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Please feel free to edit this post, it's my first on Meta, and I always manage to unwittingly violate a few rules...

Have you guys considered linking up with professional bodies for these meetups?

I am a member of the BCS who have a lot of talks over the autumn/summer/spring period. It may be possible to link up with a group like the Advances Programming SG or even the BCS London Central Branch. They would probaby be happy to provide the venue, and mutually advertise. You do not have to be a member to attend, and they usually pay the expenses for speakers.Edit: and it's usually (free for BCS members | very cheap/free for non-members) to attend.

For the BCS (I'm not sure about other bodies, as this is the only one of which I'm a member) the format varies by group, but there's usually an evening talk, possibly followed by drinks and nibbles at the venue, and then a sizable contingent go to a local pub or wine-bar for a few more hours of putting the world to rights and discussing the latest in technologies.

I think that linking up with these events could be beneficial for all involved as costs could be spread, and there's a guarenteed audience.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

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Please take a look at this question, there may be some way to 'synergise' there... –  Benjol Sep 12 '11 at 11:54

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Coordinating a meetup through a professional organization can be a great way set the venue and arrange for some guest speakers.

After the cancellation of DevDays, the future of community get-togethers will likely be focused on smaller, localized meetups. There has already been some talk about resurrecting the London-based DevDays as a local meetup in a professional venue.

The only caution is regarding specific organizations sponsoring the meet-ups. Our stance is that a company donating space/food/drink for the event is fine, but that using the event as an avenue for marketing or as a captive audience opportunity is not okay. At the end of the day, this is about the community gathering together for education and fun!

For the time being, these meetup will be largely organized by the communities themselves. The best way to get started is to gather up some details and pitch it to the community to see if people will attend. Rally some support and then bring it to our attention. There are a bunch of ways Stack Exchange can support your events with announcements, community promotion ads, printable flyers, giveaways like stickers and t-shirts; and maybe in some venues, a budget to cover pizza and drinks.

Take a look at the blog post:

Supporting Community Conferences

Proposing and organizing a sponsored meetup will be much like supporting a community conference. The section titled "How do we get started?" outlines the steps to make it happen:

  1. A meta post is the first step
  2. Do some research.
  3. Rally support.
  4. Bring it to our attention.
  5. Send us pictures and write-ups for your event!

If the idea has merit and community support, ping us with the details and participants to community@stackexchange.com. It’s up to you to sell us on your best ideas. The more details you have, the more likely we’ll be able to support the event and provide whatever means you need to make these events a great success.

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