All of us benefit in some way of communities. One of the obvious examples is this very plattform here. Without it i would probably not blog. Thanks for it at this point to the dev.to team!
Since 2 and a half year i am the main organizer of the Google Developer Group for cloud related topics in munich and i must admit it’s not easy. I mean i like the event themselves but organizing it in your spare time is challenging. I even run in the issue that it was impossible for me for more than 6 months to organize a meetup. There had been multiple reasons.
We organized a 2 day conference that was completely organized by a joined force of organizers of different meetups / communities called dachfest. It had been a huge success, i will write about it in another blog post. But it took all my spare time that i have from organizing meetups. It would have helped if i had more help organizing the meeetup group with someone else. Here comes the main point of this article.
You probably have been to meetups already or to un-conferences or or or.
The people that are organizing it need your help badly. How to help? And what is in for you? The last question should not be asked, but i know a lot of people do so we will try to answer it as well.
There are a lot of possibilities, most of them are based on the area you are in. In Europe / North America the plattform Meetup is used to organize communities to various topics. Also i know of Google Groups that is used to organize or twitter.
It gives me hard times to find speakers (an the meetup have 680 members…). Half of the talks on each meetup is held by me. That brings more overhead. You need to prepare talks for each meetup that takes time, to test research and build the presentation. Also it is kinda boring always seeing myself on stage as well as i’m not the all knowledge person, so basically it narrows the field of talks.
Everyone can give a talk, don’t be shy. No one will kill you or blame you if something does not go as planned. People are happy that it is not themselves up there.
Most meetups do something like lightning talks, short 5-10 Minute talks, try to start there or team up with a colleague to give a talk. We are all happy to have you and we will surly spend some time to go over your talk with you.
what’s in for me: Training! You improve your skill to speak in front of a crowd. This will help you when you talk to customers or with your fellow company people. Also you get references for talks that some conferences want to see before they consider your talks.
Another important topic is, where to meet. I don’t want to be fixed to one location / company. Communities should be independent and not reliant to company or govs. If you can provide space and some snacks (based on region also beer, obviously we are in bavaria) it is helpful. The easiest way is to contact the organizers directly, most of them are super happy to have you as host for the next meetup, but please be a little flexible with dates and be open to have someone at the meetup present. Because the will most likely happening in the evening or on weekends.
what’s in for me: You have a lot of tech folk at your office, most meetups offer like 5 min of advertising and recruiting talk. You can talk to a cpl of people that have a same problem stack / tech stack
The most time consuming option for shure. A lot of communities are looking for co-organizers ( Me for example). It’s hard to find reliable people that can give talks organize new meetups do some advertisement for the meetup, find speakers and so on.
Another option here is: There is no meetup / group for my topic. Easy create one! People will join you fast. I created the meetup and after two weeks ~ 100 People joined and i had about 30 people on our first meetup.
There is always a need for you. Just do it!
what’s in for me: Time management and organisation skills!
No problem we got you covered: Get involved in online communities like here. Take part in discussions, share your knowledge. Create tutorials / video tutorials. Or one of the coolest things: Contribute to open source.
Our whole world depend on open source projects, help us with a little bit of your time.
Thanks to all the people that are already organizing community work and are contributing to all of the above points: You Rock!