VueMeetups is an effort to centralize all local community efforts for Vue.js and to help continue foster and nurture the amazing community we already have. And while we have "meetup" in our name and use it often, this effort is not limited to Meetup.com events. With that said, welcome and be sure to reach out if you have any questions or feedback!
That's exciting news! We are glad to see so many people who are enthusiastic about establishing local communities to help Vue enthusiasts and newcomers alike. Although it might seem complicated, starting your own Vue.js group can be done in five simple steps!
For those who want a quick pep talk before diving into the guide, check out the following lightning talk for VueConf 2018.
Before diving headfirst into how you start your own meetup, be sure to check and make sure there isn't already one in your area! And if there is, we can help put you in contact with the organizers if you'd like to get more involved!
1. Name Your Group
While naming things is often one of the most agonizing parts of starting any project, luckily it's pretty easy for creating a technology oriented meetup.
Here are some options:
- Vue + YourCity
- VueJS + YourCity
- YourCity + Vue
- YourCity + VueJS
Some examples include:
- Vue.js Paris
- Vue JS Singapore
- Melbourne Vue.js Meetup
- VueJS Amsterdam
Check out what other meetups named themselves if you need more inspiration!
You're more than welcome to be more creative, but keeping it as simple as possible will help people easily find and remember it!
2. Grab All The Branding Things!
Now that you've decided on a name, it's time to grab all the branding thingsWhen it comes to getting the word out about your group and the meetups, there's no substitute for having the proper social media tools. There are a few major ones you want to get to make your life easier:
- Google (for email and potential YouTube possibilities)
- Discord (for a dedicated chat channel for your community)
Some other ones you that are nice to have, but not as critical:
- Event Registration (i.e., Meetup / Nvite)
- Domain Name
3. Getting a Venue and Set a Date!
Contrary to popular opinion, you don't need a lineup of speakers in order to start a meetup. The most important thing you actually need is a venue.
Some common places that meetups can be held in include:
- Your employer's workspace
- Community centers
- Co-working spaces
- College classrooms
- Local companies who are interested in hosting tech meetups
4. Meetup Logistics
These are some things that you should consider when planning your meetup:
- Does it have a projector? If not, find a TV or spare monitor that could proxy as a projector. And if that's not even an option, upload your slides and let people follow along.
- Does it have wifi?
- Does it have easily accessible outlets for people to plug their laptops in during workshops?
- How accessible is it (i.e., public transportation, parking, etc.)?
And as far as food goes, here are some general guidelines:
- Since Meetup events are free, you should account for 30 to 40% of the RSVPs
- Unless you are serving food that merits a meal (like pizza), please do not say "Free food and drinks will be served" because attendees will be expecting something much heartier than some chips and cookies
5. Spread the Word!
With your newly powers of social media, make sure to send out your event details on all the social media things! Hashtag #VueJS and #VueJSMeetups to maximize your visibility and we'll make sure to help spread the word!
Code of Conduct
When it comes down to it, every Vue.js meetup needs to have a Code of Conduct. There's no reason not to have one. And for those thinking that it's really hard to write one. We have a template all ready to go.
Planning a Meetup
There are two primary things you have to consider as an organizer when planning a meetup.
Everything else is just extra credit.
This is the single most important item any organizer needs to secure with absolute certainty. The worst thing you can do as an organizer is have people voluntarily spend their free time to come to your event and find that the location has been changed.
The biggest misconception about meetup events is that you always need a speaker. Nothing could be further from the truth. What you actually need is a group of people with an interest in Vue.js and a basic agenda so people know why they are coming.
The following contains some basic ideas for the event, but VueMeetups will be providing more thorough guides on each format in the near future. So be sure to check back for updates!
So when you are planning your next event, consider the following options:
- Workshops: This can take many different formats, but the basic idea is to have someone lead the event and build something with the audience.
- CodeLabs: This is where everyone gathers to work on Vue.js projects. People can help one another or pair with one another. And if they don't have a project, they can work on tutorials instead!
- Show & Tell: While many people are terrified at being asked to speak on a certain topic, talking about a project or small demo they worked on is much easier. This was inspired by CodePen meetups and has been a great avenue for giving people a taste of speaking.
- Lightning Talks: If you can't get a single speaker, consider this format to reduce the pressure on potential speakers. The only risk to this format is that lightning talk speakers are more likely to back out at the last minute, so be prepared for that.
Food and Drinks
While this can increase attendance, this is completely, absolutely, 100% optional.
Basic guidance for food and drinks is the following:
If you are only planning on serving snacks (i.e., chips, cookies, etc), use the phrase "snacks and drinks will be provided" instead of "food and drinks will be provided." You will disappoint people expecting dinner if you say the wrong phrase.
If you plan on serving alcohol, please be sensitive to those who do not drink alcohol and have alternatives.
While some may say that alcohol would help to increase attendance, we caution against this advice since it is more likely to attract the wrong kind of attendees. In addition, having alcohol at an event makes it difficult for those who struggle with addiction to attend.
Provide a basic schedule of your event
When potential attendees are deciding whether to attend your event, simply having a start and end time will only be so helpful to them. So help them out with a simple outline of what they can expect from the evening.
Here's an example from a lightning talk event:
6:30PM - 7:00PM: Food & Drinks 7:00PM - 7:15PM: TypeScript Intro 7:20PM - 7:35PM: TypeScript in VueJS 7:40PM - 7:55PM: VueJS Browser Extension 8:00PM - 8:20PM: Show & Tell 8:20PM - 9:00PM: Discussion & Networking
Give people time to get to your event
If your event is on a weekday, remember that people often don't get off of work till 5:30PM, so when you're scheduling your event, do not start it any earlier than 6:30PM if you want optimal attendance.
Things happen, so help out your attendees in advance
We highly recommend that you give attendees 30 minutes of flex time as things like traffic and late meetings inevitably happen. So when scheduling your agenda, let people know when the "doors will open" and when the official event starts.
Let's face it, speaking is terrifying. Don't you worry though, this whole section is dedicated to helping you take that first step.
Potential Speaker Topics
It can be surprisingly difficult to come up with topics to talk about, so we have a list here to help inspire you.
- Introduction to Vue.js
- Managing Styles in Vue.js
- Animation in Vue.js
- State Management in Vue.js
- Testing in Vue.js
- Component Architecture in Vue.js
- Server Side Rendering in the Vue.js Ecosystem
- How to Use Vue.js with a CMS Like WordPress
But It's Been Done Before
One of the biggest misconceptions in the world of speaking (and writing) is that if someone has talked about X topic, this means that you can't talk (or write) about it. Nothing could be further from the truth. The only exception to this is if you plagarize their entire talk.
At the end of the day, the odds are in your favor that you have a unique take on the topic that sets you apart. In addition, when it comes to speaking at meetups, a majority of attendees often have not done the research you've done on X topic. So while the insecure side of you is afraid that they will be bored, you're going to do great.
How to Encourage New People to Speak
It's a common misconception that speakers need to take up the entire meetup or have entire talks planned out. This can make it people hesitant to volunteer.
So here are some strategies to ease people's mind:
Speak with them. If they know that they only have to do part of a talk, it make the idea much more approachable.
Help them craft a topic. What people often don't understand is that they have a lot of topics they could talk about. Whether it's case studies, or personal projects, work with them to come up with a topic so they don't feel the burden of doing it all by themselves.