The Little Meetup That Could

2ed277a8bb1cc68c943fd84f3ce32782?s=47 Kylie
March 16, 2016

The Little Meetup That Could

A joint presentation on the history of Rails Girls ATL with tips and tricks for current and would-be meetup and user group organizers

2ed277a8bb1cc68c943fd84f3ce32782?s=128

Kylie

March 16, 2016
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Transcript

  1. The Little Meetup That Could A Rails Girls Atlanta Scrapbook

    Kylie Stradley & Pamela Vickers @RailsGirlsATL Great Wide Open 2016
  2. None
  3. But before there can be a leadership board…

  4. there has to be a meetup.

  5. And before there can be a meetup…

  6. there has to be a need.

  7. None
  8. Rails Girls Workshops • Founded by Linda Liukas & Karri

    Saarinen • November 2010 in Helsinki, Finland
  9. None
  10. None
  11. 1st Atlanta Workshop •December 2012

  12. None
  13. None
  14. None
  15. -Everyone what now?

  16. ¯\_()_/¯ -Us

  17. Workshop round 2 •May 2013

  18. what now? -Everyone

  19. Come to our monthly meetup! -Us

  20. • Paid Meetup.com account • ! • Confirmed venue •

    Tweeted January 2013 (1st Meetup)
  21. • Assigned “homework” • Scheduled a speaker January 2013 (1st

    Meetup)
  22. None
  23. January 2013 (1st Meetup) • ~20 people came • People

    said nice things • Used Google Hangouts for out-of-town workshop attendees
  24. None
  25. None
  26. Short Lessons • Set expectations early

  27. None
  28. Short Lessons • Set expectations early • Order vegetarian options

  29. Long(er) Lessons • Not every talk is for every attendee.

  30. 1 month later

  31. February 2013 Bug Fix • !+"#$ %

  32. February 2013 • Handpicked Project Euler problems

  33. • Handpicked Project Euler problems • Lower attendance despite higher

    RSVP count than first meetup February 2013
  34. & First Recruiter &

  35. Short Lessons • RSVP count != Attendance count (ordering food

    is hard) • Recruiters will find any technology meetup (but that’s not always bad)
  36. Long(er) Lessons • Not every talk is for every attendee.

    • There’s no formula for predicting attendance numbers.
  37. • Not every talk is for every attendee. • There’s

    no formula for predicting attendance numbers. • Don’t make assumptions about recruiters. Long(er) Lessons
  38. 1 month later

  39. March 2013 Bug Fix

  40. &Our Treasurer’s 1st RGATL &

  41. • Not every talk is for every attendee. • There’s

    no formula for predicting attendance numbers. • Don’t make assumptions about recruiters. Long(er) Lessons
  42. • Not every talk is for every attendee. Why are

    some talks better than others for our meetup? • There’s no formula for predicting attendance numbers. • Don’t make assumptions about recruiters. Long(er) Lessons
  43. 2 months later

  44. May 2013 ✨New feature✨ • Rolled out ToDo List project

    assignment • Slowly introducing Rails into the monthly assignments
  45. 1 month later

  46. June 2013 ✨New feature✨ • Offered milestone 1 of the

    Todo List as public Github repo
  47. & RGATL’s half birthday &

  48. & Kylie’s 1st RGATL &

  49. 2 months later

  50. August 2013 • Continued working through and reviewing ToDo List

    milestones • Bootstrap talk from ATLRUG’s Patrick van Stee to prepare for front-end focused milestone
  51. & Our Event Facilitator’s 1st RGATL &

  52. & Our Event Facilitator’s 1st RGATL &

  53. 2 months later

  54. October 2013 • Jordan Killpack gave talk on building silly

    apps to prep for 
 our November 
 “Silly Hacks Only” aka “Wackity Hack” event
  55. & 1st Absentee Organizer & Community Facilitated Meetup&

  56. 1 month later

  57. November 2013 ✨New Feature✨ • Regularly scheduled meetup was too

    close to Thanksgiving • Saturday afternoon hack event
  58. None
  59. The good news:

  60. None
  61. The less good news:

  62. Not a lot of people came to enjoy our coffee,

    snacks, and prizes. (
  63. Short Lessons • Set expectations for events, especially when hoping

    beginners will come to a hack event
  64. 1 month later

  65. December 2013 ✨New Feature✨ • Talk given by one of

    our regularly attending members
  66. & First year of RGATL &

  67. & Smallest Attendance of the Year &

  68. & First time handling the “but I saw that you

    had other male members, so I figured it was fine for me to come” situation. &
  69. None
  70. • You’re going to have awkward encounters when you organize

    community focused groups • Set clear expectations for who should attend your meetup Short Lessons
  71. • Not every talk is for every attendee. Why are

    some talks better than others for our meetup? • There’s no formula for predicting attendance numbers. • Don’t make assumptions about recruiters. Long(er) Lessons
  72. • Not every talk is for every attendee. Why are

    some talks better than others for our meetup? Recycle good talks. • There’s no formula for predicting attendance numbers. • Don’t make assumptions about recruiters. Long(er) Lessons
  73. • Not every talk is for every attendee. Why are

    some talks better than others for our meetup? Recycle good talks. • There’s no formula for predicting attendance numbers. Holidays make it even harder to predict. • Don’t make assumptions about recruiters. Long(er) Lessons
  74. None
  75. 1st Year Retrospective • Worked on projects and assignments as

    a group • Built membership base • Saw core members begin contributing in small ways
  76. Release Notes • Improved food ordering • Improved expectation setting

    for all events • Improved meetup content
  77. Release Notes • Improved food ordering • Order vegetarian options

    • There’s no formula for predicting attendance numbers
  78. Release Notes • Improved expectation setting for all events •

    Who should come • What they should bring • What they will learn
  79. Release Notes • Improved meetup content • Not every talk

    is for every attendee • Recycle good talks
  80. Release Notes • Improved food ordering • Improved expectation setting

    for all events • Improved meetup content
  81. None
  82. 1 month later

  83. January 2014

  84. Hothlanta 2014 January 2014

  85. Let’s try this again

  86. 1 month later

  87. February 2014 Bug Fixes • Made meetup location private for

    non-members • Added some leading questions for new members: “Are you a lady? If not: who are you here with?”
  88. February 2014 (With special guests from Atlanta chapters of PyLadies,

    WomenWhoCode, and Systers)
  89. Short Lessons • Joint community events are fun • No

    experience required content == higher attendance and engagement
  90. Long(er) Lessons • Time set aside for just conversation builds

    stronger community connections.
  91. 1 month later

  92. March 2014

  93. & Our Membership Outreach Coordinator’s 1st RGATL &

  94. Long(er) Lessons • Time set aside for just conversation builds

    stronger community connections.
  95. Long(er) Lessons • Time set aside for just conversation builds

    stronger community connections. • Our small meetup is a great place to foster new speakers.
  96. And now for something completely different

  97. April 2014 ✨New Feature✨

  98. Later that month

  99. April 2014 • ⚡ Lightning talks from four members ⚡

  100. & Our Sponsorship Coordinator’s 1st RGATL &

  101. Long(er) Lessons • Time set aside for just conversation builds

    stronger community connections. • Our small meetup is a great place to foster new speakers.
  102. Long(er) Lessons • Time set aside for just conversation builds

    stronger community connections. • Our small meetup is a great place to foster new speakers. ⚡Lightning talks⚡ are less intimidating for 1st time speakers.
  103. 1 month later

  104. May 2014 • ⚡ Lightning talks ⚡

  105. again.

  106. 1 month later

  107. June 2014 • ⚡ Lightning talks ⚡

  108. again?!

  109. None
  110. Long(er) Lessons • Time set aside for just conversation builds

    stronger community connections. • Our small meetup is a great place to foster new speakers. ⚡Lightning talks⚡ are less intimidating for 1st time speakers.
  111. Long(er) Lessons • Time set aside for just conversation builds

    stronger community connections. • Our small meetup is a great place to foster new speakers. ⚡Lightning talks⚡ are less intimidating for 1st time speakers. • Recognize organizer fatigue.
  112. 1 month later

  113. July 2014 • Attempted to revive project based meetup •

    Goals: make open source contributions more accessible, work on project as a group, renew excitement around shared progress
  114. July 2014 • Attempted to revive project based meetup •

    Goals: make open source contributions more accessible, work on project as a group, renew excitement around shared progress • Results: blank stares, intimidated members, no movement on any of the goals
  115. & Our Meetup Facilitator’s 1st RGATL &

  116. Long(er) Lessons • Time set aside for just conversation builds

    stronger community connections. • Our small meetup is a great place to foster new speakers. ⚡Lightning talks⚡ are less intimidating for 1st time speakers. • Recognize organizer fatigue.
  117. Long(er) Lessons • Time set aside for just conversation builds

    stronger community connections. • Our small meetup is a great place to foster new speakers. ⚡Lightning talks⚡ are less intimidating for 1st time speakers. • Recognize organizer fatigue. • Shape content around community’s immediate needs.
  118. Over the next several months

  119. Early Fall(ish) 2014 • Several great talks • Hit-or-miss on

    engagement
  120. Short Lessons • Just because a talk is great doesn’t

    mean it is great for our meetup
  121. Long(er) Lessons • Time set aside for just conversation builds

    stronger community connections. • Our small meetup is a great place to foster new speakers. ⚡Lightning talks⚡ are less intimidating for 1st time speakers. • Recognize organizer fatigue. • Shape content around community’s immediate needs.
  122. Long(er) Lessons • Time set aside for just conversation builds

    stronger community connections. • Our small meetup is a great place to foster new speakers. ⚡Lightning talks⚡ are less intimidating for 1st time speakers. • Recognize organizer fatigue. • Shape content around community’s immediate needs.
  123. At the end of the year

  124. None
  125. 2nd Year Retrospective • Talk based format • Became an

    established Atlanta meetup • More core members, and more core member involvement
  126. Release Notes • Improved expectation setting for events • Patched

    hole in Atlanta women’s meetups landscape with supplementary social meetup • Increased speaking opportunities for members • Improved talk selection based on our community’s needs

  127. Release Notes • Improved expectation setting for events • No

    experience required content == higher attendance and engagement • Time set aside for just conversation builds stronger community connections
  128. Release Notes • Patched hole in Atlanta women’s meetups landscape

    with supplementary social meetup • Joint community events are fun • Time set aside for just conversation builds stronger community connections
  129. Release Notes • Increased speaking opportunities for members • Our

    small meetup is a great place to foster new speakers • ⚡Lightning talks⚡ are less intimidating for 1st time speakers
  130. Release Notes • Improved talk selection based on our community’s

    needs • Just because a talk is great doesn’t mean it’s great for our meetup • Recognize organizer fatigue. Otherwise, content can suffer • Shape content around community’s immediate needs

  131. Release Notes • Improved expectation setting for events • Patched

    hole in Atlanta women’s meetups landscape with supplementary social meetup • Increased speaking opportunities for members • Improved talk selection based on our community’s needs

  132. None
  133. 1 month later

  134. January 2015 • New Year, New Environments! • Got everyone

    set up to do actual Ruby on Rails development in anticipation of working through a curriculum as a group
  135. Long(er) Lessons • Members who aren’t served directly by our

    content appreciated the opportunity to gain knowledge by volunteering.
  136. 1 month later

  137. February 2015

  138. Hothlanta 2015 February 2015

  139. 1 month later

  140. March 2015 • Community member presented on Ruby tool •

    Worked through RailsBridge curriculum
  141. None
  142. None
  143. Long(er) Lessons • Members who aren’t served directly by our

    content appreciated the opportunity to gain knowledge by volunteering.
  144. Long(er) Lessons • Members who aren’t served directly by our

    content appreciated the opportunity to gain knowledge by volunteering. Volunteering is easier when you have expectations about what you’ll be helping with.
  145. Long(er) Lessons • Members who aren’t served directly by our

    content appreciated the opportunity to gain knowledge by volunteering. Volunteering is easier when you have expectations about what you’ll be helping with. • Beginners like structured learning and opportunities to get help.
  146. 1 month later

  147. April 2015

  148. April 2015

  149. April 2015 • Held our first RailsBridge workshop with many

    of the coaches coming from our own Rails Girls community. • Held a meetup to keep working on the workshop materials
  150. Short Lessons • Stuff happens (like a power outage resulting

    in no lunch ***)
  151. 1 month later

  152. May 2015 • Held a meetup to keep working on

    the workshop materials • Ticket Giveaway for Github’s CodeConf in Nashville (several members attended)
  153. Long(er) Lessons • Members who aren’t served directly by our

    content appreciated the opportunity to gain knowledge by volunteering. Volunteering is easier when you have expectations about what you’ll be helping with. • Beginners like structured learning and opportunities to get help.
  154. Long(er) Lessons • Members who aren’t served directly by our

    content appreciated the opportunity to gain knowledge by volunteering. Volunteering is easier when you have expectations about what you’ll be helping with. • Beginners like structured learning and opportunities to get help.
  155. Long(er) Lessons • Members who aren’t served directly by our

    content appreciated the opportunity to gain knowledge by volunteering. Volunteering is easier when you have expectations about what you’ll be helping with. • Beginners like structured learning and opportunities to get help. • Going to a meetup alone for the first time is intimidating; going to a conference alone for the first time is more intimidating.
  156. 1 month later

  157. June 2015 • Presentation: “Git Workflow: Little Red Riding Hood

    and the Big Bad Ogre” • Workshop: “Git-it Git & GitHub”
  158. June 2015

  159. June 2015

  160. Short Lessons • It is possible to have too much

    of a good thing
  161. 1 month later

  162. July 2015 • One of our most popular presentations “A

    Day in the Life of a Full Time Developer”
  163. July 2015

  164. & Communication Coordinator’s 1st RGATL &

  165. Long(er) Lessons • Members who aren’t served directly by our

    content appreciated the opportunity to gain knowledge by volunteering. Volunteering is easier when you have expectations about what you’ll be helping with. • Beginners like structured learning and opportunities to get help. • Going to a meetup alone for the first time is intimidating; going to a conference alone for the first time is more intimidating.
  166. Long(er) Lessons • Members who aren’t served directly by our

    content appreciated the opportunity to gain knowledge by volunteering. Volunteering is easier when you have expectations about what you’ll be helping with. • Beginners like structured learning and opportunities to get help. • Going to a meetup alone for the first time is intimidating; going to a conference alone for the first time is more intimidating. • The best talks for a technology meetup aren’t always technology focused.
  167. 1 month later

  168. August 2015 Bug Fix

  169. August 2015 Bug Fix

  170. August 2015 • Try out “new” study group/team ongoing project

    format • Provided opportunity for members to sign up as participants or coaches
  171. August 2015

  172. August 2015

  173. 2 months later

  174. October 2015 • Andy Lindeman presented “Intro to Automated Testing

    with RSpec” (requested topic)
  175. Long(er) Lessons • Members who aren’t served directly by our

    content appreciated the opportunity to gain knowledge by volunteering. Volunteering is easier when you have expectations about what you’ll be helping with. • Beginners like structured learning and opportunities to get help. • Going to a meetup alone for the first time is intimidating; going to a conference alone for the first time is more intimidating. • The best talks for a technology meetup aren’t always technology focused.
  176. Long(er) Lessons • Members who aren’t served directly by our

    content appreciated the opportunity to gain knowledge by volunteering. Volunteering is easier when you have expectations about what you’ll be helping with. • Beginners like structured learning and opportunities to get help. • Going to a meetup alone for the first time is intimidating; going to a conference alone for the first time is more intimidating. • The best talks for a technology meetup aren’t always technology focused. • Make it easy for your community to tell you what they need.
  177. 2 months later

  178. December 2015

  179. Short Lessons • We still don’t know how to host

    a hackathons
  180. Long(er) Lessons • Members who aren’t served directly by our

    content appreciated the opportunity to gain knowledge by volunteering. Volunteering is easier when you have expectations about what you’ll be helping with. • Beginners like structured learning and opportunities to get help. • Going to a meetup alone for the first time is intimidating; going to a conference alone for the first time is more intimidating. • The best talks for a technology meetup aren’t always technology focused. • Make it easy for your community to tell you what they need.
  181. Long(er) Lessons • Members who aren’t served directly by our

    content appreciated the opportunity to gain knowledge by volunteering. Volunteering is easier when you have expectations about what you’ll be helping with. • Beginners like structured learning and opportunities to get help. • Going to a meetup alone for the first time is intimidating; going to a conference alone for the first time is more intimidating. • The best talks for a technology meetup aren’t always technology focused. • Make it easy for your community to tell you what they need. • Sometimes, Rails Girls just want to have fun
  182. None
  183. 3rd Year Retrospective • Structured-learning-with- occasional-talks based format • Hosted

    a RailsBridge workshop • Put plans in motion to share organization responsibilities
  184. Release Notes • Improved volunteering opportunities for members • Provided

    space for members to request content • Improved food ordering • Added opportunities for community members to organize and lead
  185. Release Notes • Improved volunteering opportunities for members • Members

    who aren’t served directly by our content appreciated the opportunity to gain knowledge by volunteering • Volunteering is easier when you have expectations about what you’ll be helping with • Beginners like structured learning and opportunities to get help
  186. Release Notes • Provided space for members to request content

    • The best talks for a technology meetup aren’t always technology focused • Make it easy for your community to tell you what they need
  187. Release Notes • Improved food ordering

  188. Release Notes • Improved volunteering opportunities for members • Provided

    space for members to request content • Improved food ordering • Added opportunities for community members to organize and lead
  189. Release Notes • Improved volunteering opportunities for members • Provided

    space for members to request content • Improved food ordering • Added opportunities for community members to organize and lead
  190. None
  191. Chae, Treasurer

  192. Megan, Communication Coordinator

  193. Britni, Event Facilitator

  194. Mallory, Membership Outreach Coordinator

  195. Kristin, Meetup Facilitator

  196. Anika, Sponsorship Coordinator

  197. Kylie, Co-Director

  198. None
  199. WIP • Board terms and responsibility handoff • Sponsorship •

    Attaining • Maintaining • Processing and accessing funds • ✨https://opencollective.com/railsgirlsatl✨

  200. WIP • Setting up formalized conference buddy system when we’re

    given tickets (thanks GWO for all the tickets!) • Hackathons: how even
  201. None
  202. + hello@railsgirlsatl.com , @RailsGirlsATL - opencollective.com/railsgirlsatl ,ZMJF4USBEMFZ
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  203. None