Hadoop Get Together Berlin @ Apache Con US Barcamp

2009-11-03 21:05 More posts about Apache Con ApacheConUS09 Berlin Get Together Meetups
This is my first real day at ApacheCon US 2009. I arrived yesterday afternoon, was kept awake by three Lucene committers until midnight: "Otherwise you will have a very bad jetlag"... Admittedly it did work out: I slept like a baby until about 08:00a.m. the next morning and am not that tired today.

Today Hackthon, Trainings and barcamp Apache happen in parallel. Ross Gardler tricked me into doing a presentation on my experiences on doing local user meetups. I put the slides online.

The general consent was, that it is actually not that hard to do such a meetup - at least if you are have someone locally to help organizing or do it in a town you know very well. There are ways to get support from the ASF for doing such meetups - people help you get speakers, talk to potential sponsors or find a location. In my experience if doing the event in your hometown, finding a location is not that hard: Either you are lucky having someone like newthinking store around. Or you can contact you local university or even your employer to find some conference room that you can use for free.

Getting the first two to three meetups up and running - especially finding speakers - is hard. However you should be able to benefit from being part of an Apache project already and probably know your community and know who would be willing to speak at one of those meetups. Once the meetup is well established, it should be possible to find sponsors to pay for video taping, free beer and pizza.

Keep in mind that having a fixed schedule ready in advance helps to attract people - it's always good to know why one should travel to the meetup by train or plane. Don't forget to plan for time for socializing after the event - having some beer and maybe food together makes it easy for people to connect after the meetup.