Admin
Widgets screen in WP-Admin

Other features and UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing. enhancements

Updates for Site Builders and Developers

Dev Notes in the Make/Core blog are a great place to start learning more about the technical details related to WordPress 5.8. Here’s a summary of the advanced features shipping with the release:

Theme.jsonJSON JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a minimal, readable format for structuring data. It is used primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, as an alternative to XML.

WordPress 5.8 introduces theme.json, a configuration file used to enable or disable features and set default styles for both websites and blocks. It can be used to control the editor settings, available customization tools, and style blocks. The release comes with Global Styles and Global Settings APIs, which facilitate these changes. Theme.json provides a consolidated and canonical way to manage default styles as opposed to theme support flags. Theme.json support will be more robust in the future. WordPress 5.8 includes the following options: 

  • Set Color and Typography block presets.
  • Add custom colors to the color palette, gradient options, and Duotone presets.
  • Register font families and font sizes for blocks.
  • Add or remove support for specific block settings that were previously set via the add_theme_support function via PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php..
  • Set specific block properties supported by that block, including typography, color, width, borders, etc.

Developers can enable theme.json by including it in the active theme’s root directory. You can learn more about theme.json from the developer handbook.

Next Iteration of Block Supports

The block support mechanism allows block authors to make their blocks customizable via adding support for style properties: font size, color, etc. Under the hood, this mechanism bounds UI controls to the block 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. & toolbar, creates an implicit attribute for the block, and casts the implicit attribute to some DOM characteristic of the root element of the block (a style attribute or a new class). Developers working on WordPress 5.8 are encouraged to use block.json file metadata as the canonical way to register block types and define block supports.

This next iteration allows block authors to have a finer-grained control of how block supports work. As part of this, block authors don’t need to fiddle with controls and attribute flow. 

Block Design Tools

WordPress 5.8 introduces new block design tools that can be enabled through the block.json metadata file and are supported in the new theme.json configuration file:

  • color.__experimentalDuotone UI controls that allow adding duotone filters to blocks.
  • color.link. Adds block controls that allow the user to set link color in a block.
  • typography.fontSize. Signals that a block supports font-size CSSCSS CSS is an acronym for cascading style sheets. This is what controls the design or look and feel of a site. style property. When it does, the block editor will show a UI control for the user to set its value.
  • typography.lineHeight. Signals that a block supports the line-height CSS style property. When it does, the block editor will show a UI control for the user to set its value.
  • spacing.margin, and spacing.padding. Shows that a block supports some spacing CSS properties. When it does, the editor will show UI controls for the user to set values. 
  • layout. Simplifies the way themes define and style alignments. Theme devs can add layout config in theme.json and specify which containers inherit the config.

Duotone effect for images in blocks

WordPress 5.8 allows you to colorize your image and cover blocks with duotone filters! Duotone can add a pop of color to your designs and style your pictures (or videos in the cover block) to integrate well with your themes. The duotone effect is similar to a black and white filterFilter Filters are one of the two types of Hooks https://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_API/Hooks. They provide a way for functions to modify data of other functions. They are the counterpart to Actions. Unlike Actions, filters are meant to work in an isolated manner, and should never have side effects such as affecting global variables and output., but instead of the shadows being black and the highlights being white, you get to pick your own colors for the shadows and highlights. This feature is accomplished with the help of a new customized color filter using an SVG filter. This is available as a “block supports” feature by default in the core Image and Cover blocks for both images and videos. You’ll be able to find it in the block toolbar settings. This can be supported in blocks from third parties and the color presets can be customized by themes within theme.json! More details in the WordPress blog.

WebP Support

WebP is a modern image format that provides improved lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. WebP images are usually 30% smaller than JPEG or PNG images and are supported in all modern browsers. From WordPress version 5.8 forward, you can upload and use WebP images in WordPress like you would a JPEG or PNG image today (as long as your hosting service supports WebP). Switching to the WebP format for your images will improve your site’s performance and your site visitor’s experience. Developers or plugins can use the wp_editor_set_quality filter to set the quality setting. You can read more about WebP support in this Make/Core blog post and Trac.

Request for feedback

What have you planned for sharing WordPress 5.8 with your local meetup group? Are you organizing an outreach meetup, or would you be interested in scheduling a testing sprint? What can we do together to help people learn all about the release? Let us know in the comments! 

The following people contributed to this post: @angelasjin @annezazu @cbringmann @daisyo @evarlese and @priethor

#meetup-organizer-resources #resources

#meetups, #outreach, #wordpress-5-8

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!

Continue reading

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

2020 Meetup Survey Results

The 2020 WordPress Meetup survey wrapped up on April 30th, 2021. This year’s survey was unique since we made quite a few changes, primarily to reflect our pivot to online events. This post contains some statistics about 2020 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. and some interesting findings based on feedback from 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. 

Please note: This survey is a recap of the 2020 Annual survey for our Meetup members. We will publish a separate post on the results of the 2020 Meetup organizer survey shortly. Results of the 2020 Meetup Organizer survey are now available!

WordPress Meetup Chapter Statistics in 2020

  • Total WordPress chapter meetup groups: 745
  • Total countries with chapter meetups: 138
  • New meetup groups joined the chapter: 47
  • New members joined: 55,924
  • Total members: 448,128
  • Total number of organizers: 3,439
  • Total number of events: 4,985

2020 Meetup Survey Participation

  • Total member respondents: 806
  • Total organizer respondents: 65
  • Total countries participated: 68

Key Insights from the survey

  • Overall, most people seem to be satisfied with the meetup program in 2020, with 50% of folks reporting that they were 100% satisfied. 92% of respondents mentioned that they are likely to recommend WordPress meetups to others.
  • People are attending online meetups outside their local group. More than half of the respondents had attended at least one online meetup in 2020. Additionally, more than half of the respondents attended online meetups outside of their local meetup group. 
  • Zoom is the most popular tool for online meetups. With 69% votes, Zoom is the number one choice of platform for meetup attendees. Google Meet is a close second and YouTube comes third. You can now request a Community Zoom Pro account for your online meetup if you don’t have one.
  • Most people seem to like online meetups. 48% responded that they want online meetups a lot, with 31% saying they are okay. 13% of folks mentioned that they prefer in-person meetups over online meetups. 8% are tired of online meetups. An overwhelming majority (88%) wanted in-person events to be streamed online when they are back.
  • Reasons for attending online meetups: Folks seem to be divided about their reasons for attending meetups. The time/date of the event, their availability, and the location of the venue – are significant factors that govern members’ attendance in a meetup event.
  • Popular event formats: Online events, in-person events, workshops, and formal presentations were the most popular event formats for WordPress Meetups.

Read on to take a deep dive into the Annual Meetup Survey results for 2020!

Continue reading

#meetups, #annual-survey, #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

2020 Annual WordPress Meetup Program 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. members via meetup.com, but we are also sharing below.

If you are a Meetup Organizer, please feel free to share the survey link via discussion boards, email, social media, or even announce at a Meetup event!

Hello WordPress meetup members!

As we’ve reached a full year of online Meetup events, we would like to get your feedback on WordPress 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 2020. Even if you did not attend meetup events this past year, your opinion would be valuable! The survey takes less than 5 minutes to fill out, and the results will be shared by the 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. to help all WordPress meetups improve.

Here is a link to the survey:
http://wordpressdotorg.survey.fm/annual-meetup-program-survey

This survey contains general questions relevant to the global WordPress Meetup program, and closes on 30 April, 2021.

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.

Become an Event Organizer

WordPress is an open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. project, open to anyone who wants to join. That is true for event organizers, too! Many groups still have one event per month, often a presentation or lecture followed by Q&A or a social hour. These regular events are great, but it means that people who cannot make that time each month are left out, as are people who are interested in different topics. 

All meetup groups on the WordPress chapter account allow any trusted, reliable member of the group to organize an event. If you’ve been wishing for a particular kind of WordPress event in your town, this is a great time to become a WordPress organizer. 

Here are some ideas for event formats to inspire you: Meetup Event Formats

The possibilities are endless, and if it relates to WordPress, you can organize within your meetup group! Start a conversation on your group’s discussion board or contact the local organizing team with your ideas!

Contribute to the WordPress Project

One of the things we have heard from people is a desire for their meetup group to be more connected to the overall WordPress open source project. If you haven’t stopped by the community team’s blog in a while check that out! There may be a few new projects you might be interested in.

Thank you for being a part of our community, and as always, thanks for using WordPress!

–The WordPress Global Community Team

#meetups, #annual-survey, #survey

Tuesday Trainings: Do I need a sponsor for my meetup?

This is a question 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. hear quite a bit. As with so many things, the quick answer to this question is usually “That depends, let’s talk about why you might need or want one”.

For 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. that happen in-person, the potential costs are far more than virtual meetups. I’ll talk about that in a bit, but for now I’ll focus on the more common virtual meetups.

In a virtual 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., what costs need to be covered? 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. covers the meetup fees. This allows access to meetup.com which can be used to communicate with your members and take registrations. The meetup itself will need to be hosted on a service such as Zoom, or Google Meet. You can see a full list of possible tools in the handbook. Some of these services may incur costs. Many meetups are fortunate to have someone donate a paid Zoom account, but what if they don’t have one?

The Community Team has Zoom accounts available for meetups. You can see the application on this page. This can be very helpful, especially if the meetup has more than 100 attendees as these accounts allow up to 300 attendees. Because Meetups share these accounts, organizers do need to apply for a Zoom account each time, and the logins and links will change.

Beyond the virtual meeting tool, are there other costs involved that a sponsor would help with? If there are, ask the Community Team so that deputies can discuss and help you determine what to do.

With in-person meetups, there are more costs. There may be venue costs. Many meetups like a ‘snack’ and since attendees are not charged for meetups, this cost must be covered from somewhere. Some meetups get donated space from a sponsor and others have them sponsor the ‘snacks’. Both of these are wonderful opportunities to engage a sponsor to help out.

Are covering costs the only reason to have a sponsor? No. A good relationship between a meetup and a sponsor goes beyond money. A sponsor can add value to a meetup and let’s look at that.

Aside from covering venue costs and snacks (or pizza) for in person meetups, sponsors can and have offered their virtual meeting tools to local meetups. This allows others to use the Zoom accounts that the Community Team has. Many of our program sponsors are hosting companies, and they have offered hosting to meetups that want to have their own community website.

I’ve been focusing on what meetups need from sponsors, but an equally important question is: what value will sponsors receive from sponsoring a meetup?

In any sponsor relationship, both sides have to give and receive something the other wants. Sponsors will mostly get exposure and their name out to all the meetup attendees. Sponsors can also be a great resource to meetup organizers. Sponsors can help out with topic ideas and possibly provide speakers, as long as speakers also follow the five good faith rules.

This year all meetups have sponsors via the Global Sponsorship program. While the benefits are limited (see this post for the details), meetup organizers should make use of their valuable resources.

How have you involved sponsors in your meetup? Do you have additional questions around meetup sponsors that you’d like to discuss?

Thanks to @angelasjin @camikaos @liamdempsey for their contributions.

#meetups, #tuesdaytrainings

Annual Meetup Survey Revisions for 2020

We’re coming upon the time to send out the Annual 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. Surveys! As of the previous survey, we started sending it out by the end of Q1 (first quarter of the year), so we’re just about due to distribute the 2020 survey.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the WordPress Chapter Meetup program pivoted to online events partway through 2020. With that in mind, the usual questions for the annual surveys will largely not apply, as they were mainly focused on in-person events. This is where I would love your help!

To start, below are the working documents for each survey, which includes the survey questions from last year:

Please comment on this post or make suggestions on the above documents if:

  • Any questions could be revised
  • Any questions should be removed
  • There any additional questions we can ask

The working documents and comments on this post will remain open until 23 February 2021, in order to have adequate time to prepare the 2020 survey and ready to send out by the end of March 2021.

#meetups, #survey

Proposal Update: Decision making checklist for safe, in-person meetups

Feb 4, 2021 Update: The date to give feedback on this post has been extended by one week! Please share your feedback by February 12.

Following the proposal earlier this month around a decision making checklist for safe, in-person meetups, there was additional conversation and questions about how an organizer would use the checklist. To help everyone better understand the process as currently envisioned, I’ve done my best to describe it below, incorporating some additional, excellent ideas that were shared. Before moving forward on this, I invite everyone to read through this process, and to share your feedback. 

A quick note: until this process is implemented, all WordCamps and 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. are expected to be held online.The Community team knows that it is still very unsafe to meet in person in many areas. The goal of this process is to help 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 assess the risk of hosting an in-person event, in the hopes that some areas that have more effectively contained COVID (like New Zealand and Taiwan) can be supported in hosting in-person meetups.

The process as currently envisioned would look like this for a meetup organizer: 

  1. Review the resources. Meetup organizers would reference some new (to be created) handbook pages in the Meetup Organizer Handbook. These new pages will include: 
    • The checklist to determine whether organizers can proceed, with caution, in organizing an in-person event.
    • Links to frequently referenced health authority data, to help organizers determine positivity rates, basic reproduction number, etc. 
    • Templates to help meetup organizers, such as language for requesting info for contract tracing, expected behavior and safety protocols, etc. 
    • Reporting mechanism that allows organizers and community members to report to Community 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. if they need support or see any safety concerns or broken protocols. 
  2. Use the checklist. The Meetup organizer uses the checklist (put together based off of feedback from the previous proposal), which is a CrowdSignal form embedded in the handbook page. The form will only recommend moving forward with an in-person meetup if organizers are able to answer yes to all questions. Organizers can use the handbook page with links to health authority data, or use local resources, to help fill in the checklist.
    • The checklist recommends “no”. If the checklist says “no”, organizers are expected to follow this recommendation. At this point, they can close out the survey without submitting. If they would like to provide the Community team with feedback on the form, or share what health authority references they used, they do have that option.
    • The checklist recommends “yes, proceed with caution”. If the organizer gets the recommendation that they can proceed with an in-person meetup, they will be required to submit the form, which also asks for: 
      • Agreement to the recommendations and guidelines provided.
      • Organizer name, Meetup URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL www.wordpress.org, health authority references

Although organizers do not need to wait for further approval from the Community team, submitting the form is mandatory for organizers who want to organize in-person meetups. 

  1. Organize the in-person meetup. If the organizers proceed with an in person event, they can use templates in the meetup description to explain safety protocols or measures to their meetup participants. Some examples might include expected behaviors (wearing a mask, agreeing to share contact information for contact tracing, etc), or that the meetup may move online or be cancelled if local situations change. 
  2. Reporting back to Community Deputies. If something unexpected happens, the Community team would like to know immediately. Organizers and meetup attendees can reach us in a number of ways: by pinging 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. in the #community-events channel, or emailing support@wordcamp.org. Community members can report concerns or ask questions, specifically around in-person meetups, using a new, dedicated handbook page. 

Community Team deputies will be responsible for directing meetup organizers to these resources, answering questions as they come up, and broadly, to help all meetups follow these guidelines. 

Feedback requested

Please share your thoughts on this proposal update by Friday, February 12, 2021. Specifically, it would be helpful to hear:

  • Are the steps or checks missing in this process? 
  • Do you have any questions about the process?
  • What happens if organizers or attendees don’t follow these guidelines?

Thank you all for your patience and thoughtful feedback in creating this process. This is a hard, hard topic with no precedent we can refer to, so I am grateful that this considerate community is tackling this together. 

Kudos to @sippis, @andreamiddleton, @evarlese, @jenniferswisher for helping to write this post!

#meetups