[BangPypers] Improving meetup attendance

Sivasubramaniam Arunachalam sivasubramaniam.a at gmail.com
Mon Mar 20 18:05:59 EDT 2017


I have been associated with Bangpypers as a participant, speaker,
volunteer, and co-organizer for past few years(Just moved out of Bangalore
2 weeks before). Here are my initial views on this topic.

The primary(maybe the only?)objective of this group is to contribute/help
the Python community in Bangalore by organizing a monthly event. Our
objective is not to make the group members keep their promise or being
loyal/punctual to the organized event.

We open the RSVP 7 days before the event. At the time of RSVP opening, the
theme of the event, venue(along with the available seating capacity) and
speaker line-ups are already decided/planned. So, no further planning is
done after opening the RSVP.

At this moment, we are not restricting the RSVP based on the actual seating
capacity of the venue. We choose the RSVP limit which is higher than
seating capacity(as of now ~2x) based on the attendance from the past.

We are trying to be fair to the participants based on who RSVPed first and
it is broken(always in the free community-based events). Instead, allow
unlimited RSVPs and restrict the people based on FCFS on the event day.
Communicate the same in the event description and logistics email 1-2
before the event.

IMHO, being fair to the participants by asking money(to prove their
seriousness in participation) doesn't look good for a 12 years old, matured
and self-sustained community like Bangpyers. It is simply an
additional headache to the event organizers.

We have also experimented by starting the event at 9am/9.30am during 2016Q4
and all of them went just fine. During the data science workshop at
ClearTax, few participants couldn't get access the workshop at 9.35am(event
started at 9 am) because the meeting room was full. The same issue happened
when it was organized at Akamai. Other than these instances, all other
events had enough venue capacity to the accommodate the participants.



Thanks & Regards,
Sivasubramaniam Arunachalam


On Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 8:12 PM, Abraham Varricatt via BangPypers <
bangpypers at python.org> wrote:

> Hello,
>
> I think the previous poster might be missing a point about organization.
> The need to charge money BEFORE attending the event is to give the
> organizers a realistic count of how many people might be attending. There
> is a difference between paying Rs100/- today to pay for an event I might
> attend next week and paying Rs100/- when I arrive for the event.
>
> If as an organizer I see the following,
>
> 200 people paid Rs100/- to attend next week's event
>
> OR
>
> 300 people promise to pay Rs100/- to attend next week's event
>
> the former is MUCH more useful than the latter. Besides, the latter is the
> exact problem we have right now - people promising to come, but not showing
> up.
>
> The refundable idea is worth considering, but a likely logistics nightmare.
> Assume that everyone is charged Rs100/- for the event. We need to do the
> payment online - meetup.com or paypal or whoever is chosen as the payment
> gateway will charge Rs10 as fees (amount randomly chosen). The organizers
> might, in good faith, promise to return Rs90/- to everyone who comes.
>
> What do they do about people who try to receive the Rs90/- twice? Or
> thrice? You cannot deny that folks won't try to scam the organizers. Even
> worse - what about repaying for people who did not come to this month's
> event, but pay and come for next month's event? Do we pay them Rs180/- ?
>
> I _like_ the refundable idea, but it is a logistics nightmare. And for a
> non-profit event, not worth the trouble for our dear organizers, IMO.
>
> Here's my suggestion:
>
> Charge everyone Rs50/- or Rs100/- to attend per person. To ensure that this
> remains a non-profit event, donate the proceeds to some Python-related
> charity or education for computer science. I think it will be nice to
> attend a Python event and either at the beginning or end of the event, to
> hear the organizer say something like "We collected Rs850/- from everyone
> for this event and it will be gifted to ABC charity supporting Python
> education in India" (You can collect and store receipts to show anyone who
> asks if you actually paid the money).
>
> Or just use the money for snacks and stickers as someone suggested!
>
>
> To those worried about profiteering,
>
> Please consider that the organizers are only suggesting Rs100 per person
> for the meetup. That is around the cost of a day pass to travel by bus in
> Bengaluru. This is VERY cheap compared to something like a conference
> ticket being held in a fancy hotel for more than Rs1000/-.
>
> To organizers,
>
> I'll support the idea to charge for participants, but you need to
> accommodate people who do not have access to internet banking or credit
> cards (took me a long time to convince HDFC to issue me a credit card, but
> that's a personal matter) - like students or young developers. Give them
> the option (at your discretion) to pay cash at the door. Perhaps allow
> up-to 15 people to pay in cash on a first-come-first-serve basis?
>
> Yours sincerely,
> Abraham V.
> (Python lover and one-time speaker at a Bangpy meetup)
>
>
> On Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 2:01 PM, Abhiram R <abhi.darkness at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi,
> > I'm all for the gamification of the process.
> > But here's my suggestion and it's totally up for vote.
> >
> > First of all, 100/- per head for attendance is fine. But it should be
> > *refundable
> > *on attendance.
> > Secondly, for the amount that is available as part of the number of
> people
> > not attending, this money can be split between speakers as say Amazon
> gift
> > cards or something or the sort - no matter how small the amount. The
> point
> > is not to make money, but something that provides motivation for the
> > speaker as well.
> >
> > This way,
> > Less attendance = monetary benefit (not really desired, but it's
> > something),
> > More attendance = Satisfaction at having reached so many people.
> >
> > Thoughts?
> >
> >
> >
> > Abhiram R
> > https://twitter.com/__abhiram__
> > https://github.com/abhiii5459
> >
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 11:24 PM, Nitin Kumar <nitin.nitp at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > I would vote for paying 100rs and let that be used for snacks and
> goodies
> > > for the speaker.
> > >
> > > Nitin Kr
> > >
> > > On Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 9:44 PM, Anand Chitipothu <
> anandology at gmail.com>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > On Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 8:32 PM, kracekumar ramaraju <
> > > > kracethekingmaker at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > Hi
> > > > >
> > > > >  As of today, there are 5394 members in BangPypers meetup [0]. For
> > last
> > > > > meetup (IoT Workshop), 267 participants showed interest. We allowed
> > 134
> > > > > RSVPs and waitlisted 133 attendees. As Nitin mentioned in previous
> > > > thread,
> > > > > he couldn't attend the meetup since he was in waitlist. 75 people
> > > > > participated in the event. Turnout ratio was 56%. Our expectation
> was
> > > > only
> > > > > 40% people would attend. That's the rationale behind 134 RSVP
> limit.
> > > > >
> > > > > This kind of scenario happens at least once or twice in a year.
> > > > >
> > > > > To solve the RSVP problem, few meetups charge a monetary fee of
> 100Rs
> > > [1]
> > > > > and return the amount when participant shows up on the event
> > day(after
> > > > > deducting gateway costs). Some meetup [2] donates the collected fee
> > to
> > > > > organizations like EFF, FSF, Software Freedom Conservancy and other
> > > > > non-profit organization. Some meetup uses the amount to distribute
> > > > goodies
> > > > > to the speaker, and spend on snacks and food. The meetup tried
> > > charging a
> > > > > small amount and now reverted [3].
> > > > >
> > > > > The collecting money has administrative work - Use one of the
> > organizer
> > > > > bank accounts, record attended participants, return payment (not
> sure
> > > > > payment gateways will be happy returning money for the majority of
> > > > > transactions).
> > > > >
> > > > > Will you be interested in paying for the meetup with a refund?
> > > > > I'd like to hear input from others regarding in this matter from
> all
> > > > front.
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > Having a small barrier of entry is good to eliminate noise. To make
> > > things
> > > > easy to manage, you can probably take help of PSSI in managing
> > payments.
> > > > Also using bank account of one of the organizers may create
> > > accounting/tax
> > > > issues for him.
> > > >
> > > > Good to see 75 people attending the meetup and waiting list. Good
> work,
> > > > organizers!
> > > >
> > > > Anand
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > BangPypers mailing list
> > > > BangPypers at python.org
> > > > https://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/bangpypers
> > > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > BangPypers mailing list
> > > BangPypers at python.org
> > > https://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/bangpypers
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > -Abhiram R
> > _______________________________________________
> > BangPypers mailing list
> > BangPypers at python.org
> > https://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/bangpypers
> >
> _______________________________________________
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