Oh shit! the cops are here!
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  • 1. Oh sh*t! The cops are here!Or, how to organize (almost) anything in a hurry
  • 2. Apologies in advanceIm going through a lot of slides really fast.
  • 3. $ whoamiMatt GaugerSoftware Developer @bendyworks
  • 4. But more importantly:Meetups:Organizer, Web414 in MilwaukeeOrganizer, RubyMKEOrganizer of short-lived JavaScript Meetup in MilwaukeeOrganizer, BarCamp Milwaukee (3 or 4 years now?)Member, Milwaukee Makerspace (founded November2010)Founder of the "Mondays in Milwaukee" RideCreator of I Love Fuzz Fest (concert)(September 3rd, 2011 in Milwaukee -- be there!)
  • 5. This is not:A talk about organizing your closet.
  • 6. (not my closet, btw)
  • 7. This is a talk about:Organizing people.
  • 8. This is a talk about:Organizing events,meetups, concerts, bikerides, and other thingsthat I have done.
  • 9. This is a talk about:(For other things, yourmileage may vary.)
  • 10. Problem:Youd like to hang out withpeople and talk about X.
  • 11. Solution:Start a meetup.Youre the leader.Congratulations.
  • 12. How to organize "things"Act like a leader.
  • 13. How to organize "things"Social engineering is yourfriend here:If you act like youre incharge, people will listento you.
  • 14. How to organize "things"Say "Yes, and..." tovalidate other people andget them to do things foryou.
  • 15. How to organize "things"This does not mean thatyou should lie to people!
  • 16. How to organize "things"Apologies to everyonethat now thinks Im a jerk.
  • 17. How to organize "things"When you need things done,you have two choices:●Do it yourself.●Delegate.Remember that you dont haveto do everything yourself!
  • 18. How to organize "things"Get the word out.Start with a web presence.
  • 19. How to organize "things"Suggestions:●Facebook page●Google Site (esp. for non-technical co-organizers.)●Twitter account (hook it up to Facebook page.)●Craigslist, maybe?●Meetup.com
  • 20. How to organize "things"Depending on yourintended audience /membership, a webpresence may not matter.
  • 21. How to organize "things"Cyclists werent on Twitterand Facebook the sameway that tech people are.Thats reality.
  • 22. How to organize "things"Technical meetups, on theother hand, are a loteasier to market on theweb.
  • 23. How to organize "things"Ill say it again:Get the word out.
  • 24. How to organize "things"Go to other meetups andevents related to yourevent. Post online.Talk a lot. To everyone.
  • 25. How to organize "things"Have something to giveaway that will remindpeople of your thing.Moo cards are great!
  • 26. How to organize "things"Convince people that it isthe greatest thing that willever happen, and if theymiss it they will regret itfor the rest of their life.
  • 27. How to organize "things"Also, if it is at all possiblethey might get job leads atyour meetup, mention that(mostly true at most techmeetups.)
  • 28. Organizing on the ground.Things will go wrong.
  • 29. Organizing on the ground.Things will go wrong.The cops might show up.
  • 30. Organizing on the ground.
  • 31. Organizing on the ground.Make sure you havedonuts.
  • 32. Organizing on the ground.Which is to say:Be prepared for anything.
  • 33. Organizing on the ground.If it is a public event,Get event insurance.
  • 34. Organizing on the ground.It sucks if people get hurt.It sucks more when yourepaying for it.:. Get event insurance.
  • 35. Organizing on the ground.Keep your cool.
  • 36. Organizing on the ground.Dont get too drunk atyour event.(This is a rookie mistake.)
  • 37. Organizing on the ground.This is really importantwhen, for example:
  • 38. Organizing on the ground.You need take apart ahuge PA system, in thepitch dark, with a bunch ofdrunk "volunteers" whohave never handled audioequipment before.
  • 39. Organizing on the ground.Your volunteers will look likethis:
  • 40. Organizing on the ground.Co-organizers and how topick them:
  • 41. Organizing on the ground.Pick people who can alsokeep their cool.
  • 42. Organizing on the ground.A good bet is that theyrefar more organized in theirpersonal life than you are.
  • 43. Organizing on the ground.And far more passionateabout your topic than youare, too.
  • 44. Organizing on the ground.Theyre also the peoplewho are constantlyreminding you to do thatthing that you said youddo.
  • 45. Organizing on the ground.Again, socially engineer orguilt trip them into helpingyou.
  • 46. Organizing on the ground.Having a location isimportant for, you know,physically inhabitingsimilar space with people.
  • 47. Organizing on the ground.Some possible options fora meetup location:
  • 48. Organizing on the ground.Coffeeshops, universities,bookstores, Makerspaces,startups, and bars.
  • 49. Lessons learned:Hold your meetup at leastonce.
  • 50. Lessons learned:You may be surprised tofind that the eventmarkets itself after that.
  • 51. Lessons learned:Even if the first meetupfelt like a total failure.
  • 52. Lessons learned:In software we say,"Plan one to throw away."
  • 53. Lessons learned:In Milwaukee, theJavaScript meetup washeld once, with only itsfounders in attendance,before being deleted fromMeetup.
  • 54. Lessons learned:But thats OK!
  • 55. Lessons learned:We ended up pouringmore effort into RubyMKE
  • 56. Lessons learned:Get food if people wouldnormally eat around thattime (6PM & later.)
  • 57. Lessons learned:Food sponsorships aresomething you can sellpossible sponsors on.
  • 58. Lessons learned:Put the sponsors logo onyour website and talkabout them a lot if theyagree to sponsor you.
  • 59. Lessons learned:Have someone act as a"greeter."They should recognizenew people and makethem feel welcome.
  • 60. Lessons learned:You will probably have tobe the greeter.Toastmaster it up.
  • 61. Lessons learned:Be aware of peoplesskill levels and needs.
  • 62. Lessons learned:For tech meetups, thismeans matching speakersand talks to the averageknowledge level of youraudience.
  • 63. Lessons learned:For a bike ride, thismeans planning a ridethat wont be too extremefor people who are casualcyclists.
  • 64. Lessons learned:For a concert, matchingthe bands that play toyour audience.
  • 65. Lessons learned:Distilling all of this:Know your audience.
  • 66. Lessons learned:Identify the passionatepeople in your audience.
  • 67. Lessons learned:Cultivate these folks asfuture speakers andleaders of your group.
  • 68. Lessons learned:One of the greatestcompliments, for me, isthat I can walk away froma group and it willcontinue to exist.
  • 69. Lessons learned:That what I created wasimportant enough thatpeople continued to do itlong after I leave.
  • 70. Thank you.