We had a great turnout (~18) last night at the monthly meetup of the Oxford Drupal User Group, and had three presentations lined up, which is more than usual (Often we don't have any presentations planned, but people often have ad-hoc demos). The three presentations were all really interesting in different ways, so a massive thanks to the presenters. However, we did allow all presentations to run on longer than planned.
This resulted in the third presentation running significantly over the scheduled 9pm finish, meaning that people inevitably started leaving. Not only is this potentially demoralising for the presenter, but it also meant we didn't have time for general questions and answers.
Thinking about this on my way home I started writing about what does and doesn't work well at a Drupal meetup such as ours, and realised that we should try to keep to a tighter schedule for presentations in our 2 hour meetup. I then received an email this morning to the same effect, but firmly suggesting a more structured approach to the event, and pointing out that many people newer to Drupal should be given clear time in which to ask more basic questions.
So in light of these reflections, let's try a more structured meetup agenda for our meetups next year.
How's about something like this:
19:00 - Welcome, coffee, introductions
19:15 - News and announcements
19:30 - Presentation (one longer or two shorter)
20:00 - Drupal Clinic / Bring your questions to be answered by the group
20:30 - General chat / break out for special interest chats
21:00 - To the pub
Please let's discuss this further, but if we do agree to stick more to an agenda, we should be able to ensure time is available to answer individual problems and encourage more people up the Drupal ladder!
So a big thanks to everyone who came last night, sorry if you didn't get a chance to ask any burning questions. Do feel free to post questions on this group where people are happy to offer help and advice.
Do please add you comments...