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  • Nigel Dias
    Nigel Dias

    How to Run a HR and People Analytics Meetup, and join the global network

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    Posted 10 months ago

     

    Running an HR and People Analytics Meetup can be a highly rewarding activity, as I highlighted in my original post when we started looking for this Global HR and People Analytics Network. They are a great way to bring your local HR analytics communities (and grow the industry), they are drive true innovation, they are inclusive, and it gives us a chance to discuss true stories and true obstacles at a practical level.

    Running a meetup can be hard though. Common obstacles tend to include:

    • Getting started - Where do I start? What do I need to know?
    • Finding speakers and topics - Where do I find speakers? What topics should I cover?
    • Finding a venue - Where do I host the event? When do I host it?
    • Paying for things - How do I pay for this?
    • Getting the word out there - How do I let people know near me?


    Do you need some help to start and grow your Meetup?
    The good news is that these obstacles are not showstoppers - and there is a global community of meetup organisers willing to share their advice to help get round them! Here are some of the ways the the global community, and 3n/the ThinkTank, can help - and it's all for free:

    1. Put your meetup on the Global Meetup Map and let us share your events
    How many HR and People Analytics meetups are there in the world? Is there one in your city? So far we've found 22, which we are listing for free on the HR and People Analytics Global Meetup Map (click here), and whose events we are sharing on the ThinkTank's Meetup Calendar (click here) and ThinkTank Newsletter (click here).

     

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    2. Connect with other HR/People Analytics Meetup Organisers
    Want to speak with other meetup organisers from around the world? Would you like to learn from their experiences, or share your own? Over the last month, we've found over 20 Meetups around the world - if you are an organiser (or aspiring organiser), please join the new Linkedin group (click here) to us to chart with each other.

     

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    3. Join the quarterly/region Meetup Organiser Calls
    We're organising quarterly (regional) calls for all meetup organisers to meet, plan and share ideas for meetups. If you would like to join one of the calls (There are slots for APAC, CET, EST and PST), please message me and I'll share the invite.

     

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    4. Use our 'How to Run a Meetup Guide' and use our free Resources
    To help you get started, we have produced a guide for running a meetup, and we are also sharing the experiences of other meetups. The guide is based predominantly on the London meetups, but we will add the experience of other organisers as we go. Please click here to read the guide.

     

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    5. Use the ThinkTank to find Speakers, Topics and Stories
    A few groups have had trouble finding speakers and presentations to share. From now on, the HR Analytics ThinkTank, its partners (The University of Leeds and Utah State University) and its community will begin sharing free quarterly topics and case studies. Please sign up here if you'd like to receive updates about these resources.
     

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    6. Sponsorship
    We've been able to help some groups out with sponsorship costs. Let us know if that would help.
    _________________________

    We still start sharing the stories of other groups, and you can join the newsletter for general updates, and the LinkedIn group if you're an aspiring meetup running. Here are some quotes from other meetup organisers to start:

     

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    _______________________

    If you have any questions or thoughts, please put them in the comments below or message me directly. Meetups should be free and open to everyone, and if you have ideas for starting, sharing or growing them, please let us know.

     

    Edited by Nigel Dias

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    1. The Global Community Content library is an open area of the ThinkTank site where anyone can add content for other people to access, read and use. It is completely open and anyone can add content - although there are some general rules (below). This blog is a quick guide to explain how to add content to the site.

       

      Rules for Global Community Content

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      And that's it... The video should appear in the library immediately! Thank you for adding it!

    2. In September last year, I write a guide for How to Run an HR and People Analytics meetup. In those pre-COVID19 days, the guide was really talking about in-person events when we could come within 2 metres of each other and most of us had probably never worn a face mask. Like everything else meetups have gone digital. Since March, HR and people analytics meetup organisers around the world have been experimenting with ways of taking our communities digital.

       

      It has been a learning journey, and there are pros and cons to this new format. In this blog I wanted to share the experiences of the London HR and People Analytics Meetup community, as we've adapted for this new world. We invite other meetup organisers to contribute their own blogs or comments.

       

      We also invite you to download our Virtual Meetup Slide Deck Template by clicking here on the image below:

       

      HR Analytics Template Deck

       

       

      So what tips do we have for moving your meetup virtual...?

       

      Virtual Tip 1: Replicate In-Person Feel and Vibes

      Many of us have learned that the success of virtual meetings requires a shift in attitude - not just from the person leading the session, but the people attending it too. We send an email out 48 hours before the meetup and open with some guidelines to help everyone get into the right frame of mind. My general guide to the community is a simple challenge: "As a community, we need to work together to replicate the feel and vibe of an in-person meetup. Would you feel comfortable doing something at a physical event? If yes, then feel free to do it at the virtual meetup.".

       

      More more specific guidelines:

      • Webcams On. We think the 'connection' people feel in meetups requires an eye-to-eye connection, so unless you are invisible in real life we ask everyone to switch their cameras on.
      • Be Present. In a normal meetup, people tend to respect the presenter and they don't walk around and do distracting things. The great thing about a virtual event means you can join from anywhere, but please don't join in a way that negatively impacts the experience for other people.
      • Ask Questions. We allow anyone to unmute themselves so they can ask questions whenever they want (just like in real life).
      • Have Fun. It is just a meetup, so don't stress!

       

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      Virtual Tip 2: Be Inclusive

      You shouldn't assume everyone feels as comfortable as you are with your web platform - in fact, it can be a great way to alienate some of your community if they feel unable to navigate your sessions. At the beginning of every session, we do a quick 3-4 minute demo of all the functionality they need to know about.

      Zoom Instructions

       

      Virtual Tip 3: Your Networking Will be Fine (it might even improve)

      Most meetup organisers feel that the biggest value their sessions bring is the networking and sense of community - and they are worried that this will not translate into virtual webinars. At the in-person London meetups the networking is high energy, and it was a concern for us - but the feedback on our networking as been extremely positive.

       

      Some ideas for you to consider:

      • Use Breakout Rooms (Zoom). Zoom has a great feature called 'Break Outs', which allows you to create mini virtual meetings within your big Zoom meeting. You can click a few buttons and send everyone into mini groups of 4-5 people to chat on their own. This works very well for us.
      • Given Enough Time. Make sure you give people enough time to network. You can always end the networking early if you need to.
      • Use Digital Tools. Other groups are using tools like Mentimeter, Miro and more to improve their experiences.
      • Suggest Questions or Themes. Suggest questions for people to ask each other in the virtual meetups to help them get started.
      • Eat and Drink. This is probably my personal view but there is something human about eating together and our networking usually happens over pizza and beer. Encourage people to bring a snack for the networking.

       

      Networking

       

      Virtual Tip 4: Keep Recording and Writing Up and Keep Going

      The biggest trick to long-term Meetup success is still the same trick as a successful change management programme... Keep going, maintain clear momentum and communication and share successes. If you can, tell people when the next meetup will be, and share the blogs and recordings of your sessions (on the ThinkTank?) so other people can see what they missed and join in the future.

       

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      Finally...

      I hope this helps. If anyone has any other questions about the London meetups or suggestions or ideas, please let me know. Here are the useful links if you want to start your own meetup:

      1. Register Your Meetup on the Global Meetup Map
      2. Put your Meetup Event on the New Global Meetup Calendar
      3. Join our the Meetup Organiser Linkedin Group.

       

       

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