February 26, 2016

How to Host a Tech Meetup

The world of technology and digital marketing evolve at such a fast pace that it’s almost impossible to stay up to date. For this reason, there’s been a rise of meetups where programmers, marketers, designers and entrepreneurs can get together and geek out on the latest tech. So much so, that this has picked up as a business model, one that anyone with enough ambition can replicate. To help you navigate the planning process for your very own tech meetup series, here are six steps that you ought to follow:

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1. Do your research

Before taking any actions, you need to do analyse the landscape. What other meetups are happening in your town? Make a quick list of every “competitor” and figure out their value propositions. By the end of this process you should be aware of any gaps in the market that you can fill. Tools like Meetup can help you find what everyone else is doing, so you can move on to our second step.

 

2. Find your voice

With your competition in mind, it’s now time to figure out what angle your event will have. You should differentiate yourself as much as possible and be unique. Get as creative as you want, after all, it’s your brand and your rules.

One aspect that you can innovate in is the format of the meetup. Are people going to be standing or sitting? Will you host panel discussions or create a more interactive experience with your audience? It’s also important to strike the right balance between conferences and networking. Your attendees will definitely want to meet each other, but at the same time also get further value out of your gathering.

 

3. Build your platform

Once you have your angle figured out, it’s time to get down to the more hands-on work. Owning a website, social media profiles and accounts in meetup sites will cover the basics.

You should also decide at this point in time what your business model will be and if you’ll sell the tickets or you just require RSVP. Take into account that if people are not paying for their seats you will have a big no-show count, so plan accordingly.

When searching for a location, make sure it fits the format of your event. This means that if the focus is on a speaker at the front, the setting will be much different than if it’s pure networking. The medium is the message, so consider your location carefully.

 

4. Promote, promote, promote

With a solid platform to rely on it’s finally time to hit those social networks and go for it. Create your Facebook event and start sharing it in every channel possible (that makes sense). Don’t forget to spread the word on relevant online forums and Facebook groups that relate to your key message. If you use Google Analytics or Facebook’s pixel you’ll be able to track your campaigns. See what works and optimise the whole process.

 

5. Keep in touch

It’s no use spending so much time on promotion if people are just going to come and go without leaving a trace. You need to be able to keep in touch with them to send them promotional messages about your next event. Your database will quickly become your business’ biggest asset.

Racking up those email signups, Facebook likes or twitter followers should be a priority in every event. Building your brand is a difficult task and you’ll need all the supporters/followers you can get in a short period of time.

Another way to keep the conversation going is to start a Facebook passion page or group to keep ideas flowing and encourage people to share their learnings, as well as keep in touch with you. This is a good way to upload pictures and videos of your event, summaries of keynote speeches and all the content that you can possibly come up with.

 

6. Innovation is your job

Even if your first meetup runs smoothly enough, there’ll always be something you can improve for the next event. Your audience will get bored if you repeat the same formula too many times. Try different subjects, speakers and set ups to surprise your guests and keep everyone engaged.

The same idea applies to your promotion. You can use Analytics or Facebook Insights to measure what works. ticketscript’s solutions can also help you with selling tickets, analysing your data and building your community. Find out more here.