It’s important to organizing to keep attendees at your events engaged. What are the ways you like that you’ve done at your events or seen at other tech events?
#AQChat 1 question 2: What were your best experiences at tech events as a normal attendee
Hm, yeah - I feel like this one is a tricky one to get right… but in my experience - it’s just super important to read the audience and break up long talks/events with jokes/breaks/moving around. Folks are there because they want to be and are interested - so if there’s not a lot of engagement, it’s usually something “simple” like the pacing of the event - which can be changed up by organizers.
I’ve also found, especially for discussion-type events (meetups, open-spaces) it’s always better to change course midflight and improvise rather than sticking with a plan that folks aren’t feeling.
From my own events, at Boston Go, Jen Andre organized some excellent mini workshop events, including building a chat server, building a Slack chat bot, and learning how to write tests by contributing to open source. And last summer, we had a hackathon based on Chopped (everyone builds something with 4 packages from the standard library) and an unconference where there were no speakers, and instead everyone had roundtable discussions on different topics in Go (props to Marcus Olsson from Stockholm Go for giving us the idea for the event).
As for GDCFP, I think holding roundtables really helped because although most of the mentors were Gophers, the event ended up having a conversational pace.
Non-speaker events in general I think are a must-have for meetups so that you don’t build up a clique of regular speakers. But for recruiting new speakers, directly reaching out to people about speaking if you know something they’d been working on really helps.
I have organized the Go Meetup just once and only two people showed up. I hope your experience can help me on this.
I had some remote meetups like that! They can be really nice, but you gotta be prepared it’s gonna happen time to time. “Tell me about a problem you’re running into” can be a realllly good icebreaker for situations like this, imo
Which event was your first one, and are there more-established tech meetup groups in your city? X-promoting with them really helps to get more people going. Boston Go was in the single digits for a good chunk of its first year, and Transitioning to Go was a great meetup theme since that got people who are curious about Go and can be coming from more-established groups
The MeetUp group have around 400 people. Most of them coming from another groups. I am in Monterrey Mexico, I think I have to use tools for promoting on social media or something like that.
I think also directly reaching out at other people’s meetups makes for some good momentum at these events. That way everyone coming already knows at least one person who’s going, and you’re talking to people you might not reach through social media
By the way, the CodeNewbies Sunday checkin is starting in 3 minutes. Feel free to keep chatting here as well, but I’m also opening up the floor for shoutouts at #AQChat 1 Q4: shoutouts so people going to both chats can leave their shoutouts
When bootstrapping my meetup, I held it more frequently. I held the meetup twice and sometimes three times a month.
This helped me get the word out and I learned which days and times were most convenient for attendees. I did this until we got a reasonable membership.
My point is: Don’t get discouraged if nobody attends. Try doing it more frequently. This may seem counter-intuitive but it worked well for me.
Well put! Also wow three times a month? Boston peaked at 2 when Jen started the workshops!
Wow that is hard work. I try all this. Thank you for your help friends.
This is a fantastic idea! Get momentum up, then sort out logistic, so you don’t get hung up on them. I love this.
Oh also one other event style worth mentioning for the early stage of a Go meetup is install-study-hack nights. That way there’s something for everyone to do, people can recruit each other to their OSS projects, and more experienced Gophers can help newer Gophers install Go, Postgres, Buffalo, etc
Totally! Don’t commit to something that doesn’t work.
Getting attendees to be engaged is a toughie with groups. One sneaky thing I would do as an exec in college clubs is give newly joined members some responsibility. If an event was coming up, I’d ask if they were willing to help out in an event.
During an event taking place, I like to go around and ask how people are feeling. I’ll also ask if they need anything or have any questions. This makes the person feels like someone has an actual interest in them, and if anything, I get feedback to improve an event.
As for recruiting new members to join groups on meetups, that is a challenge I am working on myself.
Hey! To be honest sometimes these things happen. It can be a numbers game. Something simple like rain or traffic could keep people from coming to a meeting. Where are you holding your meetings? It is at a location that is accessible to people?
Good move! Keeping events conversational and finding ways to let normal attendees lead is always great, and making direct connections keeps people from feeling like the only person at the party who doesn’t know everyone!