Converting Java User Group Meeting No-Shows into People Who Say "I'm There!"
A recent topic of discussion on the Java.net JUG Leaders mailing list has been how Java User Groups can entice more people who express interest in attending meetings to actually attend the meetings. JUG Indonesia leader Frans Thamura indicated that typically only about 1/3 of the people who sign up for their JUG meetings actually end up attending.
Martijn Verburg of the London Java Community suggests that, when this happens, "you need to find out why." Martijn says "we used to have this problem at the LJC events..." How did the LJC deal with this situation? Basically, by taking an individualistic approach to assess why people who signed up to attend were ultimately not attending. That is, the LJC contacted these people, asked them why they didn't attend, then modified their own approach to meetings in order to better address the needs of their broader community.
Martijn cites the following as among the changes the LJC has made in order to better accomodate their community and facilitate higher attendance at their meetings:
- change of venue so it was closer to a majority of folks
- change time to suit working hours
- provide food so people could stay later
- give better directions
- set reminders for people
"The list goes on :-)" he adds.
Sounds like good advice -- apply the one-on-one personal approach!
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