Some friends in Europe reminded me of the first part of this article, so I decided to follow it up with Part II. So you've had the first meetup, probably didn't sell out and a lot of no-shows. What do you do?
Soldier on! So we promote more via in-person, SlideShare, email, mailing lists, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and every media you can. Especially good to promote through DZone, blogs, and other high impact sites.
If you see I try to book talks at least 6 weeks before so we have plenty of time to promote. Also if you get a speaker from a company or open source group, make sure they know all the information so they can help promote. To get speakers use your friends and co-workers (and yourself), but also contact open source groups, local cloud and software providers. Hortonworks, Microsoft, Alluxio, SnappyData, SkyMind, Confluent, DataBricks, Rackspace, Redis Labs, ODPi, Pivotal and others in your area are usually very interested in speaking and may sponsor food, drink and a space. I have partnered with an awesome startup accelerator / coworking lab for hosting most of the meetups, TigerLabs. I also have a great friend from my job, Milind who is extremely well organized and is helping us secure another venue in Metropark and getting additional speakers. He also did a great talk on Apache NiFi at our first meetup.
So, the main tips are:
- Promote via all social media, constantly! Use blogs and other media outlets.
- Talk to many vendors (contacts via twitter or their main website) for promotions, sponsorship, venues and speakers.
- Share your content via blog articles, GitHub source code, and SlideShare.
- Follow up and engage your meetup attendees, they are your community!
- Accept and embrace anyone willing to help you.
- Check out local universities and learning centers for participants and assistance. For a lot of students, this would be very helpful for them. They can also use a short talk as potential extra credit and of course, networking.
- Don't give up, you will have some meetups lightly attended, life happens. Keep going!
- Let everyone know you have a meetup, you would be surprised who doesn't know.
- Post a comment with questions, tips and anything else related to meet ups!
- Create a pipeline of speakers for a few months in advance, people's schedule change and you may have to cancel a speaker. So get a few lined up and keep a talk that you can do yourself (or a good friend) in case you need to do one last minute.