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WPwatercooler

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On this episode of WPwatercooler we’re going to be discussing meetups.
We’ll be discussing: how to find one,  how to run one, why would you do either and what are the motivations or running one or attending.

What is a meetup? A great way to get like minded people together and share ideas.

  • Steve: OCWordPress began with the intent of finding local WordPress talent in order to outsource overflow work for his company.
  • Natalie: SoCal WordPress MeetUp Los Angeles started Feb 2009 after reading an article about MeetUp.com. She started the WordPress meetup after finding a void at meetup.com
  • Patrick: Greenbay WI – Someone set up a group on MeetUp but never actually did anything with it even though there were plenty of people that joined the online group. He decided to run the meeting.
  • Se: WP for Small Businesses – The organizer for the group left the group so she decided to take over the group.

One of the hardest parts of organizing a meetup is finding the space. Here’s how some of the organizers handle that.

  • Steve: they outgrew their office rather quickly so he looked for a location for his business that could also handle a large gathering of people and move his company into there.
  • Suzette: WordPress for Artists – She found an art gallery that was willing to host the meetups.
  • Verious: Inland Empire meetup. They had a very hard time finding space. It took about 8 months to be able to find a regular location. Now they meet at a hacker space called Riverside IO.
  • Se: She works with the Small Business Dev Center and they have a satellite office she can use in Long Beach.
  • Chris: North San Diego County Meetup: One of the people that wanted to join the group is a firefighter and worked it out so they could use the firehouse for their meetups.

What’s a good way to come up with topics for your meetup? Have a companion Facebook group. Get your fellow attendees to join the group and keep the conversation going between meetups. Then you can source the group for topic ideas.

Topics are dependent on who is in the room/group. Find out if they’re designers or developers, end users or what. Don’t be afraid to have a small focus for your group. It’s often better to have a smaller turnout of like minded people than a large group of people at all levels.

Does anyone charge for their meetup? No. In the beginning, Natalie tried to charge to recoup costs for the space that she sometimes had to pay $100+ for. That didn’t work very well.

They’ve all found that no one wants to pay to attend a meetup no matter what the charge is.

Meetups are a good way to test out your material before presenting to a larger audience.

Happiness Bar: It’s a way for people to ask an expert questions they have about WordPress

If you’re looking for a WP meetup, go to wordpress.meetup.com. There are 490 groups with over 100k members. If you don’t find a local group, start a meetup! There are 19 meetups in the SoCal area. If you can’t find a local group, check meetwp.me They have an online meetup.

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