(Recently I talked a little bit about organizing Bitcoin Cash meetups during my presentation at Bitcoin Cash City Conference in Australia in September, and I also wrote a blog post about how to organize a meetup in 20 mins if you’d like to check out)
Today I’d like to write about what an organizer should actually do during a meetup. This is a question I am asked especially from new organizers.
I think every organizer does a meetup in their own way and there is no right answer. However, this is what I usually suggest to a new organizer when they ask me this question. This is basically the same as what we usually do at our regular BCH meetups in Tokyo. I think it’s quite simple:
Put swag on the table, welcome members, answer any questions they might have, explain basics of BCH (fast, cheap, reliable etc), give a small amount of BCH to new members, teach them how to use BCH.
That’s basically it. Here is a breakdown:
1. Five-Mins Preparation at Your Arrival- Swag and BCH Flag
Come 5–10 mins before the starting time of the meetup if you can, and put the swag (such as stickers) on the table and ask the venue if you can put a BCH flag on their window or a wall during the meetup (make sure to use a tape that doesn’t damage the wall etc). I usually put a few kinds of stickers etc on the middle of the table so the members can take freely.
If you don’t have swag yet, that is ok. Some companies such as Bitcoin.com can send you free swag such as stickers, camera covers, and T-shirts. Satoshi’s Angels is sponsoring a BCH flag for each meetup group well. You can contact the Meetup Support Team (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) or reach us on Telegram etc and we will see if we can send some free swag for you.
If you are a new organizer, I recommend just going ahead and start meetups without waiting for swag to arrive though, as swag is just something extra and not an essential for meetups. I have seen some new meetup organizers over-worrying about preparation and hesitant to start the first meetup, but I think it is good to just get it started and you can figure out the rest later. The hardest part is to just start.
2. Welcome New and Existing Members
I personally feel this is one of the most important things an organizer can do during the meetup, though people may have different opinions.
People are usually shy when they come to a meetup for the first time, and you also want regular members to feel welcome when they come. You want to provide a warm and safe place for people to talk freely and ask any questions they might have.
If you as an organizer see an unfamiliar face at the meetup, go talk to them and introduce yourself, saying things like “Are you here for the Bitcoin Cash Meetup?” or “Welcome to the meetup. Thank you for coming. Is this your first time?” “What brings you here?”or “What are you interested in learning about BCH?”. I introduce myself and ask their name. After that, I’d introduce them to the other members so they can get acquainted. If there are many people and it is hard to know who just came in, just find people who are sitting by themselves and looking like they don’t know anyone and do the same thing.
(Advanced Tips: If you start to get to know about your members more, it will be easier for you to introduce new members to members that match their backgrounds and interests more, but in the beginning, making new members welcome and making introductions is good enough!)
3. Teach New Members about BCH
If you see a member who has never owned BCH, ask them to download a BCH wallet on their phone, and send them a small amount of BCH. I usually send 100–300 yen ($1–3) or so to each new member, but the amount can be something like 10 yen too. (If you are concerned about this budget, please contact me and we will try to find some support for you)
For someone new to BCH, I usually recommend downloading Bitcoin.com wallet as the first wallet, as it is easy and quick, and there is no registration required, so I think a new member can have a good first BCH experience.
If the person is interested after this or if they already have more experience with crypto, I’d ask if they would like to try a different wallet with different features such as Edge wallet. (Edge wallet is giving away 300 yen per a new member at Tokyo Meetups, and they have many crypto options so I usually recommend this for a second wallet)
4. Enjoy the Meetup!
Once you have covered the basic things such as above, sit back and just enjoy the meetup! Don’t worry, meetups usually unfold naturally.
Meetup is a great place to meet a lot of interesting people and to make friends, so get to know the members and have fun yourself:)
More Tips and Advice:
Supporting the Venue
If you are hosting a meetup at a cafe/bar/restaurant where members purchase food and drinks themselves, I usually try to encourage members to try more of the venue’s services. (Of course one food or drink order is a must and if I see a member not ordering anything I tell them kindly to please order something). Believe it or not, it usually makes a huge difference. This is a trick I learned from working at The Pink Cow (restaurant/event space that used to host Tokyo Bitcoin Meetups). Of course if the venue accepts BCH, it‘s nice to show new members how to pay for a service with BCH.
If You Are Not a Social Person…
I think it is fine if you are an organizer but not a social person.
Do your best to be friendly, but if you are really shy, find others who can help you with it. I don’t think you necessarily need to have have all the organizer qualities in one person, such as being social, knowledgable about BCH etc. In Tokyo we have a few people helping with the meetup, who have very different personalities, who speak different languages, with different background. This makes us a good team.
If you can not find a co-organizer, ask regular members if they can help you with what you are not so good at, for example, maybe they can help being welcome to new members if you are shy, or maybe they have a lot of knowledge about BCH and they can provide advanced knowledge to your members.
Teaching New Members the Difference Between BCH and BTC
It is not rare that a new member is confused with BCH and BTC.
I sometimes explain the difference between BCH and BTC to a new member if I feel it helps. The best way I found so far is to actually show them how BCH and BCT actually work, rather than explaining this with words.
This is what I do. I send them a small amount of BCH first, show them how much it costs to send that BCH. Then I do the same process with BTC. They can see the actual transaction fees and they are often surprised to see how BTC fee is much more higher comparing to BCH. For this purpose, I usually carry a small amount of BTC on my cellphone. And you don’t have to actually send BTC. You can just show them the transaction fee before sending it!
Take It Easy
Don’t worry if you can not come on time sometimes or can not stay till late.
Of course you do your best, but sometimes you have other obligations or unavoidable situations. Especially once a meetup group is going for a while, members will talk to each other even if you are late or leave early. Don’t think that you have to take care of everyone all the time.
If you are thinking about starting a new meetup in your area and need assistance, please feel free to ask any questions. We are happy to provide support and we can help get your meetup going. We look forward to seeing more meetups and happy organizers around the world!
Contact Meetup Support Team at Email: email@example.com