Volunteering After Hours

  • Topic
  • Host
  • Managing the event on meetup
  • Keeping an eye on attendees
  • Writing the tutorial
  • Finding coaches
  • Sending our invites with resources to the coaches
  • Sending reminder emails to attendees (because let’s face it, people forget, don’t check email, emails from meetup go to spam, life gets busy, people need reminders) — reminders happen 1 week before and a couple of days before.
  • Sending reminder emails to coaches
  • Finding replacement coaches for those who dropped out
  • Looking through the skill levels of the attendees and making sure they have resources they can work through
  • Looking at other tools we can use e.g. cloud editors
  • Updating resources
  • Promoting the event — twitter etc
  • Prepping attendee lists for the host (in case they have security/reception policies). I often ask for Full Name, Skill Level & What you hope to achieve. About 50% of the time people leave this blank which can make things tricky
  • Checking people’s requirements e.g. dietary, special chairs etc
  • Reminders as comments on meetup
  • Scanning my meetup inbox for the upcoming event in case I need to answer something urgently
  • Scanning the meetup comments for the upcoming event in case is something I need to answer
  • Prep feedback form
  • Prep the tutorial resource print out — including the twitter handle of the host and links that are needed
  • Print the resources, buy name tag labels, grab pens for the event.
  • I help with setup
  • Place attendee list (for people to mark their names)
  • Place print outs of the tutorial
  • Don’t plan too much. I have gotten myself in the trap of organising 5+ things at a time, it’s stressful
  • Know your limits. If you don’t have capacity, don’t try to take it on
  • Designate days for planning. You don’t need to answer that email right now, do it when you get the chance.
  • Prioritise. Think about what you need to plan or respond to now and what can wait.
  • Set expectations. Let people know when you’ll be in touch again so they don’t need to follow up with you
  • Use the right tools. For me calendar reminders and Trello works well for planning. Using Google forms to capture interest for speaking or coaches and feedback forms helps a lot! The responses can be saved into a Google sheet so I don’t need to hunt around in my inbox and create my own spreadsheet.
  • Keep the big picture in mind. Think about why you’re volunteering your time.
  • Try to take timeout! Often if possible!

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Engineering Leader | Writer | Speaker | Traveller. Passionate about growing opportunities for people in Tech.

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Claire Tran

Claire Tran

Engineering Leader | Writer | Speaker | Traveller. Passionate about growing opportunities for people in Tech.

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