Local WordPress Meetups (Mine and Yours)

Local WordPress Meetups, versus WordCamps and other similar events, are really cool events if you can find them in your area.

Luckily, I live in a place where there are meetups for users, for developers, for those looking to get started in WordPress, and everything in between. Needless to say, I’m proud of the Atlanta-area WordPress community (speaking of which, are you coming to WordCamp Atlanta?).

Local WordPress Meetups

A few years ago, I participated in my first local WordPress meetup: WordPress Gwinnett. It was generally what you’d expect. There were neat people, solid topics that were being discussed, and people learning about what other people were up to in their day-to-day with WordPress.

But then life happened (in a good way, to be clear) and I had to step away; however, things have settled and I’m ready to get back into attending the meetups the first of which is this week.

Local WordPress Meetups

One of the things I enjoy most about local WordPress meetups is meeting other people who are doing really cool things with WordPress. After all, it’s near impossible to try to cover everything with WordPress without adequate time, right?

Besides, I think many of us spend time specializing rather than generalizing which means that we’ve all got something to offer one another.

WordPress Gwinnett

I don’t know how your local meetup is structured (though I’d be interested to hear, so please share it in the comments), but for the upcoming year ours is going to consist of the following:

  • A happiness bar in which people can drop by to get answers to their questions,
  • A developer-oriented talk in which we’ll be covering a variety of topics throughout the year.

We’re meeting on the third-Thursday of every month for a couple of hours. For more information, be sure to checkout the meetup page (though we’re working on a separate, more official and organized website that should be launching sooner rather than later).

Despite the fact that I’ve not been involved for the past year-to-year-and-a-half, I have to share that I’m excited to be participating in the group with the following people.

If you’ve not meet any of them (or you’re not following them via Twitter), I highly recommend it. These are really bright people doing some really neat things.

Over the course of the year, I hope to share a bit about some of the things that have happened are the local meetup, some of the swag that we offer, and the content that’s available to be shared via GitHub.

In the meantime, if you’re in the Atlanta-area (or the northern suburbs), then feel free to checkout the meetup page, RSVP, and stopby this week.

And Your Local Meetup?

All that said, each meetup is a bit different, right? To that end, I’m curious as to how you run your local meetup or how your local meetup is setup.

I’d love to be able to exchange and evaluate ideas if for no other reason than to see what works, what doesn’t, and see what can be done better to make sure our local WordPress meetups are of the highest quality.

If nothing else, perhaps it’ll set the tone for the city-level meetups (or state-level meetups depending on how you look at it) and will help the WordPress economy continue to grow.

8 Replies to “Local WordPress Meetups (Mine and Yours)”

  1. http://www.meetup.com/JXNWP-meetup/

    We have a meetup that happens twice a month. We alternate the format of the sessions. Once a month we have a ‘talk’ about working with WordPress that is generally approachable by people getting started out, but sometimes hits on things at a developer level.

    The other monthly event is more informal, either ‘show and tell’ or what we have dubbed ‘bring out your dead’, where people bring issues they have been struggling with and other meetup members try and help out.

    1. We have a meetup that happens twice a month. We alternate the format of the sessions. Once a month we have a ‘talk’ about working with WordPress that is generally approachable by people getting started out, but sometimes hits on things at a developer level.

      Cool – this approach sounds neat. I kinda dig it.

      The other monthly event is more informal, either ‘show and tell’ or what we have dubbed ‘bring out your dead’, where people bring issues they have been struggling with and other meetup members try and help out.

      I love the name! I think this is a cool idea. Perhaps we’ll adopt the same ;P.

  2. The meetup in Bern has a discusion round oj a predifined topic.The person leading the meetup does a bit of preperation so that they can moderate the discussion.

    We normally have around 8 attendees with about a third who are regular. I have realized that the numbers do not mater but the quality of the discussions.The discussions have allowed us to support people with different technical backgrounds.

    1. The meetup in Bern has a discusion round oj a predifined topic.The person leading the meetup does a bit of preperation so that they can moderate the discussion.

      This is very similar as to how we run ours.

      We start with a Happiness Bar then move into a pre-defined talk developer talk. We try to keep it at a higher level so not to turn off those who are just starting, but we try to also expose ideas that will help people get better at what they’re doing.

      We normally have around 8 attendees with about a third who are regular. I have realized that the numbers do not mater but the quality of the discussions.The discussions have allowed us to support people with different technical backgrounds.

      Interesting! We have just a few as well. I was always curious as to how others had in terms of their turn out, as well, so this has been neat to see.

  3. My local meetup is WordPress Edinburgh in Scotland. It’s been running about 18 months, and we held a WordCamp last November.

    It’s grown steadily – we had our latest meetup yesterday evening and for the first time I can remember in a while we had a waitlist. I think we had 22 attendees. Usually we have a talk or an open discussion, then people chat among themselves. Last night’s talk was on SEO & Google hacking.

    I did ask the organiser about doing a Happiness Bar – he thinks it would be good as a separate event. I think it would be good to do as there are a number of WP users who show up who just want to learn more about how to use their sites or solve issues themselves, but need a bit of practical help. I know when I was starting out with WordPress it was helpful to be shown things.

    1. My local meetup is WordPress Edinburgh in Scotland. It’s been running about 18 months, and we held a WordCamp last November.

      This is so cool to hear from someone across the pond :).

      It’s grown steadily – we had our latest meetup yesterday evening and for the first time I can remember in a while we had a waitlist. I think we had 22 attendees. Usually we have a talk or an open discussion, then people chat among themselves. Last night’s talk was on SEO & Google hacking.

      Coming back to our meetup last week, we ended up with more people than we’ve had in a while and it was awesome.

      The topics you’ve mentioned are interesting. We’re about to do some deep dives on developer-related stuff but that comes after the happiness bar. What was awesome, though, was that most of the people who came to the happiness bar ended up staying for the developer talk.

      I think it would be good to do as there are a number of WP users who show up who just want to learn more about how to use their sites or solve issues themselves, but need a bit of practical help. I know when I was starting out with WordPress it was helpful to be shown things.

      You’re spot on. Each meetup is different so you gotta gauge is properly based on that. That is, we’ve gotta tailor what we’re doing to the people who are there.

  4. The Brisbane Meetup (http://www.meetup.com/WordPress-Brisbane/) is held once a month, usually there will be a speaker who presents a topic of their choice, and after that we all head up to the rooftop and drink beer and eat pizza. Most times it will be a presentation but recently had a Woocommerce workshop so there’s always plenty of variety. Once or twice a year we’ll have a meetup that’s strictly networking with no speaker, these seem to be the most popular. We’re currently looking at potentially introducing some round table discussion meets in the future.

    It’s hosted by Ephox (they acquired MoxieCode last year, the authors of TinyMCE) which is situated literally around the corner from a Human Made office so we have some very well known and reputable attendees most nights.

    I’ve been going along since WordCamp Brisbane mid last year and had the privilege of being invited to speak at this month’s meetup.

    1. That sounds awesome.

      Our previous meetup used to go out to eat afterwards; however, that was done just after we had our first child so I ended up heading home to help take care of that :).

      I like the current structure that we have (the Happiness Bar followed by a Developer’s Talk), though we’re constantly looking to improve the whole experience.

      And nice that you’re right there with Human Made. That’s pretty cool :).

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