How to Run a Meetup

September 17, 2018
Michael Hayes
Michael Hayes

Co-Founder of RookieOven and Add Jam

Hopefully, my last post about organising a successful meetup was useful but I missed out a large part of making a meetup successful - actually running it.

Following the process of my first post, we know what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and most importantly why we’re doing it. Now we need to actually do it.

Tools and Services

When running a meetup there are lots of services that will help you. Eventbrite, and Facebook are all great, or you can roll your own. Basically, these services give you a web presence, a means to get a guestlist/tickets and some tools to help you promote the event and communicate with attendees.

What to use is up to you, each service has pros and cons, but it's not essential. With RookieOven we didn’t use anything to run it - we just promoted the event on Twitter and our mailing list and the meetup has been running successfully for 7 years.

Picking a tool doesn't lock you into using it forever. Experiment, try things out and if they aren’t working for you try something else. Most tools are free or have a small monthly cost so the overhead isn’t huge for trying them.

Find your audience

This is a marketing challenge like any other. Who is going to come? Where do they hang out (either in the real world or online)?

For many, the usual social media sites - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn - will be a good starting point but within these sites, there are communities and niches you will need to identify and spread your message within.

And don’t be lazy and just rely on the most used social networks. There are communities all over the place from Reddit to Slack, Discord and even Pokemon Go - wherever your audience may be hanging out.

Don’t forget the real world, either. Coworking spaces, other events and transport links are all valid places you can go to seek an audience for your event.

Consistency is key

Wait a minute, I used the same subheading in my last blog post. That’s because I cannot stress enough how important consistency is. You need to keep at it.

The running of a meetup is often a selfless task and you need to keep plugging away at it.

Seek help

You can’t do it on your own. The most successful meetups I see in Scotland aren’t being organised by a single person but by a team or people with a shared vision.

That’s true with RookieOven, over the years I’ve had huge amounts of help from the community to keep the meetups going. Often I felt like I was being a burden to people and would shy away from asking for help when I need it most but over the years I’ve realised you can only ask and people are welcome to say no.

Can we help?

As I said above, the RookieOven Meetup has run for so long because I’ve had help from the community. If you’re looking to get a meetup started is there anything we can do to help?

Offline and online we’re working to connect the Scottish tech ecosystem. Join our Slack Team.

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