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Meetup Strategy

The goal of this document is to provide repeatable insight into how we execute on Meetups, both Basho as lead and Basho as a guest. You'll notice a distinct focus on beginners & developers.

Let's go over our terms before mapping out the timeline.

Types of Events

Meetups run by Basho Visiting local Meetup at Tier 1 event [in beta]
Lecture Lecture Annual Bashochat
Hack Night Hack Night Private Briefing

A Lecture is an event when we line up a speaker to talk for a majority of the event [45 min - 60 min] and focuses on sharing an expertise or an experience [Introduction to X or How We do Y].

A Hack Night is a format with a shorter speaking slot [10-20 minutes] and focuses on people coding together.

A Show and Tell is where the host gives a brief introduction [5 minutes] and then passes the stage to 2 or more speakers who go into how they're building their application [15-20 minutes each]. Speakers are recommended to make the topic conversational in the sense that it has natural breaks in the talk track and "this is what we're doing, does this apply to you?" type of calls to action. The topic can dig into solving a particular distributed systems use case and a little about the how. Target a developer audience with appreciation for the beginner and advanced audience member (it's a tough balance, feel free to give a little to both).

A Tier 1 event is somewhere we have a booth and want to get a little something extra in our community efforts. These can be causal get-togethers or more formal briefings on product. We can also make an effort to attend or start a Meetup to overlap with events if we feel confident we can capture part of the audience's attention. This works well when done annually around a given event.

Timelines

To host one of these events smoothly, you should schedule a Meetup 3 weeks ahead of time.

Meetup Kits

We want to standardize on a Meetup kit so events become easy to run through. These include:

  • Signage (usually a pop-up stand)
  • More than enough stickers
  • A unique giveaway (i.e. Basho pint glass, stress ball, bobbleheads)

Budget

We have between $200-$1,000 a month to support Meetup activities. Depending on the month, these funds could be allocated to between 3 to 5 events. We're looking for lightly budgeted lift here.

Options:
If you have a compelling, measurably-audience-grabbing idea for our Meetups, definitely share it. There are times that will be worth the extra effort and we're glad to get the idea. Open an Issue here or shoot me an email.

If you feel your local Meetup could benefit from more funds, you're welcome to work on local sponsorships that Meetup.com allows.

3+ Weeks Out

  • Post details to appropriate Meetup.com community
  • Ensure the venue is set correctly
  • Recommended settings:
    • A Tuesday-Thursday night
    • From 7:00pm - 9:00pm
    • Topic is descriptive (more on that later)
    • Description is detailed (more on that later)
  • Once details are filled in, use the Announcement feature to broadcast it

Other tips:

  • Wait to use the Announcement feature until you have all details listed above complete

2 Weeks Out

  • If you haven't already, finalize settings and use the Announcement feature to broadcast it
  • Add your event to the latest release notes
  • Announce the event on IRC, over Twitter and/or elsewhere (Reddit, LinkedIn)
  • Make sure to have whatever cables you'll need for the presentation
  • If you're using slides, open them up to comment to the community alias which includes individuals who volunteered to help internally to Basho

1 Week Out

  • If you're using slides, they're due back to you this week
  • Send an email to the Meetup list as a last hurrah (here's an example)
  • Don't be shy about posting to your personal networks
  • Let us know over Twitter and we're happy to RT
  • Confirm vendors are lined up for food & drink

Day of

  • Setup signage provided at least 30 minutes early
  • Make sure entering the facility is clearly marked
  • Have a projector setup and a connection ready with your laptop
  • Be ready to be the host - smiling, welcoming, open to new attendees
  • Keep a tally of attendees and get business cards of people who would appreciate follow up
  • Keep an eye out for interested members who could help coordinate the event or speak in the future

Day after

  • Send your results and other notes to the community alias
  • Send follow-ups
    • Thank you's to those who contributed (speakers, sponsors)
    • Email to attendees with answers to open questions
  • Post notes to Meetup.com space