Tech meetups are a great place to socialise, talk shop and learn new skills. In London you’re spoilt for choice, in fact you have to be picky. However, if you live somewhere under-served by technology gatherings then why not start one yourself?
We started a local tech meetup and I’m sharing our learnings in case they are valuable. I’d also previously organised much larger events in London but that’s a different challenge.
Finding a good venue for your events is important. At a small scale, local pubs are your friend. However, be careful not to exclude people who don’t drink and it’s always good to have food available.
You want somewhere that is easy to get to but that is quiet enough to have conversations in. Feel free to move events around until you find somewhere that works for you.
We were using meetup.com but we didn’t find it very valuable for attracting attendees and for a paid service it feels far from polished. We got lots of group members but few people actually showing up. Meetup.com appears to have quite a problem with spam and I’m not sure if all these members were even real people.
A low-tech tactic is to put up posters in prominent positions and by having something showing your group name at meetings you can catch the attention of passers by. Promoting in local Facebook groups can also be an effective method of becoming known.