For the past 2 years (full-time for Belong) and 5 years (as a volunteer with Mozilla) , I have been organizing community events & in-person meetups. Most of the events that I did for Mozilla would be FOSS & developer/tech community oriented.
However, for Belong, we did user meetups. This started from a road-trip that our users were planning on the app and we took up the initiative to organize and sponsor the trip. However, after our first user meetup, although we used to get a lot of registrations, only a couple of them actually turn up for these events.
Some things that we did to make sure we have a good turn out:
- Open invitations at least a week before the event.
- Send email invites with all the details 3 days before the event.(Information includes map link, contact number of the organizer)
- Make the agenda very informal so that there’s a low entry barrier and everyone can attend a networking event.
- Ensure we inform people about freebies, access to beta app for those interested in testing and sneak-peek into product roadmap
- Allow +1’s in case they feel more comfortable with a friend.
- Call and confirm with every single person the day before the event (mostly on Friday’s since the event would be on a Saturday). This is the step where we have a small percentage of drop outs.
Although we did all of this, if 60 people normally registered for an event, we had around 8 people actually attending the event! This was the average across 10+ events hosted across a year.
What’s super weird for me was that for Mozilla, for most of our events, if we had 60 sign ups, we might actually have around 80 attendees! I understand that the Brand value and perception has a lot of influence.
- Do you organize in-person community meetups? If yes, I’d love some tips and ideas to improve conversion rates.
- Do you think it’s better to have a specific agenda so that people know what they can expect out of the event?
- Do you think increasing accountability, by asking users to pay x amount to reserve their spots, which would be refunded during the event, is a good idea?