[kwlug-disc] Creative Mornings

Richard Weait richard at weait.com
Mon Apr 28 13:55:46 EDT 2014


On Sat, Apr 26, 2014 at 3:10 PM, Chamunks Arkturus <chamunks at gmail.com> wrote:
[removed the cc:. sent to kwlug only.]
> If someone was to ask how to get a monthly meeting over an special interest
> what would the KWLUG-Desc list say.

Dunno about the rest of kwlug, but I have some thoughts on this.

First.  Know your audience.  Everything you do in organizing an event
will be biased by what you think you know about your intended
audience.

> Things like where to host.

No venue is perfect.  Any venue is better than no venue.
Super-dependent on your event.  How many will you host?  Are they
paying for the venue?  Are you?  How many will RSVP?  How many will
show up?

What resources do you require?  Projector, PA, a meal, a gluten free
meal, a paleo meal, a non-legume meal, wheelchair access, wifi, or
wired Internet access, surtitles for hearing impaired, room for baby
carriages?  You have to know all of this, or adapt to it when you look
for a replacement venue.

"Free" venue?  Understand how you are actually paying them; custom,
attention, good will, ....  Thank the venue.  Thank your sponsor /
host.  Thank your special guests / speakers / exhibitors.  Thank
everybody; don't cost ya nothin'.

Other venue-things: transit-proximate? f(r)ee parking? well lit
sidewalks? good neighbourhood? Are you hosting during business hours,
before / after business hours / weekend?  How long is your event?  How
close are the toilets? Can attendees sneak out without disturbing
others?

Are you rotating dates and / or venues to reach a wider audience or
going for a steady gig at $location on $dayOfMonth.  Weekly? Monthly?
Quarterly? Adhoc?  All of those will have an impact. You decide if
that is the impact you want.

> Stuff to watch out for.

Everything.

> Places to promote to.

Depends on your goals.  Do you want to grow?  How soon will you
outgrow the venue you selected (or settled for)? In short, promote to
two groups.  1) those you know will have an interest, those who have
attended previously, those who are in similar groups. 2) promote to
those who might possible have an interest.  Don't be a spammy jerk
though.  Don't cannibalize another group, owrk with them to improve
their event instead.

Don't expect all of your outreach to work the first time.  Or the
twelfth.  Keep it up.  Do a bit at a time.  Slow and steady.
Encourage happy attendees to spread the word to places that you can't
reach or didn't think of.

Many people will give you advice, and never attend your event or that
of anybody else.  Ignore them.  If you are doing an in-person event,
and they absolutely will not attend, they aren't your audience.

Lots of General stuff above, here is something practical and specific.
 Meetup.com is expensive (US$72 / 6 months) to host an event, but does
some promotion for you.  And to a target audience that has already
decided to go out to a local meeting.  That is an important selector.
There is no F/LOSS equivalent to meetup.  it isn't about the web site,
mailing list and scheduling tools; it's the audience.

Last thing.  If you are organizing and launching an event, replace
yourself as soon as possible.  Get / build / recruit trusted
lieutenants to share parts of the organizational burden.  Get them to
do it better than you do.  Have them take more responsibility.  Ensure
that they can and will run the event if you are on vacation, lose
interest, move away, whatever.  Once the event can survive and thrive
without the visionary founder, it is a successful community.




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