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Our Lessons Learned - Berlin Meetup organizer´s Meetup

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On May 21st, 50 Meetup organizers and aspiring organizers met in Berlin to discuss best practice.

If you are interested in knowing what makes a good Meetup event or how to nurture a good Meetup group, here are our collective insights and recomendations.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Our Lessons Learned - Berlin Meetup organizer´s Meetup

  1. 1. Our Lessons Learned Berlin Meetup Organizer´s Workshop // May 2015 Contact: Founder: Berlin Peace Innovation Lab Anne Riechert anneriechert@gmail.com
  2. 2. • First,  consider  your  target  audience;  who  you  would  like  to   join  your  group  or  event?  Then  make  sure  to  design  your   communication  (tone  of  voice,  keywords  etc.)  to  fit  that   specific  audience.     • Make  sure  to  invest  in  nurturing  a  good  community   culture.  The  longevity  and  success  of  a  group  depends  on   its  ability  to  define  itself  as  a  community  (ex.  soccer   enthusiasts),  and  not  as  a  list  of  activities  (playing  soccer   every  week).   • Name  your  group  in  a  way  that  attracts  the  audience  you   hope  will  sign  up.  Use  key  words  and  even  humour,  if   appropriate.   • Make  sure  that  the  “topic  tags”  of  your  group  are  correct,   when  you  create  the  group.  It  needs  to  match  the   “interests”  of  your  target  audience,  for  them  to  easily  find   you.   • Event  titles  are  vital.  “Don´t  call  it  “Meetup  #4”.  It  is  boring   and  people  won´t  know  what  will  happen.  Instead,  try  to   capture  the  spirit  of  the  activity  you  will  do  together.  Use   key  words  to  capture  the  attention  of  your  target  group.   Make  the  event  title  memorable  and  persuasive.   • Have  a  set  topic  or  purpose  for  your  event.  People  need   something  to  meet  around. Lessons learned
  3. 3. Lessons learned • Write  an  attractive  invitation,  which  sets  the   expectations  in  advance  and  lets  people  know  the   agenda  beforehand:  What  will  we  do  when  -­‐  and  for   how  long?   • Attendance:  Expect  around  50%  of  RSVPs  to  show  up.   • Make  sure  to  put  up  location  signs  in  advance,  so   people  can  find  your  meetup.   • Taking  attendance  is  a  good  way  to  keep  people   accountable.  Use  the  Meetup  mobile  app  or  print  the   attendee  list  and  people  sign  in  by  themselves.   • Use  name  tags,  it  makes  networking  smoother.   Masking  tape  is  a  cheap  and  easy  way  to  do  it.  Or  print   out  badges  via  Meetup.   • Have  snacks.  It  costs  so  little  and  means  so  much!   M&Ms  and  pretzels  are  great.   • Create  an  event  program  which  encourages  interaction   and  has  a  good  flow  of  activities.  People  want  to   socialise  and  learn  together,  not  just  get  lectured  to.     • Use  icebreakers  in  the  beginning  to  set  the  tone  and   make  people  feel  welcome.
  4. 4. Lessons learned • Be  mindful  of  people´s  time:  start  on  time,  stick  to  the   program  &  finish  on  time.  Go  for  drinks  or  food  after  the   event.  It  is  fun,  helps  people  network  and  strengthens   your  community   • To  grow  your  community,  encourage  your  core  group  to   bring  their  friends  next  time.   • Involve  your  group  to  find  speakers,  locations,  topics  etc.     • Have  empathy  with  your  members!  Know  who  is  in  your   group  and  what  their  expectations  are.  Talk  to  your   audience  about  what  they  want  -­‐  when  -­‐  where  -­‐  how   often  -­‐  how  long  etc.  You  can  use  free  online  surveys  or   questionnaires  e.g.    Survey  Monkey  or  Google  to  ask   participants  for  (anonymous)  feedback.   • Connect  your  Meetup  group  and  events  to  other  social   media  e.g.  Facebook  event  or  Facebook  group  to  drive   traffic  to  your  group.   • Create  a  Twitter  handle  (@)  and  hashtag  (#)  for  your   group  (if  appropriate  for  your  audience).  It  will  allow  you   to  connect  to  connectors  who  can  amplify  your  message.     • Make  sure  there  is  wifi  in  room  if  you  want  people  to   tweet.  Make  posters  with  wifi  name  and  password.  And   make  sure  people  can  read  it  from  afar.  
  5. 5. Lessons learned • Document  your  Meetup  event  with  pictures.  A  picture   speaks  more  than  1000  words  and  lets  new  members   know  what  to  expect.  Let  people”  opt  out”  (if  they  don't   want  to  be  photographed),  instead  of  “opt  in”.     • You  can  live  stream  for  free  via  the  Bambuser  app.  It  can   connect  directly  to  your  Facebook  group.  For  better  sound   quality,  use  a  bluetooth  microphone.   • Maintain  communication  with  your  group  out  of  event   situations.  Get  them  excited  in  advance  of  Meetups!  Get   them  chatting  in  the  comment  section.  Humour  is  a  good   community  building  tool.  So  joke  away!   • Use  the  Meetup  communication  tool  to  avoid  “spamming”   your  community  with  messages  they  might  not  want.     • Build  human  connections  to  your  community.  Create  a   leadership  team  to  share  the  community  interactions  if   the  group  is  too  big.     • If  you  organise  quality  content  it  is  only  fair  to  get  paid.   Experiment  with  payment,  to  find  out  what  is  appropriate   for  your  audience.    But  don’  t  make  it  too  “business  like”  -­‐   people  want  to  feel  part  of  a  community,  not  part  of  your   business  plan.     • Create  a  Meetup  organizers  Meetup  group  in  your  city  -­‐  to   get  better  together!
  6. 6. GOOD LUCK & HAVE FUN For questions contact: anneriechert@gmail.com

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