Starting, Growing and Running a Successful Developer Meetup

By Mike Zornek

Elevator Pitch

Local developer meetups are a great place to learn the latest code patterns but the real value is in the human relationships these communities foster and how they impact people’s careers. This talk will enthuse, educate and empower you to start, grow or otherwise improve your existing local meetup.


One of the most rewarding aspects of my career has been attending and then helping to run my local Apple developer meetup group. Meetup groups provide great learning opportunities but more importantly they provide great relationship opportunities for its members.

In this talk I’ll share the story and lessons learned from running my local CocoaHeads chapter. After a quick review of the benefits and challenges of running a local developer group we’ll jump into actionable items for people starting, growing or running their own group. From defining success, to time expectations, marketing, sponsorship, planning content, tools and more. To close the session we’ll invite a few other group leaders from the audience to the front for a broad question and answer session about your specific issues and concerns.

This talk is targeted at those who are running or would like to run a local developer meetup. It may also be helpful to those who attend a current group that needs guidance and/or focus.


Having been an active meetup member and observer of many groups and having help run and grown our own very successful CocoaHeads chapter over the last seven years I feel I’m in a good position to explain what in my experience has worked and what has not worked. I feel like this talk is a great way to kickstart people to run, volunteer and otherwise improve their own local meetups.

I am making an assumption I can convince a few other meetup leaders to participate in Q&A. I think I can overcome this but it is a small risk to the proposal.

I would require some extra microphones to make the Q/A work well.