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Arranging a meetup


  • Blister bandages
  • First aid kit (you never know)
  • Toilet paper (you never know)
  • Tell participants to bring stuff

In-office lunch meetup

  • Hand out door code
  • Non-alcoholic drinks in the fridge
  • Order food (mind allergies and preferences like vegetarianism). We've bought wraps from Miias. Vegetarian ones done on request. Quicker if you call (073 320 75 56) or mail ( ahead.
  • Remember to inform all of the attendees if BYOL (buy your own lunch)
  • Post wifi details
  • Possibly: Make coffee, tea


  • Give receipts to bookkeeping
  • Print a list of attendees for bookkeeping

Team talk

  • Buy drinks & snacks
  • Have topics to discuss (involve the other team)
  • Short introduction

Topic ideas

  • Process (standups, retrospectives, estimation, code review)
  • Tools (ticket tracker, chat, deploy, review)

Traditional meetup


  • Prepare an introduction
  • Promote the meetup on Twitter

Around the HQ

Ahead of time

  • Buy drinks the day before so they are nice and chilly in time
  • Clear fridge, chill drinks
  • Set out garbage bins/trash bags
  • Empty garbage bins
  • Tidy up
  • Some place to put jackets and bags
  • Prepare a board for job postings
  • Put up our job postings
  • Set out bowls for snacks
  • Set out table for food
  • Napkins
  • Glasses/mugs
  • Bottle opener (and somewhere to throw caps)
  • Make sure we have wifi; post details
  • Helpful notes: drink fridge, bathroom, food and snacks (vegetarian, allergies)
  • Blankets if we're going to be outdoors when it's chilly

Just before

  • Lock unused offices
  • Move desks
  • Arrange chairs
  • Set out snacks
  • Hide secrets (maps, whiteboards…)
  • Make sure the dashboards are pretty ;)


  • If the meetup goes on after 21.00, the alarm will go off (make sure you remember your code!)

For an Open Space

  • Prepare sheets, pens and a board for topics
  • Prepare a room map


  • Buy disposable plates
  • Buy disposable mugs
  • Buy alcoholic beverages (~3 per head). Heavy! 25 people = 60 beers + some non-alcoholic = 4 people to carry.
  • Buy non-alcoholic beverages
  • Buy snacks/fruit


  • Food (pizza, wraps).
    • At least 1/3 vegetarian.
    • From somewhere close or the delivery time can be unreliable. (We've been bitten by this twice.)
      • If the food is cold (e.g. wraps), we might as well get it delivered a few hours ahead of time.
    • 16 pizzas for ~24 people seemed like just enough.
    • We have used online pizza/pizza hut and ordered large pizzas (8 slices) (2-3 slices per attendee).

Responsibilities during the meetup

  • Overall planner
  • Alarm
  • Greeter: watch the door, say hello as people arrive, check Twitter/Meetup/chats (maybe multiple people taking turns on this)
  • Food
  • Venue (setting out chairs, cleaning etc)
  • Master of Ceremonies (introduction, timekeeping)


  • Give receipts to bookkeeping
  • Print a list of attendees for bookkeeping


Open space

Example schedule

16:00: Doors open
16:00–16:30: Drink, snack, mingle
16:30–16:35: Welcome, intro
16:35–16:45: Suggest topics, mingle
16:45–17:15: Session 1
17:15–17:45: Pizza arrives! Eat, modify topics, mingle
17:45–18:15: Session 2
18:15–18:25: Modify topics, mingle
18:25–19:00: Session 3
19:00–21:00: Mingle
21:00: Leave! ;)

Example introduction

Welcome. Barsoom is a Rails development shop, …. We're hiring.

Practical: bathroom is there, pizza arrives at X.

Open space: topics on a board with M rooms and N time slots.

Point out rooms.

Feel free to move topics around, to repeat them, to remove your own or add new ones if you have an interesting discussion in the breaks.

One important law, the Law of Two Feet:

"If at any time during our time together you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing, use your two feet, go someplace else." You have the right and the responsibility to maximize your own learning and contribution. Don't waste time. Don't be offended if this happens.

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