You may have found it easy to continue doing the same types of meetings; especially those formats that do well. However, I'd like to challenge you to not be afraid to embrace new ideas, ways of thinking, and talent with open arms and an open mind.
Consider taking a courageous step and trying a new meeting format or welcoming a new team member at least once in 2018. Remember, at one point all the meeting formats you currently use and your current leadership were once new and there was a good bit of uncertainty whether the meeting format or person would work well. Since that time you may have even perfected a few of these types of meetings and/or gelled as a leadership committee; but challenging yourself to try something new allows you to continue developing your skills as leaders, extends your knowledge, and potentially attracts new participants (members, presenters, and/or leaders).
In Atlanta we've been constantly redeveloping ourselves in an effort to better ourselves and our TUG community. In 2018, we're:
* introducing a couple of themed meetings (Women's History Month in March and Green Initiatives in April)
* planning on conducting a Viz Contest at a non-profit using their data
* planning on a meeting in which we'll have 10-12 presenters (each in a different conference room) and each presenting for only 10-12 minutes (10-12 times during the meeting); attendees would rotate between rooms every 12-15 minutes.
* introducing some incentives to attract and thank speakers
* advertising all our meeting dates at the beginning of the year so everyone can have it on their calendars
* planning to add 1-2 new TUG committee members
Some of these may seem like no-brainers to you and things we should have tried a long time ago; in fact, I suspect some of you are already trying them. However, we learn ideas from other TUGs and people both inside and outside our group.
By announcing our meeting dates and themed meetings ahead of time (even before mentioning speaker incentives in 2018), we've seen a tremendous improvement in attracting hosts and speakers. Nearly every monthly meeting in 2018 already has a host and multiple companies are inquiring about hosting multiple meetings. Furthermore, every meeting in the first 6 months of the year has the presentation agenda full or half full.
If you would like someone outside your TUG to bounce ideas off of or share struggles/concerns, please reach out and contact Jordan Scott at Tableau, a fellow TUG leader, or a TUG Ambassador. I've been leading the Atlanta group for the past 5-6 years and would be happy to listen and discuss ideas. You can reach me by email (email@example.com) or on Twitter (@tableaupro).
Lets make 2018 a great year by challenging the way we've done things, embracing new ideas, and not being afraid to grow as TUG leaders.
All the best,
Atlanta Tableau User Group