When I started Refresh Augusta in 2008, I had no idea what I was doing. (Hell, I still don’t.) In the past six years, the one thing I’ve learned is that running a group of any size and keeping its members interested month after month is a lot of work. Having the right tools makes… Continue reading Building a Better Community.
2013 was a big year for RefreshAugusta. Our meetup group grew to 111 members. We grew to 773 followers on Twitter. We held a total of 9 meetups in 2013: Two lunches, one workshop, and six educational/informative evening events. We even made a one-day web conference happen here in Augusta! February – Outsmart Yourself: Failure,… Continue reading Year in Review: RefreshAugusta
Use email effectively — We could’ve used email better. Reaching out to past attendees should’ve happened earlier on. We could’ve reached out to attendees earlier as well, and enlisted their help in advertising the event. Email user groups. Email businesses. Create things that can be easily shared by user group organizers. Delegate — Don’t try… Continue reading Part 6. Final Lessons Learned
Nothing will prepare you for the day of the event, especially if you’ve only organized local meetups. Having a team you can depend on is essential for your event to be successful. You’ll need a game plan. You’ll also need to accept that you won’t think of everything. You will make mistakes. Roll with it.… Continue reading Part 5. Conference Day
Do you charge for your event or do you make it free? Calculate any hard costs you have: Travel, Accommodations, Venue, Catering, etc. to determine the approximate cost of your event. Sample Event Budget Travel $1500 Accommodations $2500 Venue $2500 Catering $1000 Other Expenses* $1000 Total $8500 * Other Expenses might include paying a photographer,… Continue reading Part 4. Pricing Your Event
While you’re trying to nail down who to have speak, you’ll need to nail down when and where to have your event. (When you have your event will impact speaker availability.) Lesson 8 — Before you decide on where (and when) to hold your event: Research, research, research. The last thing you want to do… Continue reading Part 3. Securing a Venue & Setting a Date
Without _____, you don’t have an event. It’s damn near impossible to market a first year event without a lineup. And you can’t have an event without a venue. And you can’t get a venue without having a date. And getting speakers to commit relies heavily on when your event will happen. (!) This’ll post… Continue reading Part 2: Really Getting Started
This is the first part of many. I started writing this back in May, right after Web Afternoon Augusta. I’ve been to a number of conferences as an attendee, volunteer/staff and once as a co-organizer of sorts… but this was the first time I really tried to pull a conference together as a lead organizer.… Continue reading Part 1: Thoughts from a first-time conference organizer