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How to start LLVM Social in your town

Here are several ideas you can take into account when designing your specific LLVM Social.

Before you start, it is essential to make sure that the meetup is as welcoming as any other event related to LLVM. Therefore you shall follow LLVM's Code of Conduct.

Other than that - your mileage may vary. Please adapt your social to what works best for your specific situation.

General suggestions

  • We highly recommend that you join the official LLVM meetup organization. In addition to covering the cost of the meetup, all LLVM meetups are advertised together and easily found by potential attendees. Please contact arnaud.degrandmaison@llvm.org for more details.
  • Beware of cultural differences: what works well in one region may not work in other part of the world.
  • Do not be alone to organize the meetup. Try to work with a couple other organizers. This is more motivating as an organizer, and this makes the meetup more resilient over time.
  • Each event can have a different form such as a social event, or a hackathon/workshop, or a 'mini-conference' with one or more talks. You do not have to stick to one format forever.
  • Whatever format you choose, LLVM Weekly is an excellent topic starter: go through the 3-4 recent LLVM Weekly posts and prepare a list of the most interesting/notable news and discuss them with the group.

Tech talks

  • It’s a great idea to have several talks scheduled for several upcoming meetups to get the ball rolling.
  • Keep looking for speakers far in advance, ideally you should have 2-3 speakers ready in the pipeline.
  • Try to record the talks if possible. It adds visibility to the meetup and just a good idea in general. Any modern smartphone or tablet should work, but you can also get a camera. Though, it is recommended to get an external microphone for better sound.

Where to host the meetup?

  • Look around for bars/café with projectors.
  • Talk to tech companies in the area.
  • Some co-working spaces provide their facilities for non-profit (i.e., you do not charge attendees any fees) meetups.
  • Ask nearby universities or university departments.

How to pick the date?

  • Make sure you do not clash with the similar meetups in the city (e.g., C++ user groups).
  • Prefer not to have a meetup the same week when the other similar meetups happen (e.g., it’s not a good idea to have LLVM meetup on Thursday after C++ meetup on Wednesday).
  • Meetups on weekends may attract people who live far away from the city, but the people who live in the city may not attend.
  • Make a poll, but beware that not every responder will join (we had ~20 votes on the poll, while only ~8 people attended).