Thinking of setting up a local meet-up for UXers - Any thoughts advice?


#1

Hi everyone,

Am thinking of reaching out to a few UX professionals in my area to see if any would be interested in an occasional meet-up.

I feel there would be a lot of benefits and mutual support to be gained.

Anyone have experience of this, what are the keys to success or the pitfalls to avoid.

Paddy


#2

​@Lukcha and @mattymcg run meet-ups relatively regularly. I’m sure they have some pointers.


#3

After work, casual, CBD-based meetups with a specific theme seems to work well for us. We usually try and make sure there is a clear benefit for being there - get personal feedback, get explicit pointers on a particular thing, meet and speak with a particular person, compare/chat about a topic in a structured setting, etc.

We have a regular place we meet, but if going to a new place we scout it out in advance and speak to the manager to ensure they know to expect us. They’re often happy to reserve an area for us.

Also a good idea to print out some A4 or A5 signs you can put prominently in a menu holder so people can see where you are from a distance, or wear t-shirts/hats they can recognise. Being friendly to anyone wandering over towards us prevents awkwardness and makes people feel welcome, and we intentionally try and match people up by introducing them to others with a common interest.

We start off just letting people chat, and then might move into something a little more structured (but still casual) as this is often where we can help create value from the people coming together.

Oh, and we often order a couple of bowls of wedges/fries/nibbles etc to share around the tables so people have something to munch on. You can also clarify with attendees at the beginning (during a housekeeping speie) about food/meals also being available as often people are having such a good chat that they have talked for hours and miss out on proper food because the kitchen has closed!

Fire through any questions you have and we’ll see if we can help with them too.


#4

Hi Luke,

Thanks for the tips, one of the main Banks here has set aside office space in some branches called a ‘start-up workbench’. Its a free office space available to anyone to work, meet, train etc. Free tea/coffee and wifi. It’s aim is to foster networking and help start-ups along the way.

I was chatting to the co-ordinator about the space and their plans, and we got onto UX, I mentioned about organising a local UX group and they said the would host, and provide some nibbles/drinks.

I’ve 3-4 UX people I might contact and see if they could each bring someone. I’m just not sure how to kick it off.
Was thinking just to meet up first and introduce everyone, and perhaps for the first meeting a theme of looking at the level of UX awareness locally.

Will get me thinking hat on!!

Paddy

PS (Ireland for the Rugby World Cup)! :slight_smile:


#5

That sounds like a useful space to have access to, and kudos to you for seeing the opportunity and acting on it. I like your style. =)

Are you connected with the others digitally? An online space to easily organise things, set expectations and to stay in touch between face-to-face get togethers is useful too, and might be the seed of something bigger. A common tool is meetup.com, but there are a billion options out there.