What methods did you all use to first start getting interest in your brigade?


#1

This conversation started in Slack when John Atti asked best methods for getting interest.

Notable responses.

em_maine (NAC) [20 hours ago]
Meetup is helpful since the site already has a lot of users looking to get involved. Check out & attend local mapping groups, other meetups, meet w city leaders to gauge interest (& recruit others to help you organize! that’s key)

Andrew Natoli [19 hours ago]
We had a volunteer whose main role a few years ago was to go out to other technology meetup groups and meet people to spread awareness. Occasionally they would even get a group or a training class to come by too :slightly_smiling_face:.

We also meet in a coworking space which helps grow some organic interest. We used to be at the same place as a coding bootcamp as well which made it easy to make friends there.

Andrew Natoli [19 hours ago]
MeetUp is also great as Emma mentioned. That’s how I found my brigade; I had just moved to Charlotte and was literally looking for a place to build things with other people while eating pizza.

Recruitment always seems to be the biggest challenge; it doesn’t even go away once you’re already rolling. Our strategy has shifted a bit to make sure we’re still doing something in the public eye that can appeal to newcomers, donors, and new partners. In the beginning you just need to meet people who believe in your vision

Gregory [18 hours ago]
@John Atti Most folks I know used meetup. Code for Miami started in a co-working space at a time where interest in coding was high. That combination of the meetup, shared space, and also the network of the first 3 founders brought lots of interest.

John Atti [18 hours ago]
Awesome, thanks! And in terms of physical locations to meet: have you found that some types of places work better than others? Not sure if the coffee shops near me are big enough, if I manage to get a good turnout.

NFlourish (in VT) [16 hours ago]
Our brigade started on the NDoCH in 2013. The founders of the brigade got a story in the local newspaper - front page. That made a splash. After that it was integration in the tech community. My biggest take away from the last summit, though, and be it volunteers or community feedback, or the city council… go Where the people you want to reach already are… don’t expect or demand they come to you. Especially when your group is getting off the ground. So if you have not established your brigade on MeetUp what might be a more valuable exercise is for you to use MeetUp to see where others you want to connect with are and go to those MeetUps. Be a MeetUp crasher (sort of).

chris (NAC) [16 hours ago]
One of Code for Philly’s great early growth strategies was doing joint meetups / mixers with other groups. I think you need a small following and set of projects already to start this but then do like a joint brigade + python users group happy hour and have each group’s organizers do a 5 min primer on their group to the whole crowd


#2

An additional note about Meetup – Code for Philly basically got all its early members “for free” by being on there, but I suspect that was because Philly already had a really strong meetup community with lots of people with tech interest tags. You probably want to scope out the existing meetup groups in your area, and if you find some healthy groups with overlap consider how to intersect with all their tags.