HUG Organizer Quick Start Guide

HashiCorp User Group Quick Start Guide

Thank you!
We love to see community members growing our worldwide network of HUGs. We hope you find this guide to be a helpful asset in developing a successful HUG chapter in your city.

Please email hugs@hashicorp.com if you would like to start your own chapter or have any questions. We are happy to schedule a quick chat with you.

What is a HUG?
HUG stands for HashiCorp User Group. HUGs bring together HashiCorp community members in person for lectures and lighting talks by peers, workshops, knowledge sharing, exchanging of ideas, and meeting other practitioners and TDMs.

These events are meant to be simple, user oriented discussions. Most of the Meetups you run should focus on reaching the people and covering 1-2 topics.

Purpose

  • Sharing knowledge and exchanging ideas
  • Establishing thought leadership
  • Bringing together community members to learn from one another
  • Education should always be the focus of the meetup, not socializing
  • Empower and equip attendees to evangelize for HashiCorp

Logistics

  • Planning - HUG co-organizers
    • Secure venue / catering
    • Secure speaker(s)
    • Create Meetup event pages
    • Track RSVPs
    • Post meetup responsibilities

Cost

  • It is up to the organizers to lean into local partners and sponsors.

Registration

  • Co-organizers will create Meetup event pages
    • Communicate with attendees
    • Set capacities
    • Manage waitlist

Planning a HUG

  • A meetup consisting of 50 to 60 people will typically cost around $500.
  • It is often a good idea to lean into local companies to sponsor food and beverages, but at the beginning it may be hard to do, so you can get help from https://opencollective.com/cloudflarecollective (they will pay for your food in exchange to the logo on your meetup). Read terms. It works.
  • We do not encourage alcohol at our Meetups.
  • We find that people are eager to work with HashiCorp representatives. When someone signs on as a sponsor, it is important to add them as a sponsor to your HUG’s home page and allow them to speak for 1-3 minutes at the beginning of the meetup.
  • Source speakers directly from your HUG chapter by sending a note out the community through Meetup. Let them know what date you are targeting, if there is a theme, and how long their talk would need to be. Be sure to include an email so they can get in touch.
  • Plan the HUG one month in advance.
    • Confirm speakers, sponsors, venue, and F&B.
    • Announce on Meetup at least two weeks in advance.
  • Give speakers the HashiCorp speaker slides

Promotion

  • Drop a request in the #social channel in the HUG organizer Slack and we will schedule social from HashiCorp channels
  • Social
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn
    • Facebook
  • Dedicated graphic
  • Use a city specific hashtag
    • #CityHUG

Agenda

  • The format is up to you, but typically we find the following works well:
    • Monday - Thursday nights, beginning at 6pm
      • This may vary regionally and you know best what the local schedule tends to be.
    • First 30 minutes - attendees arrive
      • Food and networking
    • 30 minutes - Speaker #1, Q&A
    • 30 minutes - Speaker #2, Q&A
    • 30 minutes - Closing & networking

Choosing a theme

  • We recommend focusing on 1-2 of our tools at a meetup.
    • For instance, if there was recently a major Terraform release, that may be a great topic to focus on that attendees are interested in.
  • Find 1 to 2 speakers that can speak on the selected topic.
    • Speakers are typically local community members using HashiCorp tools at their company.
    • Example talks may include how they implemented the HashiCorp tool stack at their company, a DevOps problem they had to solve and how they did that with a HashiCorp tool, or what unique issues they ran into in implementing a HashICorp tool into their existing infrastructure and how they solved those issues.
  • It is best practice to engage your community by sending out feelers for speakers + sponsors through the Meetup portal. Be sure to include your email so folks know how to get in touch.

Venue Requirements

  • Plan on 40-50% of RSVPs to show up.
    • If the venue can accommodate 50 people, set a waitlist after 100 RSVPs.
  • Ensure there is enough seating for all attendees, a strong WiFi connection, projector, and screen.
  • Microphones are helpful but optional.

Food & Beverage

  • Meetups usually happen after the work day and people come hungry. It is important to provide food and water. Alcohol is not encouraged.
    • Ideas for food that have worked well in the past:
      • Mediterranean plates
      • Thai catering
      • Build your own Chipotle burrito bowls
  • It is important to provide vegetarian, vegan, and non-alcoholic options for all attendees.
  • For free events, there’s usually about a 50% attrition rate. Keep that in mind when ordering.
  • Consider providing food between talks if topics are rather different and people want to talk to speakers (food = miracle)

What should be done one day before the HUG?

  • Use Meetup’s messaging portal to contact attendees confirming the event and include any logistical details about the venue.
    • Where they can park
    • How to secure their bikes
    • How to get there on public transportation
    • Handicap accessibility
    • How to check in with security, reminding folks to update their RSVPs if there is a wait list
    • Example:
      Hi Everyone, I’m looking forward to seeing you at tomorrow night’s San Francisco HUG. When you arrive, you’ll check in with the security desk and show your ID. They will send you up to the 10th floor in the elevator. See you then! Best, Organizer name

What should happen on the day of the HUG?

  • Confirm with catering that food and beverages will be delivered on time.
  • If the venue requires any sort of check-in or registration, ensure there will be people working that table, leaving you to handle the other logistics of the meetup. Print the RSVP list in advance.
  • Name badges and sharpies can be helpful to encourage mingling.
  • Plan on emceeing (or assign an emcee) to direct attention, introduce speakers and make sure the schedule is followed.
  • To encourage people to sit closer to the speaker you can close an entrance to several rows at the end by turning chair 90 degrees (this helps a lot to make everyone talking and participating if a venue is too big)
  • Put up directional signs at the entrance and anywhere else needed such as arrows to the restrooms, along with wifi access info.
  • Perform a sound check & projector/screen check before the HUG begins.
  • Encourage attendees to post on social and tag @hashicorp.
  • Take a photo and post it on twitter using the #CityHUG tag unique to your chapter

What should happen after the HUG?

  • It is good practice to message your attendees and thank them for attending.
  • Additionally, this is a good time to let them know you are seeking speakers + venue for the next go-around. Be sure to include your email so folks know how to get in touch.

HUG organizer Slack

  • Upon becoming a HUG organizer, we will invite you to our Slack org.
  • Drop a “hello” in the #general channel and let everyone know of your new chapter.
  • Please update your Slack profile with a photo and your chapter’s location.

Good luck! We are here to help.

1 Like

Hello @katiereese317

How do one become a HUG organizer?

I will like to host some meetups in some cities in Nigeria

Regards.

Hey Fidelis! Good to hear from you. What cities are you targeting? We have a Lagos HUG and I’m happy to connect you with the organizer there. Otherwise, let me know your cities and I can help you launch chapters.

Hello katie

I am targeting Bauchi, Jos and Gombe.

They cities are an hour away from each other

I’m going to email you, Fidelis!

1 Like

I am interested for hyderabad Hashi user group community organizer.Please let me know the process for the same

1 Like

Hi Krishna! Thanks for getting in touch. Can you please reach out to me, hugs@hashicorp.com?

Is it possible to have a users group that is more general, but often talks about HashiCorp products? Are hybrids of “DevOps/SRE” group and HUGs still recognized as a HUG by HashiCorp?

Hi Martin! Our pro network only recognizes HashiCorp User Groups but I would love to talk with you more and discuss how we can make something like this work. Email me, hugs@hashicorp.com.