Organising a Web Meet 101
November 2nd, 2011
The first of November saw the first B&W Meet at The Slug and Lettuce in Bournemouth. Myself and Sean organised it in around a week which had it's advantages as well as it's disadvantages. I've outlined six simple steps to help setup your own web event (I do love my niches).
1. Let people around you know. This sounds obvious but it takes some courage to put your name to a new event. We firstly told members of our course in seminars and lectures saying that we were organising a meet, we kept this fairly consistent so people were aware and eventually we started to hear people talk about it independently ('are you going to this thing on Tuesday?').
2. Let people who aren't around you know. This is harder than the first point. Firstly, who? Who are you targeting? As I interned within the Enterprise Pavilion I knew it was full of cool digital businesses, we firstly got permission to go round the businesses there by asking the manager of the building (see point 4) and in turn got more access than we thought we'd ever get. We found that making the effort to go to businesses face-to-face is very important; it shows commitment and gives them a face behind the 'brand' that, when they (hopefully) arrive, will recognise. Also e-mail newsgroups and any other companies that you can't get to in-person, be sure to reply too!
3. Let the venue know. We were very fortunate that our venue cornered off an entire section of the pub for us to host within. They were very hospitable, letting us put up signs and generally be quite loud!
4. Ask. Ask and you shall receive. This is probably the most important point, most people are inherently nice and will do what they can to help you. Whatever it is, ask and you'll probably be pleasantly surprised by the reply.
5. Spread it. Talk to other connections you've made, be it businesses you've interned with, other events that you've attended, even if they don't act on it, it makes them aware and they can point you to other things.
6. Connect with your guests. Make a Twitter account and use it, reply to people, retweet potential guests, people like to be talked to. Don't forget to do the same at the event, be friendly and welcoming to new people. Put yourself in their shoes especially if they've come alone!
As a closing note, I'd like to put out a tremendous thanks to Tom Kentell who co-hosts Heart & Sole, he advised us on many of the decisions we made and I cannot thank him enough for it.
Of course, it wouldn't have been the success that it was without the people that were there so thank you all so very, very much for coming! It was great meeting you all and brilliant to meet so many new people. We're working on the logistics of the next one and hopefully those that couldn't make it this time around will be able to next time.