Running a tech meetup group in India

When I have returned from Amsterdam back to Delhi (India), one item at the top of my TO-DO list is to form a JavaScriptenthusiast group. Well my objective is not just to show-off 😉 , also to learn JavaScript. Looking at the new trends in web development, this year I chose to focus on JavaScript world. Ever since my schooling days, I didn’t like studying alone. Group studies and discussing a concept with my fellow students always helped me to understand the concept better. So I chose the meetups to learn JavaScript and understand different concepts and started “JSChannel NCR Meetup Group” . Here I wanted to share my experiences with running such a tech group in India.

“Javascript, NodeJS, AngularJS, BackboneJS” …. these are the buzz words in tech world right now. Many people are interested to explore this JS world. So I felt its not so difficult get a group for learning it together. With that thought I have started a meetup group on meetup.com. Meetup.com is excellent tool to reach out neighbors with similar interest and start meeting over and learning new things.

Not another Conference with boring “Letctures”

This is quite important and is the one that made my meetup initiative successful. Enough with long boring lectures and marketing sessions in conferences. ALL the times I have planned for hands-on sessions. Infact 30% for presentation and rest for getting hands dirty. Tech topics can be learnt ONLY by getting your hands dirty :). I believe –

It doesn’t matter how much you listened to, what matters is how much YOU have tried”. – Ganesh Gembali, May 2013 😉

Schedule it on weekends

Based on my experience in europe with meetups, I have scheduled the first one on a weekday evening at my office. Got quite a few RSVPs also. But in the end only 3 people turned up from other companies. Most of them were interested in attending the meetup, but its not possible with Indian companies as billing is more important than skill building. So best time is Saturday morning.

Chose a location near to public transport

This is important because not everyone who wants to attend your meetup owning a vehicle or its really hard to drive in metro cities especially Indian cities. I have normally chosen locations near to Delhi Metro stations that too in Delhi so that its reachable by both Noida and Gurgaon people.

Keep it as informal as possible

It will remove the barrier of formality when you are in a new location meeting new people. Just imagine yourself in another office with all new people with formals, how free is your mind to learn new things, ask questions (sometimes people feel inferior) and try something new. How about meet in an informal environment like a cafe where you can go in your pyjama ;), sip a coffee and listen to someone speaking then start trying out :). Dude after all its a weekend day, enough meeting formally.

Try keeping it self sponsored to meet only serious people

You can try this out. Cafe people wont charge much. It will not be more than 150 rupees per head. A serious learner or an enthusiast wont mind that to meet people with similar interest. Even if you have sponsor, try not to have any influence of sponsor on the content.

Of course these are not mantras to run a successful group. All above worked in my case. So thought have sharing with you all. Any feedback or suggestions or even criticism is welcome :). Now This group has become an initiative. Check below for more details :

jslogo

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