Building a collaborative community through Evrone meetups
For IT companies, meetups are an important tool for promotion, finding partners and clients, learning, and much more. Read an article on how to train your employess and keep your audience while holding online and offline events.
Meetups are a great way to forge new relationships and build communities of professionals that support one another. If you are considering attending a meetup, or even hosting one yourself, this guide will show you how to get the most out of the event. Online meetups can provide real value to their participants, connecting them with experts in the community and helping them continue to learn and grow.
Much of this value comes from the nature of meetups, which are simultaneously informal and professional, unlike the stuffy business events of the past. The relaxed atmosphere of meetups allows participants to build real relationships and exchange ideas, leading to new collaborations, partnerships, and even valuable friendships.
For IT companies, meetups are an important tool for promotion, finding partners and clients, learning, and much more. The speakers’ reports help spread and sell your expertise, and among the participants, you can find many potential partners. Due to the pandemic situation this year, we at Evrone had to move all of our events online, where we had to compete with entertainment content.
Uniting top experts in one place
Every year we host the largest thematic conference, RubyRussia. We also hold small meetups as a part of Metaconf, as well as regular meetups every few months on things like frontend and backend (with Ruby, Python, and Go), QA, DevOps, and other related topics.
Our latest Python Meetup was held on July 22, 2021. Our DevRel, Grigory Petrov, spoke about why Python is slow, while Dmitry Emelyanov from Iponweb talked about measuring the performance of a web application, and Andrey Tatarinov from Epoch8 discussed how to integrate an ML solution with a physical device using ROS. The meetup was a big success, with twice as many attendees as expected. This marked a growing interest in more Evrone events in the future.
We believe that holding regular meetups helps you organize a professional community around your company. We have been doing custom development professionally for many years, so it is very important for us to have a good reputation among developers. This is a long-term strategy - perhaps, in a couple of years, someone from the community we created will become a colleague, while others may become customers, and some might even become our partners.
Therefore, we organize such events in order to unite top experts in one place to help them forge relationships and partnerships. We are experts in our field, but there is always room for growth. So we do meetups to share our expertise and help ourselves and other developers learn. They can ask questions and find answers to those questions that have been tormenting them for a long time. They can get to know each other, discuss what they are doing, what we are doing, what difficulties there are in development, share opinions, and help each other. Holding meetups is a long-term cooperation strategy, an investment, so that in 10 years your company can be bigger, better, cooler, and more well-known.
It’s all about networking
Socialising may seem like a waste of time when one is focused on productivity and improving the efficiency of their workflows, but in truth, it is not.
Meeting new people, even online, can have a beneficial impact on your ability to come up with creative ideas, allowing you to find better solutions to problems you may have been unable to solve previously. In addition, it simply helps you find new partnership opportunities, which you never would have discovered otherwise.
Employee training & educating the attendees
Holding monthly web development meetups, where employees can learn from each other and the external community, is a great way to educate your team members and boost their expertise. You can create better cross-team collaborations, identify sharing opportunities, and learn and leverage best practices.
For our meetups, we had guests from Ruby, Python, Go, and frontend communities present each month, alongside one of our own developers. Many of our participants made new friendships through the meetups and gained new skills, either as an attendee learning new concepts or as a speaker honing their public speaking and demonstration skills. Most attendees walked away with a new network of individuals that they could reach out to for information or expertise in an area of technology that they were learning for the first time.
Moving events online
Offline meetups are, first of all, about the venue. Many large companies provide their venues for events because they want to associate with IT companies and get acquainted with developers. But online meetups have other challenges. The most important thing is to pre-record all the reports in good quality, because live broadcasts have too many disadvantages, such as bad video and sound quality and interruption of communication due to poor Internet connections.
This is a specialty of Evrone, as we always pre-record reports in the studio. Then we use the tulula platform for the live stream. It meets all our requirements and is great for events.
Was moving meetups to an online format a good decision? Yes! Our audience really likes the online format of the events. The number of registrations for meetups has increased, and the number of participants has returned to the pre-pandemic level at 200-400 people, depending on the topic. After the events, the reports have begun to collect more views, reaching beyond just registered attendees. New viewers leave comments on YouTube, thanking us for the interesting and informative content.
Pros of online meetups:
- Quality - If you shoot all the videos of the reports with a film crew in advance, then the picture will definitely be high-quality, the speech clear, and the illustrations understandable.
- Cost - When comparing direct broadcasts from the studio and online broadcasts, pre-recorded videos come out to be cheaper.
- Speed - Such videos are easy to produce, so they do not require much time for preparation or post-production.
- Long life - After the meetup, the reports turn into educational videos and continue to gather an audience on Youtube. According to our estimates, more than 70% of viewers watch reports at a later date.
While more people attend online meetups, it is much more challenging for online meetups to organize PR to attract people to come. This is because it's more difficult for an online meetup to convey its value to people.
How to keep your audience?
The audience leaves when what they are doing and the content they are consuming ceases to be perceived by them as something valuable. The best way to retain and grow your audience is to deliver something of real value to them. To do this, you need to understand what your audience perceives as value.
Since we are engaged in custom development, and our company consists mainly of programmers, we understand very well what is valuable to us as programmers, and we provide this value to the guests of our meetups. We raise interesting topics, we organize platforms where these topics can be discussed, we treat our guests as positively as possible, and we make sure that our guests feel comfortable. Thanks to all this, our audience continues to grow.
Meetups provide an informal, friendly atmosphere for industry professionals to learn and grow together. While not everyone can attend a weekend-long conference, most people have the time to participate in a short meetup on a Saturday morning or weekday evening. And the welcoming, relaxed nature of our meetups means that people actually want to attend, while the smaller size and curated content guarantees a valuable experience that is worth being a part of.
On August 12, our next online Ruby meetup will take place, where we will discuss DRY and clean architecture. On September 16, we will have our DevOps meetup, where we will talk about Github Actions. The next 5 meetups in autumn and winter are Go, Python, Ruby, and frontend meetups. Perhaps some of them will even be able to be held offline. You can follow the news here for more information. If you need help organizing your own local events, feel free to contact our experts via the form below.