There is a number of factors that affect your User Group attendance: good luck, great content, meeting consistency, ease of commute, and advanced notice messaging to members.
While controlling luck is virtually impossible, everything else on that list is a fair game. Great content involves inviting popular speakers and sessions while meeting consistency is built around keeping the same day and same venue. Securing an easily accessible venue requires as a minimum a commute as possible (the best fit here is a virtual meeting) while advanced notice messaging assumes a schedule built in advance. This blog post is going to provide key points to help build your User Group schedule efficiently way ahead of the next monthly meeting.
Building a schedule is time-consuming. Reaching out to speakers is time-consuming. Reaching each speaker with a personal message is even more time-consuming. Luckily, copy-and-paste is here to help.
Build and grow your personal network on LinkedIn and Twitter
Do not be afraid to personally reach out to people that never heard of you
Learn how to deal with rejection
Make a template – have a small generic message that you can send to any speaker (see Fig #1)
Focus on quantity vs. quality – send as many messages as you possibly
Be responsive and book sessions as fast as you can (see Fig #2)
Make a placeholder for a speaker with no session (see Fig #3)
It helps if you have a session submission form like we have here – https://datadriventechnologies.org/2021/06/02/speakers-wanted/
Once you are doing booking at least 12 or 24 months ahead (see Fig #4 and Fig #5), you can relax and spend more time attracting attendees by marketing your monthly event meetings