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Meetup strategies and tools

bay-area-wiki-salon

#1

Open thread for discussing strategies around how to most efficiently organize meetups. I noticed https://tigrennatenn.neocities.org/meetup_cookbook.html the other day which I found pretty interesting so I’m posting it here in case anyone else has any thoughts?

I’m tagging this bay-area-wikisalon but it’s really meta - applicable to local meetups in general.

I noticed this in particular:

Should I ask for RSVPs, so I know how many people are coming? No. Probably don’t bother, it never works.

You might get a couple of RSVPs, or more for an especially popular meetup, but most people seem to like to be able to decide day-of whether they’re going to come. Asking for RSVPs might dissuade people from coming on the day-of, unless you preface it with “BUT COME ANYWAY EVEN IF YOU DON’T.” It probably won’t hurt to ask for RSVPs, if you do add such a preface, but don’t expect much out of it. RSVPs are usually poorly correlated with attendance.

Another strategy is to say “I’m going to be at the location from X-Y PM, guaranteed,” and hang out the entire time to see if anyone shows up. This way you catch people even if they show up very, very late - which does happen, in our experience. This is more useful if you have very low attendance, or you’re starting a new meetup and are not sure what to expect from possible attendees.

Overall, I think that there’s still additional tooling / automation that could be built to streamline online meetups. We’re managing trello, meetup.com group, geonotices, mailing lists using google sheets, with room to try others. It becomes unwieldly and tedious. https://buffer.com/ handles a bunch of social media accounts at once. I’ve had https://trello.com/c/7Ox1fX0D/13-automate-the-creation-of-events-and-notification-emails in our list of tasks for a while but it isn’t getting done by me anytime soon.


#2

Email with calendar link

One trick that we still aren’t using as consistently as I’d like: if we attach a .ics file to our invite emails, most mail clients will allow you to click to create a calendar event. It looks something like this in Gmail classic:

Looks like the new Gmail is broken tho.


#3

I think a usable calendar (that provides ics feeds) would be a terrific thing. I’ve attempted scraping from Meta (for things using the {{event}} template) but there are still lots of issues with that.

For my local meetup, we use a Google calendar, and make it public on our landing page http://www.wikiclubwest.org.au/

As far as getting people to turn up, we’re not having much luck. We have a good core of regulars who have been coming for up to ten years, but that’s only half a dozen people really and we rarely get anyone new showing up for more than one or two meetups.


#4

Nice guide, thanks!

I like the suggestion to have a meta meetup at least once a year. For the Bay Area meetups at least, it’s hard to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of particular styles because every-other-month is infrequent enough to introduce a few other variables. If we do hold a meta meetup this year, what about doing it outside of the regular Wiki Salon schedule?

It becomes unwieldly and tedious.

Agreed. I’d like to simplify. At the very least, I think we should consolidate the SF Meetup pages on Meta Wiki and English Wikipedia!