I would say that it’s not easy to get a Julia meet-up off the ground, but hopefully getting easier.
We were at a regular attendance of 12-15 people in the Summer. That’s from a population of 4.5 million in Berlin.
I would say that regularity is important, and showing that you are planning on keeping this going. These are important signals to people that they can rely on you and commit some of their limited time to attending your event. We went with a bi-monthly schedule for this reason.
Our biggest difficulties:
- There are way too many distractions in Berlin. The local culture is one of trying new things rather than sticking with things long term.
- Berlin is a web-dev hub, not a hard-core software development hub. So actually there are a lot less people in our target population than you might think.
I could gripe that people who like Julia tend to be quiet and less interested in attending events. But actually I think that this is a wrong characterisation. People who like Julia are, perhaps, more introverted. But we try to provide a safe space where if they attend once they’re interested in coming again. Normally this works out. But given that Berlin is a very socially oriented town it’s hard to get people to come in the first place.
Btw, if anyone in Berlin wants to comment on how we can improve things we’d really welcome the feedback.
The other small issue is that Julia has been changing at an incredible rate these past few years. We’ve had many people attend say 2 times, but when they hear both times that new breaking changes have been made to the language they tell us they’ll be back if it finally takes off but not before.
In terms of getting started, decide on a location and time, announce it widely (here, any mailing lists), and don’t be discouraged if it’s slow to take off. You want to build something that’s self sustaining, not become the event organiser to a one-off mega-show.