These are five considerations that have worked for me to grow the number of people attending the WordPress events I organize.
Give people enough time to sign up
Inside WordPress, a Dashboard widget shows upcoming local events, such as forthcoming WordCamps and meetups. This makes it easier for people to discover what’s happening in their local communities. Read the Meetup Organizer Handbook to learn more.
If you schedule your event with time, more people will find it in wp-admin. Think about how often you add a new post or edit your website. Chances are it is not daily, so giving people enough for your event is crucial.
For me, a month is the perfect amount of time, but it will depend on how engaged your community is and how many possible attendees are in the location.
Make it easy to sign up
Sometimes, platforms can fail. Provide extra ways to contact you for help in case of a problem with the RSVP.
Consider if you need to ask for too many details or personal information, and don’t ask twice if you already have the data from previous events.
Making the signup process as easy as possible can increase signups. Sometimes, people don’t have enough time to do it or don’t trust you enough with the information you need and forget to return.
Select the right topic and agenda
If a topic is too technical, fewer people will attend, at least at the beginning. Be aware of the kind of community you are creating. Is it for non-technical people?
Technical and complex problems can be introduced to first-timers, but how you communicate the meeting’s purpose will highly influence the pool of attendees.
Trendy topics that affect everyone, such as AI, will help you connect, for example, developers with business owners.
Try to find a place for the after-event, like a coffee shop, to gather feedback and reinforce a deeper core community.
Don’t be too spammy, but remind people of the event. You can always share new juicy details or ask for feedback to involve your community more and excite them.
Consider sending reminders across different platforms, like social networks. Last-minute reminders don’t usually work that well, but they can help you with the last push.
People usually react more quickly than via e-mail if you have an active group chat. Not everyone will install the Meetup app.
Consider the things you can’t control
You can’t control everything, but you can do something about it in most cases. Here are some examples:
You can’t control the weather, but communicate you will offer hot chocolate and bread to make up for a cold day. Remember, we are humans.
You can’t control traffic jams, but you can negotiate with the venue for extra space for people who want to come early to have meetings.
You can’t control the exact number of attendees who will come, but you can aim for a higher number to meet your expectations. Negotiate flexible venue prices. Try to stick to the same day of the week so people can integrate your events into their routines.
Every community is different and has its own needs. A healthy team of organizers with clear goals can help grow your community, and involving people in the organization can make things easier. Try to be constant and offer unique experiences every time; you don’t need a speaker for every event. Inspire you from other meeting groups, organize photo walks, support tables, and show-and-tell sessions. Trust your community more.