Last week I wrote about how I’m planning on stepping up this year to speak at more conferences. Even though I also challenged you all to do the same, public speaking may not be a goal of yours (which is totally fine of course). There is, however, another way you can step up in a similar arena without all the anxiety of being up in front of people. It’s something that you can all start today and you can easily start small – I’m talking about organising local events.

By “local events” I don’t just mean large conferences like WordCamp, but I’m talking about small meetup events too. If you are part of a local WordPress community (or any other similar meetup group I’m sure) then your usual organisers would welcome a new person stepping up to organise things. In the Cape Town WordPress community, two individuals have recently stepped up to assist me with organising meetup events (Jonathan Bossenger and Daine Mawer) – I am incredibly thankful for this as it means that not only will the responsibility of organising be spread across more people, but we will be able to have more events, as well as more diverse and interesting events with fresh ideas.

Event organising is far easier than you might think (no, really, I promise) – especially when you do it in the context of an existing meetup group. All you need to organise a meetup are three things: venue, sponsor(s) and concept. Venue and sponsors are obvious – you just need somewhere local and affordable along with a local company who is keen to help make the event happen. The concept is far more flexible and can be anything you like. One of the more common concepts is a speaker giving a presentation with everyone having time to hang out before/afterwards, but you can do absolutely anything – casual drinks, a meal together, a panel discussion, a group discussion, a quiz night, a training workshop, or absolutely anything else that your community would enjoy.

If you’re a part of the Cape Town WordPress community and you want to step up to organise events, then let me know! Otherwise get in touch with your local meetup organiser and I can guarantee that they will welcome your assistance. I can also guarantee that you will learn a whole lot of new skills and meet a whole lot of great new people.

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