Starting a user group and planning meetups can be an unnerving task. How exactly to start is a tricky question. In this post, we'll provide a guide on organising an interest group, planning meetups, and most importantly, how the Mauritius Software Craftsmanship Community (MSCC) can help!

The first ingredient is a passionate reason

The reason that somebody wants to start is the fuel that will ignite the user group and keep it going. If the intention is a good one, for example, to share knowledge, but, there is no motivation, the initiative will be short-lived. The reason to start must ideally be understood as a need for the organizers themselves. Running an initiative for the sake of others can lead to frustration if the response is not great.

Having a good cause is needed, one which is backed by passion and enthusiasm. Organising meetups should be an opportunity for growth and enrichment for the organisers themselves, then, attendance, response, or interest of the outside community will not matter. Organising should be a fulfilling experience at the end of the day.

Start pitching the idea to like-minded folks

It's great to share the idea around to professionals or hobbyists in the field of interest. You should talk about what you intend to do, highlight the need for such a community and try to get people to be involved as speakers or attendees. Have a way to follow up the conversation when the meetups are actually being run.

This is a pivotal point where many great people might get onboarded and shape the initiative differently.

The key to success is to start

Starting is the crucial step to success. Overthinking leads to not starting at all. Even if meetups don't have all standard pots and kettles, it's fine. Many meetups started in libraries with 4, or 5 friends. Incrementally as interests peak, accommodation will find a way.

Another important point of note is not waiting for perfection. Perfection is often a product of striving and consistency. Starting and iterating bring results. For a meetup, some aspects might be amiss, but, taking notes and improving the next time goes a long way.

The minimal setup to start

To start, you need a comfortable place, with enough chairs and tables to place personal devices (like PC) on, charging stations, and wifi. That's all! Even if the location itself is not at an accessible location, it does not matter in the beginning.

Co-working spaces or companies' conference rooms make great hosts. Companies related to the interesting topic might be willing to lend their spaces.

The MSCC: A community incubator

The MSCC has a chapter to enable user groups to start registering people for meetups. It also has experienced members to give advice. It also sponsors meetup items. It is open to helping any community initiative, in any way it can!

Marketing events

If we have the best meetup setup but no marketing, people won't know about it. If we don't give marketing enough time to take effect, it won't make any difference. We need to combine marketing on different platforms with enough exposure time. Just scheduling events without marketing is a sure recipe for not-so-great results.

Keep going is the difficult part

Now, consistently organising meetups is a different story. If the reason to start was not a strong one or if the interest waned, it might be difficult to get going. But, a major hurdle is one's own schedule.

Family life, other same-space events, leisure, sports, ... the list goes on. But, without consistency, interest also takes a hit. One way to deal with the unexpected is to have multiple core members.  Else, the meetup becomes the opportunity cost.

A code of conduct is necessary

Due to unwanted behaviours from community members, it is very necessary to implement a code of conduct. This guarantees that people attending know that they should abide by certain rules in regard to fellow attendees. Swearing at attendees, commenting on beliefs, and judging looks as well as other behaviours should not be tolerated at meetups.


Meetups are a lot of fun. Events give the industry the needed connection with the community. There is a lot to it, but, starting simple and keeping going is a powerful motto to live by!

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