2 years back I started a local meetup in India — JSLovers. The journey was not easy but totally worth. We are now 1100+ members, 25+ meetups done so far, more than 10+ companies are sponsoring our events.
Why I started meetup?
I was working as a full-time UI Developer in a good company. I observed that there is a big void between the UI Developers. We get stuck in deliverables of projects and we forget to learn new things. Gurgaon is the IT hub of India despite that every dev was just working in isolation instead of meeting new developers and learn what new tech is coming in the industry. So, to fill this void it is important to have a meetup group. The goal was simple once in a month we all developers will meet at one place and anyone can come as speaker and share his/her knowledge with us (I was very strict on- I want speaker who is working as developer, not a trainer because the only developer can tell other developers the most important part of the tech.) and this is how JSLovers came.
PS: After few months we did IOT, Android and many other workshops too under JSLovers :)
- If you are not Brand Name it is going to be tough
2 years back in New Delhi/NCR there was a lack of co-working spaces and to get a place where I can host workshops was very difficult. I reached too many places and all wanted to host only “brand” name people. As I was just starting my meetup no one was ready to host us despite I was ready to pay.
2. Finding the right speaker is very tough
I wanted to have a speaker who is working as a developer. So, that audience can connect with the speaker as well as a speaker with his experience can share a lot of learning, use-cases, Dos and Don’ts, hacks, etc. But sadly, developers were so much introvert that I actually need to pitch them as I am pitching a company for Job. Moreover, no one wants to speak for free which was very disappointing. For 1 year I and my co-organizer I took the workshops.
3. Developers love Code workshop but talk based meetups are also necessary!!
From the last 2 years out of our 25 workshops, we did just 5 talk-based workshops. Because developers love to the coding in meetup rather than just going through ppt. But talk-meetups are also important to understand the new techs coming in industry and concepts too.
4. Respect the privacy of members
Meetups are very good for networking but your first aim should be learning then networking. As many people come only learning and not networking. They don’t like to share their contact details. As an organizer for me, it is important to make sure that the contact information without the person’s permission should not be shared.
5. Running a meetup is not easy
I thought running a meetup will be easy but it is not. It is like doing another job where you need to be very active in the community and industry. You need to be pro-active in replying on queries, need to be ahead in planning and if some mess happens you should be able to handle that
Nothing can stop you if you have the passion and believe in yourself. Because of this JSLovers is going strongly in Delhi/NCR till now. Thanks to all the companies who supported us — Microsoft, Expedia, IOMedia, Oyorooms, Headhonchos, 91springboard and all the speakers who came onboard as a volunteer.