If you build it, will people come?
You’ve spent the time understanding what your members are wanting. You spoke with them, planned with them, and began implementing the meetups that were requested. Hopefully, you have started getting feedback on the meetups and evolving them to be as valuable as possible.
That is a key step in the scaling process. Let’s face it. You can “scale” a program but if your attendees aren’t happy with it, your meetups will fail. You need to go to your attendees and ask them about their happiness with the meetup. Was it valuable? Was it worth your time? Will you come back? Those types of questions will give you insight into how you should proceed.
Working with event feedback
Let’s say the feedback you get is about how the meetup was valuable, and they want to come back. That’s a green light! Add another meetup and replicate your recipe for success, but do it slowly. The key to successful scaling is to scale slowly. That may sound like an oxymoron, but it’s true! You never want to scale so quickly that you can’t keep up with attendance or registration. Similarly, when scaling too fast, you can begin losing value because you can’t plan appropriately.
Build strategic community evens plan
When looking at what the process of scaling meetups entails, remember that you need to plan. You need to decide how many more meetups you want to plan for and what their frequency will be. It’s also important to create a schedule that allows for top tier content. Unless it’s a networking meetup which might require different planning since you may not have a speaker come, but instead create an agenda for the networking.
Include your community volunteers
In my opinion, one of the most important parts of scaling your meetups is to find volunteers. It’s okay to get help and your attendees want to participate. Many attendees are interested in getting more involved, and helping with planning or being there to implement is key. Like Aaron White, the Groups Program Manager at Anaplan, said, “Find reliable leaders and organizers first! They don't have to be topical experts or have solid presentation skills, but they do have to be passionate about the topic and excited to help bring together others who might share that passion”.
Don’t forget to make things easy for your volunteers, your attendees, and yourself. Take the time to plan early and plan often. When you put all of this together, it will produce results tenfold. As always, by keeping your attendees at the core of why you are creating and scaling these meetups, you can never lose.
May 24, 2022
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