Let's have more tech meetups! A quick-start guide to holding your own

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Technical meetups offer something so real and unique, and are truly the best way to connect with people who have similar passions. So, let’s bring them back! As a practical example, let me summarize how we organized one of our recent events: our SF Bay Area Ruby meetup. For this one, we had 160 signups and about 70 attendees, and everything went really well! Read on for our own personal insights and discover 6 pillars for building your meetup.


Start by securing a place for the meetup. The office space of a bigger company works best: many of them are not in active use after the pandemic.

In our case, I reached out to two potential companies, and both agreed. It was a Ruby meetup, so naturally, I reached out to two Ruby shops. GitHub agreed and had everything ready for us, so we went with that option.


As soon as you have the location ready for a particular date, create an event on an events platform. Our choice was Luma, because it’s popular with tech folk in the Bay Area. (It’s also free.)

RubyCentral also posted the meetup on their Meetup.com page, but it only had about 30 signups. In reality, the platform will not promote the meetup for you.


A meetup can feature 1-4 talks, each 15 or 30 minutes long. (Although, arguably, 4 is too many.) Additionally, consider having a specific overarching topic for the meetup if you have one more talk.

Start looking for speakers immediately, and update your agenda as soon as you’ve finalized them. I recommend reaching out to people via DMs (X/Twitter, LinkedIn, email) and propose offering them a speaking slot. You should also add a contact in the event description so people can submit a talk there, too.

As a note, one thing we’ll be sure to improve next time is to make the talks shorter and allocate more time for communication outside of the talks.

Food and sponsors

Meetups are free for participants, yet they should also have some food and drinks–which are not free. So, it’s best to involve a sponsor. In our case, this was a recruiting company hiring Ruby devs. They ordered pizza and soft drinks, and made a short announcement about their job openings at the beginning of the meetup.


Of course, you should be sure to promote the meetup on your social media multiple times:

  • First, as soon as you launch the event on the event platform
  • Whenever you have a new speaker confirmed
  • In case you have any other related news
  • Finally, 1 week before the event, you should post 2 times more, to make sure people cannot miss it

Announcements can be made on X/Twitter, Linkedin, and in Discord/Slack groups.

We also had a big boost in signups after two activities:

  • A mention by Ruby Weekly
  • Having our event featured on Luma’s San Francisco list: https://lu.ma/sf (Note: I only applied for this after we had about 100 signups)

Be sure to invite people to the meetup personally and directly. LinkedIn is best suited for this. Search for people who live in your city and will be interested (in our case, these are people who have Ruby on Rails in their skills or bio).

You can send 20-25 invites every day; yes, this is time consuming, but it is an efficient way to get results. I found that the general response was quite nice. As long as you filter for the specific people who are already interested in this technology, and based in the area, people are glad to get a personal invitation, and don’t consider this spam.


Last, but not least, naturally, meetups should be fun! So think about something cool as a surprise to offer your attendees. In our case it was a three tier cake decorated with rubies.

A three tier cake decorated with rubies.

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