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Meetup Organizer Guide

 

Find basic contact details and links for our Meetup program on the https://greensoftwarefoundation.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/~612dd45e45cd76006a84071a/pages/3342524 page.

1 Getting started

1.1 About the GSF Meetup Network

Meetup Members build the base of the GSF Meetup Network

They are organized in local Groups across the globe led by Meetup Organizers. Organizers play a key role in keeping the local Groups running. Their main role is to organize events and activities for the Members of their Group.

The main purpose of these guidelines is to provide the Organizers with the needed information to effectively run their Groups on a self-organized basis. The Organizer Guide included in this document describes the role in detail. 

1.2 Meetup Groups

Groups can be established for a city, state / province, a country or even for a region. For the most updated list of our groups, visit our Meetup network page.

What roles can Meetup Groups play

Here are some ideas for activities groups might want to work on:

Organize local events

  • Ensure a positive experience for all meetup members and attendees

  • Focusing on issues and challenges relevant for the group

  • Run various types of events, e.g. panel discussions, workshops, bootcamps, work sprints, localization drives, hackathons, watch parties, etc.

  • We encourage groups to hold in-person events for their local members

Address local contribution barriers

  • Tools: Promote best practices in the area, picking up ideas and solutions 

  • Time zones: local groups can help address the issues experienced on a global scale

  • Language: English can become a contribution barrier where it is not widely used for communication. Organizers can hold events and provide their members with materials in the local language

Other contribution opportunities

  • Collect and share local information and use cases (from press, presentations, etc). 

  • Share with the wider community through blog posts, and other appropriate channels.

  • Connect with local universities to help them learn more about GSF 

  • Assist local students and professors to plug in with the GSF Meetup community

What support is available to Groups

GSF can support Groups with:

  • Meetup.Com Fees: Covering the costs of creating and maintaining groups on http://Meetup.com . This solely relates to the costs of creating and maintaining the Group on the Meetup platform. GSF does not cover costs related to the specific events. 

  • Amplification: GSF can help amplify the work of community groups through the https://greensoftwarefoundation.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/~612dd45e45cd76006a84071a/pages/3342337, through social media channels

  • Career Growth: "GSF Meetup Organizer" is an official community role that someone can use to build their resume, share over LinkedIn, and gain additional career skills

  • Speakers: GSF maintains a network of speakers & contributors and can help to coordinate their engagement in local events where needed

  • Staff Support: GSF staff members can set aside time to work with Organizers

  • Localization: English can become a contribution barrier where it is not widely used for communication. Organizers can work with GSF staff to address this. For instance, we may decide to translate technical and marketing material into different languages so this information becomes more accessible in a region and can be placed in region-appropriate channels.

Support will be based on how engaged an Organizer is. Preference will be given to Organizers who are fully committed to their mission and deliver outstanding results.

How to apply to be an Organizer and start a Group

If you are passionate about green software, why not start a meetup group in your area? To become a GSF Meetup Organizer, please read this guide and then contact us at meetup@greensoftware.foundation.

In general, there are a few requirements to be met in order for us to set up a group in a specific region:

 

  • Choose the city, state / province, country or region you want to start your group in. The region for which the group is to be formed must represent a distinct language or geography as well as a large demographic of existing or a rising group of technologists.

  • Establish a clearly defined mission for how your group will contribute to the GSF network.

  • Submit a draft event calendar outlining the events you are planning to organize for your group. Ideally, each group should hold no less than one event per quarter. We recommend 5-6 events per year.

  • Name at least one organizer for the group who is willing to recruit new members, organize regular meetings and make sure that the group is working toward the goals that are set in the group’s mission. We encourage you to share responsibilities with others and not try and do it all yourself. From experience, we’ve found that having 2 or 3 co-organizers for a meetup is ideal and allows you to share tasks when you become busy with other things for a period of time. The most successful meetup groups have consistent local leadership and representation.

 

2 Types of Meetup.com support

2.1 GSF Supported Meetup Groups.

  • For new meetup groups that the Green Software Foundation create and launch.

  • The GSF account is listed as the main organizer of the meetup group.

  • GSF decides who the other organizers are in following consultation with the community.

  • GSF pays all the fees associated with that group.

  • If the group/organizers are not meeting our code of conduct or any of our other policies, we can remove/replace them.

  • Disclaimer at the top "Green Software XXX is an independently organized Green Software meetup supported by the Green Software Foundation"

2.2 GSF Sponsored Meetup Groups.

  • For existing meetup groups that want to come under our umbrella.

  • The GSF account is not an organizer of the meetup group.

  • GSF cannot decide who the other organizers are.

  • GSF pays all the fees associated with that group.

  • GSF can contact ‘opted-in’ Meetup members subject to the Privacy Policy.

  • If the group/organizers are not meeting our code of conduct or any of our other policies, we can stop sponsoring them.

  • Disclaimer at the top "XXX is an independently organized Green Software meetup sponsored by the Green Software Foundation"

3 Organizer Guide

 

This section serves as a guide for individuals interested in running a GSF meetup group.  

3.1 Providing a positive experience

GSF is committed to providing a positive experience for community members both online and offline. Please make sure to read the GSF Code of Conduct to learn more about the acceptable behaviors that all meetups should follow.

has a feedback function enabling you to receive feedback from event attendees. Looking through this feedback will provide you with insights on what people like and dislike about your meetups. It also allows for people to give suggestions about how to improve the experience. Use this function whenever possible.

3.2 Using the http://meetup.com platform - Supported Groups

Your new group will have its own space in our Meetup network. The name of your group will be either the city or region where you live, such as GSF - Manchester or GSF - Canada. 

In addition to the information in this document, check out the guides that offers:

Meetup.com Organizer Guide

Meetup.com Help Center 

We recommend using to run your local group, however, we recognize that there may be reasons why the site isn't the best fit for your community. For example, isn't accessible in China. If you want to use other event hosting platforms please get in touch with us. Note that our guidelines for running meetups will still apply and that we may also create a group on to point to where you are hosting your event in order to better promote your activities. Recordings from the event can be uploaded to GSF’s youtube channel. Please reach out to us at meetup@greensoftware.foundation if you would like to upload a recording from your event.

3.3 Collaborating with other Organizers

There are currently over 25 GSF meetup groups around the world. Each group has a wealth of experience, technical knowhow and ideas. Take advantage by connecting with other organizers and collaborating with them. You can contact them through their group page or via email. Introduce yourself and ask any questions you may have. We offer the following tools to facilitate collaboration:

  • Staff Support: our GSF Community Project Manager is available to assist you with any questions related to our Meetup Network.

  • Documentation: Refer to the current document. Further Meetup Organizer materials will be updates in this location.

  • Periodic Organizer meetings: Organizers can participate in periodic Organizer Meetings where we will be working together on improving processes throughout the GSF Meetup community on a global scale.

  • Contact and Mailing list: We encourage experienced organizers to share ideas, suggestions and tips with other meetup Organizers. We work in the open so suggest you use the discussion forum, though meetup-organizers@greensoftware.foundation is also available for organiser-only discussion.

3.4 Scheduling and promoting events

The secret to growing a large group on meetup is very simple: regular high quality events.
Imagine Meetup as closer to a social network like Facebook than an events platform. When you start to have regular events, the platform’s algorithm starts to show the future events to more people. The more your group grows, the less you will have to take care of external marketing in order to get attendees.

Different timelines and intervals for meetings and events will be suitable in different groups, depending on the number of members and other factors. Here are a few recommendations for keeping the group active and involved:

  • Organize a meetup or event ideally every 1-2 months, but at least once a quarter

  • Gauge the interest from your local community and adjust the timing as needed

  • Announce your event (save the date) at least 3 - 4 weeks in advance to give people time for planning

  • Finalize your agenda and add it to at least 2 weeks before your event

  • Make sure to have a clearly defined target audience for your event such as students, professionals, leaders, hobbyists, sustainability enthusiasts, etc.

  • Share a post-event summary within 24 - 72 hours with a specific call to action for the audience.

  • We recommend doing in-person events. Organizing Virtual events could also be an option if necessary, however we have seen that hybrid events are often problematic for both organizers and attendees.

 

For promotion of your event, consider a variety of approaches:

  • Attend software events near you 

  • Speak to GSF member companies

  • Reach out to students at nearby universities

  • Share the event on your social networks using the #GSF hashtag

 

For inspiration and event planning, you may use the that includes the main confirmed events and announcements that will take place in the coming months.

 

Let us know of your planned event in advance and we’ll share it on our Twitter account, LinkedIn account and newsletter. We can share photos, write-ups or announcements. Sharing photos and write-ups of a successful event will get visibility for your group and will get people to sign up to be notified of future events.

Also consult the Meetup groups and events policies.

3.5 Finding content and speakers

We strive to create an environment where people who are interested in green software — developers, beginners and advanced users alike — can gather and talk about the technologies we’re creating and learn what is new in the space. 

Topics you cover should be tied to the GSF ecosystem, such as introductions to the community and its projects, demos, applications, how to get a development environment set up, or presentations of use cases that a person or organization is working on. 

We have compiled a collection of green software materials that can be used for inspiration for topics. The GSF website also provides more details on all the projects that the GSF is working on. If you can’t find what you are looking for, let us know and we can work on adding it. You may also decide to translate any material into your preferred language, to make your event more specific to your audience. Please share any such translations with us so we can make it more broadly available.

You may also want to bring in speakers. The GSF Speakers Bureau features community members who are knowledgeable about GSF projects and who are available as speakers. Connecting with the Speakers Bureau is a great way to find a presenter who can attend an event either in person or by joining remotely. Other meetup organizers may also be available to speak at your events. Meeting community members in your area may also be a source of speakers.

3.6 Selecting a venue

Are you working at an organization or are you at a school? You may have access to space there. Often organizers are able to find hosts in their local community who are happy to provide space for events. 

If you’re just getting started and have a small number of members, you can meet informally in a coffee shop or other public space. Once you start getting a larger number of people though you’ll need to find a more formal meeting space that will allow for you to project slides, use a microphone, etc.

3.7 Sponsorships and funding

In general, GSF does not have any funding available to support meetup group events. Organizers are encouraged to seek sponsorship from their own organization or local community to cover any costs that come from organizing events including venue, food & beverage costs. Please carefully review these guidelines before seeking sponsors for your event.

  • Sponsors can be recognized by adding their name/logo on the Meetup event page and thanked at the beginning of the meetup.

  • Sponsors may speak at a meetup just like any other person or organization is welcome to speak at a meetup. 

  • Sponsorships in return for product pitches are not allowed.

  • Sharing of any attendee data with sponsors is not allowed.

3.8 Running virtual meetups

We recommend doing in-person events. Running Virtual events could also be an option if need be, however we have seen that hybrid events are often problematic for both organizers and attendees. 

You may want to consider running online meetups when that makes sense for your local community members. Meetup.com has great tools for organizing and promoting a virtual event, for handling registration and communicating with attendees. Have a look at  the support article .  

GSF has Zoom accounts that we can make available to Organizers if needed. Contact us at meetup@greensoftware.foundation. If you intend to use Zoom, you may find it helpful to read the Managing Zoom Meetings Guide in Appendix B.  

Here are a few more useful resources for online events:

3.9 Streaming and recording live events

You may be interested in streaming or recording your events. Please consider that some people don’t want to be on record when they attend these events. Recording an event may also have a chilling effect on what people are comfortable saying. In addition, what you can legally record may vary across jurisdictions and you cannot record and stream copyrighted material, like music or other content, without a release.

You can find recordings of GSF events on the YouTube channel. If you would like to add any meetup recordings from your events, please contact us.

Tips on how to record and stream events are in Appendix C.  

3.10 Using official GSF branding and assets

We kindly ask you to use the approved GSF logos whenever publishing materials. Please review our Brand Guidelines and Trademark Guidelines for more information about our policies.

When referring to GSF, please use the following official description of the GSF community:

The Green Software Foundation is a non-profit with the mission to create a trusted ecosystem of people, standards, tooling and best practices for green software. The Foundation's vision is a future where there are zero harmful environmental effects from using software. To learn more, visit: .

 

3.11 Organizing other types of events

We encourage all organizers to run new and creative types of events in their area. For instance, you may be thinking about running a hackathon or a training bootcamp. Browse the available on the GSF website. They offer topics for possible training and workshop sessions. More resources are in planning, including certifications.

Here are some ideas that may be of help:

  • Hackathons, Contribute-a-thons, Challenges

  • Trainings, Workshops, Bootcamps

  • If you're looking for help with any other type of event, please feel free to contact us and we'll be happy to help.

3.12 Meetup Organizers Meetings

A formalized regular call for GSF meetup organizers helps to coordinate and plan as a group. An exchange between organizers of lessons learned, positive and negative experiences, what worked and what did not. Any existing GSF meetup organizer is welcome to attend these calls.

Topics could include:

  • Lessons learned: What has worked well and what could be improved?  

  • Generating ideas of new things to try

  • How to keep your local community engaged

  • Recruiting speakers and selecting engaging topics

  • Creating new events easier and more effectively

  • Drafting an event template for a virtual workshop

  • Drafting recommendations for improving processes, event organization

  • Improving accessibility of resources, e.g. http://Meetup.com , Chat, Google Drive, GitHub, YouTube

 

 

 

Appendix A – Quick Reference Resources 

Here is a collection of existing GSF resources and materials that are available to Groups and Organizers.

GSF Main Meetup Page

GSF Code of conduct

Past Event Recordings – GSF Global Summit 2022

GSF Media Kit

GSF Brand Guideline

GSF Logos

GSF Quotable Quotes

GSF Articles

GSF Projects

GSF GitHub Materials

 

Appendix B – Managing Zoom Meetings

Community members who are hosting virtual meetings may find this information helpful in order to troubleshoot and manage meetings more effectively.

Claiming Host in a Meeting

For easy reference, watch this video that shows the process of claiming host on Zoom.

In order to have host access in your meeting, you need to claim the position as a host. Follow these steps:

Default Meeting Settings

Zoom accounts come with default settings. As host, you should be aware of these so that you can help address and modify settings as needed. Go to the settings tab on your account to make adjustments as needed.

Recording a Meeting

Recording meetings is a great way to let people in other time zones benefit from the meeting content. If you record your meeting, we can post it on Youtube and share it with the community. The following instructions may help: Enabling and starting local recordings.

Moderating Meetings and Dealing with Disruptions

After the meeting has started you can make use of the following host features to moderate your meetings and deal with any bad actors:

  • Prepare to mute people who are making unwanted noises and who don't realize that they are unmuted. As host, you can select specific participants and mute them. Make sure you have the participant list view open while hosting a meeting and it will show you the mute/unmute status of everyone in the meeting.

  • Assign a co-host to help with moderation

  • Turn off screen sharing for everyone and indicate only host. If you have others that need to share their screen, the host can enable that on the fly. (via the ^ menu next to Share Screen). Be on the lookout for people that you don't know who are requesting to get screen access.

  • Put the troll or bad actor on hold. The participant will be put into a waiting room and will not be able to participate in the call until the host removes the hold.

  • Remove the participant. Please be cautious when testing or using this feature, as it is permanent. They will never be able to come back into that meeting ID on that particular device. Do not joke around with this feature; it's better to put the attendee on "hold" first and then remove.

You can find these functions when clicking on the more or "..." options after scrolling over the participants name/information.

For more information, consult the Zoom blog post on How to Keep Uninvited Guests Out of Your Zoom Event.

Screen sharing guidelines and recommendations

As a first step, check out the documentation on how to use the Zoom screen sharing feature.

For screen sharing, we also recommend the following:

  • Turn off notification to prevent any interference.

  • Close all sensitive documents and unrelated programs before sharing the screen.

  • Test your presentation beforehand to make sure everything goes smoothly.

  • Keep your desktop clean. Avoid any offensive or/and distracting background.

Hardware recommendations

Here are a few hardware tips that help avoid problems on your virtual meetings:

  • Dedicated microphone - The most significant upgrade for hosting professional calls is a microphone. Clear sound will make a huge impact on the quality of your call. Look into a microphone like the Blue Yeti or similar. Also consider a pop filter.

  • Video Camera - In general, external cameras offer a much better quality picture. You will also be able to optimally position them, which can be challenging with integrated desktop cameras.

  • Quality headphones - Headphones cut down on the audio feedback which is specifically important with larger meetings. Headsets with integrated microphones are also available.

Tips for hosts and attendees

  • Join on muted audio and video in order to prevent noise to those already in a call.

  • If you don't have anything to say at that moment, put yourself on mute. If you have a meeting co-host, they can help with muting noisy attendees. Don't feel bad if this happens to you, it's a common occurrence.

  • Try to find a quiet place to join from; some coworking spaces and coffee shops have a ton of ambient noise that won't be obvious to you but will be to other attendees. 

  • Consider using visual signals for finding agreement. This is a useful technique e.g. when we are looking for consensus. A simple thumbs up can go a long way!

  • It is common for people to step on each other when there's an audio delay, and both parties are trying to communicate something. Don't worry, just remember to try and pause before speaking, or consider raising your hand (if your video is on) to help the host determine who should speak first.

Appendix C - Recording and Streaming

 

Applications

There are a few different options for recording and streaming meetings. Facebook supports streaming to your FB page. If you want to go this route, consult the Facebook streaming instructions.

Another method is using the Youtube app on a mobile phone. The Youtube app is free and supports streaming to your Youtube page. This is easy and it allows you to save the videos, download them, edit them and share them. You can make the videos public or private and send or publish a link to invite viewers. More information can be found on Google Support.

Pro-Tips

  • Sound can be challenging when streaming. A wireless microphone allows you to place your mobile phone camera in a location that captures the scene, while can deliver good sounding audio from a different position.

  • Placing the camera in a good spot with good lighting is important so the stream delivers clear images.

  • Using Google or Facebook allows you to stream your desktop too. So, you could use your laptop's camera to capture the presenter (you) and stream your laptop’s screen with a small inset video of the presenter.

  • Equipment that you may want to consider: camera, tripod or gorillapod with smartphone holder, wireless microphone