Sending out a great big Happy Holidays and THANK YOU to all our members! You’ve made our Meetups incredibly successful this year. I’m so happy to have been able to change locations TWICE for WordPress St Pete without missing a beat either time. That’s a testament to how strong we’re becoming as a community.
Another big thank you to Joe LoPreste and Steve Curtis for bringing back our Tampa Meetup group and making it such a huge success. Great location, amazing attendance, and great talks! Keep up the amazing work for 2019!
Are any of you wishing there was a Meetup group closer to your neighborhood? YOU can make that happen. The Meetups don’t work without the community involvement and most of that time that just means making a small commitment to finding a place to meet and a regular time each month. Our organizing team is very happy to help you folks get started, get the word out and get meetups happening in your area: you just have to step up and let us know you want to do it. Some of us will even help out and drive to your remote locations and do talks 🙂
If you want to start a group in your area, I always recommend you don’t try to do it alone; I know I couldn’t run WordPress St. Pete without the amazing help of Elaine Simmons and Jen Novak. Make sure you’ve got someone else who has your back so that the responsibility doesn’t rest solely on your shoulders. Finding a space isn’t that hard, either: start with your local community library. Biggest requirement is a meeting room that you can lock down on a regular basis (ie at least once a month in the evening), and some form of projection equipment for talks so your speakers can put up slides and do demos on a screen everyone can see.
You don’t have to always do demos and talks, though. You can do solely a ‘Ask Us Anything’ style meetup and just help people fix their websites or get more familiar with WordPress. Do a CoWorking meetup where you just get together at a coffee shop (or take over a meeting/study room at the library) and work on your web projects together. The most important thing to do, honestly, is to just build community.
You should also be getting a year-end Survey email from WordPress to provide feedback on our Meetups for the year. Please, don’t ignore these! Be constructive with your feedback: let us know what we did right, and let us know what you wish we had done and what we can do to make the meetups more useful to you.
I didn’t mean this post to go on so long, but I thought it was important to give you folks a end of year wrap up and to let you know how important you are to the success of this group. Thank you so much for supporting us and for supporting each other. Have a wonderful and safe holiday with your loved ones and here’s looking forward to another great year for our WordPress Meetups in 2019!