Meetups - Adapting To Change
Mark Winteringham
21st July 2022

It will come as no surprise to all of us that the consequences of the pandemic have had an impact on all of our community meetups. Over the past few months we've learnt from organisers that the result of the pandemic has meant:

  • People are working from home more or have relocated, meaning less desire to travel to areas with Meetups
  • Many of us are still not ready to mix with larger groups
  • The length of the pandemic has meant some community members have moved on to other exciting things.

Whilst all of these things are understandable and have presented new opportunities for us as a community, the knock-on effect has meant that many of our meetups that were active before the pandemic have become dormant.

The cost of managing Meetups

At the time of writing, we currently have 98 Meetup groups set up on Meetup.com at an annual cost of $17,000+. Which is a sizeable amount for us. This would be money well spent, supporting local communities to get together, socialise and learn from one another. However, of those 98 Meetups only, 38 of these Meetups are active. Meaning we are paying $10,500 a year on inactive meetups which could be better spent on other community initiatives.

Closing down inactive Meetups

With that $10,500 annual bill in mind. We've made a decision internally to close down the inactive meetups. The organisers have all been contacted, and we've offered support to help them get started again. But for many valid reasons, some of them are not in a position to restart, so we are closing them down. 

We hope many of them will return again in the future, and we will always continue to support new meetups.

What does this mean for the future of Meetups?

Our goal is to help the Meetups that are active to grow and support their local testing communities. Our next phase will involve working more closely with our organisers to help them with Meetup organising tasks such as finding venues, securing sponsorship, and organising new and exciting Meetup formats and content.

So if your local meetup is still up and running, please support them by attending and contributing. And if you're interested in starting a new Meetup or taking over an old one that has been deleted, get in touch with us at hello@ministryoftesting.com and we'll work with you to get your local community up and running. You can learn more about hosting a meetup on our help page.