Many companies and organizations want to sponsor meet-ups and one-off talks. Such companies and organizations are known as venue hosts.
Organizers and venue hosts have to coordinate with each other to ensure that facilities are properly organized, and that information which has to be given to participants is available, and communicated in a timely manner.
- The facilities and resources which venue hosts have to arrange, and which of these are mandatory, and which are optional.
- The information that meet-up organizers should collect from venue hosts and share with participants prior to the meet-up.
Here is a list of essential facilities and resources that venue hosts need to provide for meet-ups:
- Projector and screen for speakers.
- Two collar mics for the speaker and the moderator to use.
- Two hand mics - to circulate among the audience for asking questions, and for interaction.
- Sound system, which connects to the mics and the projector.
- Wifi access for speaker and emcee, in case they need to connect to the internet to show videos or demos.
- A table which is at the speaker’s height to place their laptops. The long table serves as a podium, in case a podium cannot be arranged for the speaker.
- Venue hosts can also check with meet-up organizers if the speaker requires a whiteboard and markers.
- Access to drinking water.
- Clean washrooms with sanitary napkins in ladies bathrooms.
- Chairs for seating.
Venue hosts can arrange for these facilities based on their budget and their interest in supporting the community. Alternatively, organizers can arrange for these facilities through sponsorships, or by collecting contributions from audiences who show up.
- Access to tea/coffee machines, or organizing tea/coffee in flasks.
- A snack for participants at the end of the meet-up - samosas, sandwiches.
- Sticker badges which participants can put their names and their interests. This helps in sparking conversations.
- Parking facilities at the venue. If there are no parking facilities, what are the options for participants coming to the meet-up by two-wheelers or cars.
- Security and check-in procedure. The venue must specify clearly what is the procedure for check-in.
In most meet-ups, organizers provide the venue’s Point of Contact (POC) with a list of participants one day prior to the meet-up. Organizers ask participants to show up at the venue with a valid ID card, and show it to the venue’s security to check their names on the attendee list.
Organizers also inform the venue whether to allow walk-in attendees or not. Walk-in attendees typically add their names to the attendance sheet, show an ID, and enter the venue.
If the venue has any other systems for check-in and security, they must inform the organizers who in turn can inform the participants. This avoids any unnecessary confusions at the start of the meet-up.
Organizers should collect this information from meet-up organizers 7-10 days before the meet-up, and then send regular reminders to participants about the facilities. Organizers using https://hasgeek.com can schedule and send these announcements via Updates.
For most in-person events, the turnout of the audience is 25-35% of the total number of people who have registered. For example, if your meet-up has 100 registrations, you can safely expect between 25-40 people to show up. Plan the venue capacity accordingly.