This is one of the most important things to secure for your group. When the group is just getting off the ground, you may want to just
start by meeting at someone's house or a cafe. In many cases, getting some developers interested in your group first can help you get a location through those contacts.
- Space at universities, community centers, or offices (local tech companies or the employers of you and your members are often convenient).
- Look at where some of the other local tech groups are being hosted. Ie. in Silicon Valley, a tech law firm provides space and refreshments to many local meetups. In return, they get to speak for a few minutes at the meetings to a relevant audience and gain potential clients.
- You can also browse this list of hackerspaces -- these can be a good place to meet, depending on the area: http://hackerspaces.org/
- Google can possibly
help with meeting space providing: 1) We have an office near your
location, and 2) There is space available. If possible, you can try
working with a local Google office near your group to provide
a meeting room. This is on a case by case basi
- There is a very helpful Guide for BarCamps that could also apply to this situation: http://www.cleverclevergirl.com/?p=10
- When contacting a company about providing a venue, it can be a good idea to bring up food and beverages directly. In my experience (Peter in Sweden, Stockholm GTUG) the companies generally have no problem with this. Do not make your circle smaller beforehand, remember to ask. Also, at some times the companies say no, they can only provide venue - then I ask other companies to sponsor food and beverages (in the case for a larger event, like a Hackathon) in exchange for being mentioned on the group homepage, et.c.
GTUG offerings for sponsors
- This are a few tips of what you can offer sponsors in exchange for venues, speakers, meeting support, etc.
- Offer some interview for their corporate blog
- Writing reviews or articles of products form that company and posting them either in your GTUG page or someplace like CNET
- Posting their openings in your job board
- Letting them do a recruitment pitch at some meeting
- Placing banners or giving out flyers on your events
- Adding a link to the company in a "supporters" sections of your GTUG site.
- Advertise the company in your twitter, facebook or any other social network you work with
- Let them write a paragraph in your next mailing
- Do an interview with someone from the company and post it online
- See if you can run say quarterly social events where you'd bring your sponsors and google reps togehter
- Remember to give the venue holder a 5-10 minutes introduction (if they want to) to present their company or organization to the attendees. This is a simple way of getting the venue/beer/snacks provider to feel that they have gotten something out of the exchange. It can also be a good idea to post jobs to the mailing list and/or put them on the web site. This have been another way that make companies more accommodating towards the GTUG.
- Google is highly supportive of groups of
developers getting together to discuss Google related technologies.
There are various ways that Google and local Google offices may be able
to help a GTUG, but a GTUG should never be reliant on Google
involvement. Your group should be self-sufficient and motivated by a
pure love/interest in Google technology. In our experience, this is the
recipe for long-lasting and successful user groups.