I’m really fortunate to have a really awesome WordPress Meetup in San Diego that I can attend every month. I’m also super fortunate that the folks who started the Meetup asked me to be one of the coordinators.
These same people are the ones who started the amazing Advanced WordPress Facebook group. Michael Bastos, Chris Lema, Ansel Taft, Phelan Riessen and others all had a vision of having local developers come together and talk about pushing the envelope in WordPress development. Almost 2 years later and our Facebook group has grown to roughly 8,600 members, and we have about 30 people come to our monthly Meetup every month.
This week, I had the pleasure of hosting it and FooPlugins sponsoring it. Foo provided the food and drinks, and I setup a lineup of 6 speakers who were all asked to speak on a topic that fit within the theme: “All Things Media”.
We discussed image filters, video embedding, long-form story telling with rich media, responsive image optimization, and custom visual product building all in one evening.
Siteground donated audio and video equipment to our Meetup, which enables us to record the sessions with multiple cameras and microphones. We record the sessions with Google Hangouts on Air so others can view the Meetup from wherever they happen to be. This session I experimented with the “Showcase” App which allowed me to post links of what we were talking about live into the video so viewers could click on them and see the website immediately.
Here’s the final video with some place makers for when each speaker started and ended. You can also click on the “YouTube” logo in the bottom right to watch it on YouTube and click on the minute links to go directly to each speaker.
3 Reasons Why You Should Join or Start a WordPress Meetup in Your Area
So, I’ve explained what I’ve been doing. Why should YOU join or start a Meetup? Well, the reasons are pretty straight forward, and each of them have to do with putting some pants on.
#1 Put Some Pants on And Get Out!
Seriously, the number 1 reason is simply because you spend WAAY too much time behind a screen. Naturally, there’s plenty of screens at WordPress Meetups too, but if yours is any good, you can just come and listen and grab a drink afterwards totally and completely sans-screen.
Meetups are the perfect place to get out of your office and meet new people. What’s awesome is that they all put their pants on too, so it’s a special event! Everyone there is looking to connect and learn and listen and share. Take advantage of that.
#2 Put Your Big Boy/Girl Pants On!
If you want to grow as a Developer, you’re going to need to think about things in new ways. You’re never going to get out of your creative or productive rut if you don’t start listening to other people. It’s a sign of maturity to put your own techniques and long-fought learning aside in order to hear what others have to say. It’s also super humbling to present an idea in front of an audience and find out that they have really valid critiques of your methods or have ideas that would make your idea much better. Suck it up! Put your Big Boy/Girl Pants on and learn from others!
#3 Put Your Business Pants On!
Now that you’re out and about, now that you’re talking to folks, all you have left to do is benefit from the interaction. And by “benefit” I mean expand your business. The more exposure you get to new plugins, new technologies, new coding methods and practices, new workflows, and new people, the better your business will be. For me, I’ve seen my business grow exponentially just because I started contributing regularly in our AWP Facebook group, and because I started regularly attending and contributing at our local Meetup.
Here’s some great resources for getting a Meetup going in your area
- Meetup.com is where it all happens. Find out first if there already is a Meetup in your area
- The Foundation supports WordPress Meetups. Read all about getting their sponsorship here.
- But they also have some important guidelines to consider.
- WPUniversity has great tips on getting one going