Re: Any advice on doing virtual meetups?

Antón R. Yuste

Hi Ondrej,

We've started some months ago to organize a joint event between both JUGs called LaretasGeek: 

It's an on-line roundtable to discuss a specific topic. We combine local and national people, one of the benefits of the on-line format. We speak using Google Meet (4-5 persons) and we emit the session on-live on (using OBS Studio) so attendants can interact using the chat. We record the session which it's uploaded to youtube, Spotify and Ivoox (podcast format) so it can be consumed later for people who can't attend on-line. At the end of the event, we do some activities for networking: on-line raffle on and virtual beers on MozillaHub.

The feedback until now is great. On average, 60-70 attendants online and > 300 visualizations between the different platforms. But more important, people told us it helps to connect again with their peers after so many months without events.

Some personal conclusions:

  • We were very reluctant to do something online in the beginning. Our main goal is networking so it didn't make sense for us initially but we did it because people asked for it and we can't be happier with the result. It isn't so good as a real event but it's much better than nothing.
  • Avoiding the typical talk format in favour of something more interactive has been a great point. There are so many on-line talks available right now with all the developer advocates at home, it's impossible to compete. But there's room for more local alternatives as round tables, workshops, katas, lightning talks, etc.
  • Making a professional event on-line is hard. There are a lot of things which can go wrong. We try to keep it casual, just friends sharing experiences with other friends... In that way, it's easier and you don't have so much pressure if there is a problem with the bandwidth or the mic of one of the speakers (it will happen, sooner or later).

Of course, this is just our experience and conclusion, it may (or not) apply to your JUG but I hope it helps and encourages you to give it a try. It's more important than ever to bring people closer.



On Mon, Oct 5, 2020 at 1:56 PM Ondrej Mihályi <ondrej.mihalyi@...> wrote:
Hi, I hope you're all doing well!

In our JUG in Prague we're now thinking about doing virtual meetups. I hope some of you who already organize virtual meetups would like to share some experience and advice.

How do you do virtual meetups? Are people interested, do enough people attend them or at least watch the recordings? Do you have live presenters or prerecorded sessions? Which software do you use for conferencing? Anything would help us to decide whether it's worth it in our area and get us started it we decide it is.

I know that Eclipse Foundation offered to use their Crowdcast subscription for virtual meetups: Does anybody have experience with it? Or do you use something else that works for you?


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