On February 1st, when it was still cold and dark outside, I got this email reply:
Welcome to the Envato meetup family :) It’s awesome that you want to host an Envato meetup in Bucharest, Romania.
Then I had a quick chat on Slack with my team about how it would look: 10-15 people meeting in a pub for a drink and a friendly talk. Then, the ball started to roll and we finally ended up with 70 people coming from all parts of Romania, three keynotes, networking over pizza and an after-party.
Bucharest Envato Meetup highlights
But first, a short disclaimer. ThemeIsle is not a big player on Envato and we’re quite new in the community overall. But we have some experience in organizing the monthly WordPress Meetup and WordCamp Bucharest so we thought this would be a good way to get to know other authors, learn new things and give back to the local community.
What the community wants
After the event was confirmed by Envato, I wanted to learn what the community wanted. To find out, I launched a quick Typeform survey to get a better idea of what people are looking for. The number of replies was unexpected and I learned that people were actually waiting for such a meetup to happen. This got me pretty excited. Some of their responses:
We should, finally, get together!
And here’s a list of topics Envato authors flagged as interesting:
- Item creation process and time, workflows
- Marketing and sales, exposure
- WordPress development
- Page builders, popular niches
- Authorhood :), connecting local community
Meetup organization tips
This section is for people who are thinking about organizing Envato meetups. Don’t think :), start planning!
We’ve mostly set everything without a budget, but it did take some days (read weeks) of planning and organizing. So time is the most important resource I think. Heads up for people my team!
I’m sure you have noticed that events are a big thing these days. Every day it seems there is something interesting going on. You’ll be surprised how many companies are willing to support them – event venues, food sponsors, media partners, photographers. You’ll just need to start looking and eventually you’ll find the right fit for your meetup. Don’t give up. In our case, TechHub Bucharest backed us up logistically with almost everything we needed. Big up!
We’ve also received some cool swag, from Australia, for the participants. The customs clearance in Romania, and possibly in other EU countries, is a killer. Don’t even get me started on what it took to get the stickers and badges out of the Posta Romana’s hands. If you can, it’s much easier arranging to print them locally.
Lastly, communication is key for getting people together. Find the right place where the community hangs out – Envato Forum, Twitter, Facebook Groups. Keep them involved and give them updates (and pizza) and they will be there.
The meetup agenda was packed. Alex Paduraru, CEO of Creative Tim talked about finding their product-market fit and sharing their growth marketing tactics. A very insightful presentation for people looking to launch new products.
— Cristian Stan (@cristianstan_co) May 19, 2017
Ionut Neagu covered his findings during the struggles with revenue drop downs at ThemeIsle. Some of the recommendations included not rushing into decisions thinking on short term. Another thing that stuck to my mind was not to take the fall upon yourself. Being open about the problems facing the business has brought in unexpected help from the community and the team.
Finally, Konstantin Pronkevich from ThemeRex traveled from Ukraine to speak about the perks of being a Power Elite Author. In the Q&A, among many interesting numbers, we found out how they managed to automate their development processes to produce up to 20 new themes / per month—yes, you’ve read correctly.
Just the beginning
I think it’s fair to say that this first meetup was a blast. People are already asking when will the second one take place. There are still authors in Romania who couldn’t attend. People that have a lot of experience and many things to share. It would be a shame to stop here, not that the ice has been broken.
Finally, I’d like to encourage Envato authors to get together more often. Getting out of the comfort zone and meeting new people is an enriching experience both business-wise and personally.