I wanted to gather a group of people from the IT industry that I've met to discuss some ideas that I have about the current state of user interfaces and how I think they will evolve in the next 5 to 10 years. I called this group "UI Philosophy Group".
I had organized small parties and friend gatherings before but never something related to my work and passion; so, this was the first time ever. I went on and purchased a membership at meetup.com to create a group and become a host. I thoughtfully wrote the description and name, I thought extensively about what type of people I wanted in this group and made a list of them.
I was feeling really good about it. I went on and started writing notes about what I was going to talk about first. I shared my ideas with my close friends. I looked for the place I would host the meetup at and planned all the logistics related to this event. Once I felt prepared, I started to invite the people from the list I had made.
Everyone started to respond things like "Yeah, it sounds cool", so I made a WhatsApp group and placed everyone who had accepted. The group had about 10 people. I created the group so that I could decide when I should set the date for the meetup by asking about their availability there. We eventually came up with a date (Friday at 7pm) which was set for two weeks later from that moment.
As time went by, I started to invite more people but didn't add them to the group. I even thought that I could have more people assisting then I would expect.
I followed my plans, made a nice presentation and rehearsed it. I was feeling really proud of myself. The day came closer: two days before, I reminded everyone. Some people told me they were not going to make it, but it was still within the range of what I was expecting (4 of about 15 people I had invited).
It was until the very last moment, just about an hour before, that everyone cancelled. Well, except three people: My manager, a co-worker, and my best friend (who I just invited to take photos). I ended up telling them that the event was cancelled and finished it right there.
So here I am, in a coffee shop, writing about this and thinking about what went wrong:
I had explained what the meetup was going to be about to only three people: Two co-workers (one of them cancelled) and my best friend. They were the only ones who really knew about the subject.
I don't know about other places but, here in Guadalajara, Mexico, everyone forgets about their jobs on Friday nights and usually go out drinking. (I think this happens at most places). Also, it was production release that night, so some people couldn't assist due to that.
It was until three days before the date when I said where we would have the meeting. Why? Because there was a possibility that I could use a space in the company's building I work at. The thing is, they never confirmed me if I was able to use that space.
If the meetup had been done in my company's building they would have also sponsored it with snacks and goodies. But that was not the case with the coffee shop meeting space I made the reservation at, the requirement for that place was that every person needed to buy at least a drink and an eatable.
I am glad I tried this anyways. I have now learned from my mistakes, and finally had something to write for dev.to.
What I'll do now is to re-organize this into a virtual meetup! I will use Google Hangouts. This will allow more people to join, it will be easier to manage, and it will be easier to archive and share!