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David Boswell

Connecting on the local level: Tips for getting the most out of Hyperledger meetups

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Hyperledger meetups provide a way for people to learn more about the project, meet other people in the community who live in an area, and share about the work they are doing.

With over 160 meetup groups in more than 60 countries, there is probably a group near you (and if there isn’t, we’re happy to work with you to get one set up). When people go to a meetup we want to make sure it is a positive experience, so this blog offers some important tips for  making those events as valuable and enjoyable as possible.

Make everyone feel welcome

As a global open source community with meetup groups all over the world, it is important to us that everyone everywhere feels welcome.

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All skill levels are welcome at meetups, so don’t feel shy about attending a meetup even if you don’t think you know everything there is to know about Hyperledger. One tip is to look at the agenda and see if it seems interesting to you — some meetups provide an introductory high-level overview, others provide non-technical real world use cases, and some go in depth on technical topics (and some have a combination of these). For organizers, please clearly label the types of content you are providing to help people choose. For instance, the Seattle meetup uses a rating system that goes from 0 for non-technical to 4 for extremely technical.

Also be aware that the Hyperledger community has a Code of Conduct that clearly documents acceptable behaviors and is there to promote high standards of professional practice both online and offline. For attendees, we offer this as a way to let you know you are welcome at our meetups. For organizers, please read through the document and make sure you’re following the guidance provided.

Run an inclusive event

Part of a well run meetup is about including people who are there and even people who couldn’t be there.  

Give people time at your meetup to introduce themselves and share what they do. This can be a great way to learn what sort of content people want in the future and can help you connect with people who can speak at future events. For bigger meetups this may not work, but it is strongly encouraged for new groups. Larger groups can still provide time in the agenda for people to introduce themselves or make announcements if they want.

Many people are interested in your events or the topics you cover but can’t attend. Try recording talks for people who couldn’t make it. If you have video recording equipment that’s great, but you may also be able to use your phone and get a decent recording. If you do record your talks, we’re happy to host those videos on Hyperledger’s YouTube channel.  Several meetup groups, including Los Angeles, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Montreal and Bangalore have recorded talks, so check out their presentations.

And don’t forget to share on social media. Organizers and attendees alike are encouraged to post details of the meetup before, during and after event. Getting everyone to use a hashtag like #HyperledgerMeetup or #HyperledgerMeetup{location} is a great way to build a following.

Use feedback to keep improving

Everyone is encouraged to provide feedback about a meetup. Is there content that attendees are interested in? Is there something that could make the events more welcoming? Feedback can be provided a number of ways.

You can post on the discussion forum of the meetup group’s site or reach out to the organizer directly. And, if you want to contact Hyperledger staff, you can email  meetups@hyperledger.org. For organizers, we encourage you to ask for this sort of feedback regularly by sending surveys or questions to your group members. For example, the San Francisco meetup organizer did a nice job of this by sending out an end of the year recap and inviting people to write back with feedback.

Meetup.com has also recently introduced a new 5 star rating system for meetups. For attendees, you will have an opportunity to provide feedback after an event. For meetup organizers, learn more about how you can view this feedback from attendees.  After an event, we encourage you to start checking the details of the feedback you’re receiving and be open to addressing comments people make when they suggest ways to improve the experience.

Other thoughts?

There are many other things for people to consider in order to run effective meetups, such as how to find venues, speakers and sponsors. Our Meetup Organizer’s Guide has some more information about that, but it is likely that there are many useful tips and suggestions we haven’t included there.  

To help us improve that guide, we’d welcome your feedback. What other thoughts or suggestions do you have about how to make a meetup a positive experience for attendees?  Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas with the Hyperledger meetup organizers on our meetup organizer’s mailing list.