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How to Run a WordPress Meetup, Part 8: Relationships Rock

We’ve talked a lot about how to run a WordPress meetup. It’s fair to wonder if it’s worth all the effort.

“There’s a great cost to one’s sanity. No! Just kidding,” says Tony Cecala, organizer of the Dallas-Fort Worth WordPress Meetup. “I’ve met a great number of people I call close friends.”

Those relationships are one of the main benefits meetup organizers talk about.

All About Relationships

“I’ve made tons of great friends and business relationships,” says Steve Bruner, organizer of the New York City WordPress Community. “Plus, I ended up organizing the NYC WordCamp three times. I really learned how to put on an event.”

“The friendships you make are good,” adds Lynn Dye, co-organizer of the Oklahoma City WordPress Users Group. She also mentions meeting WordPress experts from around the country, including Lisa Sabin-Wilson, whom Lynn had the opportunity to interview.

“So you get the knowledge, you get to know people and you can help people,” says Lynn. “It makes you want to learn more. I just want to go.”

“I enjoy seeing what other people are doing, even when they’re my competitors,” says Michael Torbert, organizer of the Raleigh WordPress Meetup Group. “It’s nice to see interesting projects.”

More than Money

One thing you’re not going to get out of organizing a WordPress meetup is money: “If you’re wanting to do it to make yourself money, that’s not going to happen,” says Michael. “Even if you do that’s the wrong reason to do it.”

WordPress meetups are really about the community. Connecting with people and forming friendships is really more valuable than any negligible profit.

“I believe strongly that digital interactions are not a good way to build lasting friendships and partnerships,” says Toby Cryns, organizer of the Minneapolis-St. Paul WordPress User Group. “The most valuable part of the whole MSP WordPress operation is the 20 minutes following our gatherings, where everybody stands around and talks.”

Favorite Memories

One of Tony Cecala’s best memories from a WordPress meetup is when a friend took an opportune moment when Tony stepped out to wish him happy birthday: “When I returned, there’s a lot of laughter and buzzing, and I see a slide with a birthday cake on it and everyone sang the song,” Tony explains.

Michael remembers a Christmas social event at a funky warehouse office with pingpong. “It was fun talking with everybody instead of getting up and talking to everybody,” Michael says. “Not a whole lot of talk about WordPress, but just a fun time.”

Stay tuned for more upcoming posts in our series How to Run a WordPress Meetup. We’ll be sharing more tips, resources, advice and interviews with local WordPress meetup leaders.




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