IndyHacker Anatomy of a Meetup from the IH blog post

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IndyHacker Anatomy of a Meetup from the IH blog post by Mind Map: IndyHacker Anatomy of a Meetup  from the IH blog post

1. People

1.1. Roles

1.1.1. Organizers

1.1.1.1. These are the people that will do all of the things with you...you can count on to help:

1.1.1.1.1. Lead the meetup

1.1.1.1.2. Order the Pizza

1.1.1.1.3. Go get the drinks

1.1.1.1.4. Book the Venue

1.1.1.1.5. Give presentations (If things are going well, this crew will only have to present 20% of the time)

1.1.1.1.6. Show Up (~90% of the time)

1.1.1.1.7. Answer questions / lead discussion in the Meetup Community communication channel

1.1.2. Sneezers

1.1.2.1. Not quite willing to give the time and effort it takes to be an organizer, but you can count on them to be multi-time presenters, and spread the impact of the community.

1.1.2.2. You can Count on these people to:

1.1.2.2.1. Give multiple presentations (~40% of all of the presentations)

1.1.2.2.2. Show Up (~80% of the time)

1.1.2.2.3. Answer questions / lead discussion in the Meetup Community communication channel

1.1.3. Faithful

1.1.3.1. If you are to have a successful community, the goal will be to get as many people into this role as possible. These are the people you can count on to show up nearly every time, and actively engage when asked. You may be able to count on this group to give 20% of the presentations, but be 80% of the attendance

1.1.3.2. You can Count on these people to:

1.1.3.2.1. Give a presentation (~20% of all presentations)

1.1.3.2.2. Show Up (~60% of the time)

1.1.3.2.3. Participate in the Meetup Community communication channel

1.1.4. When Relevants

1.1.4.1. This will probably be the majority of the attendees at any given meetup. Those that saw a topic that interested them, and decided to come. This is fantastic...it is an indicator that the meetup is providing value outside of it being a great network/community.

1.1.4.2. You can Count on these people to:

1.1.4.2.1. Show Up (~20% of the time)

1.1.5. Almost Nevers

1.1.5.1. Good to know who these folks are because they are good candidates to turn into "When Relevants" or have good insight into why your Meetup isn't as impactful and magnetic as it could be

2. Purpose

2.1. Why does the meetup exist? What about the group of people is it that makes them a tribe?

2.2. This should probably go above people...because without a clear why, there can be no who

2.3. Be careful about not fragmenting a community too much

2.3.1. There is Indy.rb...but if there was an Indy.Rails that would fragment the community too much...not enough distinction to make it worthwhile

2.3.2. There is Indy.js, but the js ecosystem is too vast so the fact that we have angular, node, ember, and react meetups makes sense... ...each of those "sub js" groups have a ton of gravitational pull that are very distinct from each other

2.3.3. This is very tricky...sometimes it is a language, sometimes it is a framework, hell sometimes it is a profession (think UX designers or Product managers) or a new paradigm (think jobs to be done or lean UX )  There is no magic sauce that can predict whether or not a meetup will be impactful...the best way to tell is to:

2.3.3.1. Create the Meetup on meetup.com

2.3.3.2. Plan out 6 meetings w/ topics and presenters

2.3.3.3. Send out a questionnaire to see, of those that "joined", which of them falls into which of the people categories

2.3.3.4. After holding the first 3 meetups, re-evaluate your momentum / attendance / conversation in the community communication channel

2.3.3.5. Decide to shut it down / ask for more help / or keep on trucking!

3. Product

3.1. Here is where a ton of meetups fall short...content

3.1.1. It is fucking hard

3.1.2. It requires a village of effort to build up

3.1.3. It is the second most crucial predictor of success of an individual meetup and the meetup as a whole

3.1.3.1. We noticed greater attendance when we broadcasted the topics weeks before the meetup itself

3.1.3.2. If you have a queue of topics, it can be fantastic and so much less stress

3.2. Bottom-line silver bullet advice here? Ask for input from the community!!!

3.2.1. Tools

3.2.1.1. indy.rb uses https://indyrb.uservoice.com/forums/20778-indy-rb-meetup-topics, but I'm not sure that they have this version of the forum anymore

3.2.1.2. indy.py used to use google moderator

3.2.1.3. As of writing this, I think the best thing to use may be Trello, though if I find a Slack plugin that does this well, I may switch to that

3.2.1.3.1. http://ideabot.co/ = slack plugin...it is real close, but the https error that occurs when viewing a topic is a bit of a non-starter

3.2.1.3.2. https://www.discourse.org/about/ = Seems good, but starting a meetup is already time-consuming, trying to get this setup to run on Heroku or something just didn't seem worth it at the moment.

4. Process

4.1. Consistency...something quirky that breeds a sense of togetherness

4.1.1. Miles at Indy.rb makes everyone state their name how long they have been rubying, and an answer to a silly question like"favorite type of music you are too ashamed to admit usually"

4.1.2. Another awesome thing that happens most of the time at indy.rb is that Steve Grossi will do "Ruby News"...these things seem small and insignificant, but they help breed a sense of togetherness

5. Pay

5.1. Running a meetup can get expensive... $14 / Month for Meetup.com ~$100 / Meetup for food ~$100 / Meetup for drinks And whatever other expenses you may add to make the community better...finding sponsors, sending invoices, etc can get overwhelming.

5.2. Top areas of concern:

5.2.1. Where we doing this?

5.2.1.1. The old faithfuls in indy, like The Speak Easy and Launch Fishers are the obvious choices...but there are some other cool spaces out there to consider.

5.2.2. What we drinking?

5.2.2.1. Can't go wrong with water and beer  :-)

5.2.3. What we eating?

5.2.3.1. Just keep it simple and do a variety of pizzas...don't forget the veggie pizzas!

5.2.4. Who is sponsoring?

5.2.4.1. Meetups are magical for a number of reasons, but for potential employers they are pure gold Candidates who show enough interest and initiative to be active in the community like this are usually the cream of the crop in their field, and having them simply see that specific companies are involved with community is huge. The Cost/Benefit ratio is through the roof if you can find even a single quality candidate that you can convert into an employee. So finding sponsors shouldn't be a major hurdle.

5.2.4.2. Biggest problem is how to collect the money.

5.2.4.2.1. This is one big advantage of being an IndyHackers aligned Meetup...IH will accept the money and pay for whatever you need...and they will be tax exempt status soon, which will make it even easier/more attractive for potential sponsors