Event Management

Starting Your Community Meetup Program

April 26, 2022

Head of Community @ metadata.io

You’ve done the work to evaluate what programs are needed to help achieve your community goals. These could be networking groups to help with engagement, to thought leadership groups that will drive your brand into the next century. No matter what you chose, you’re now wondering what needs to happen to make these meetups successful, or even really just where to start.

Work With Community Feedback

One common theme that you will always see is the importance of including your members in any planning process. Many community teams consist of one community manager- that’s it. So working with your members to get their opinion, and their volunteer help is essential to making these successful. 

Take the time to speak with members and learn from them. Ask them how they want to get involved, and the types of meetups they find important. This can be an easier task inside of customer communities, because so many internal employees are already speaking with customers, so you can tap into their knowledge. No matter what- take time to ask questions and learn.

Community Meetup Framework

Once you have spent the necessary time learning about what your members are wanting, you can then begin to create a structure for success. For a successful structure, you will need:

  1. What type of Program?
  2. Why that type of Program?
  3. What medium will this program be? (meaning, will it be asynchronous chat, in person, remote, hybrid, etc.)
  4. Who will help lead this program?
  5. What is the frequency of this Program?
  6. What will make it successful?
  7. What does success look like from this Program?

Answers to these questions are imperative because it will drive your next step. For example, “who will help lead this program?”. If your answer is volunteers, then you need to source reliable and responsible volunteers from your champions program or your community to help facilitate these meetups. If the question is “what will make it successful/what does success look like?”, then you need to spend some time creating metrics and ways to measure that success.

As always, keep talking to your members. Share the learnings with them and shop those ideas around. Figure out from your members which is the best program, and even better, which members can volunteer to lead these programs. These members will want to see the meetups succeed even more if they are the ones leading the meetups. 

Once you’ve gotten to this point, you’ll need to evaluate everything you’ve done so far. Make sure you are happy with your success plan, and that it’s what the community wants, and what the community needs. From there, we will start looking at how to scale these meetups that you established.

Katie Ray
Head of Community @ metadata.io

April 26, 2022

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