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This page describes tips and best practices for group organizers in regards to:

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Starting Your Python Users Group


These are the initial steps to prepare before the first meeting:

Getting the Word Out

Finding the right location

Organizing Activities

There are lots of different things to do at meetings.

Possible Group Projects


I've found that keeping the presentations short, and maybe having two or three speakers, is a good alternative to having one speaker (unless a good speaker volunteers!). It takes some of the load off the speaker and gets more people involved.

Social meetings

Some groups hold social meetings occasionally, often inviting other tech groups. This can be a potluck affair so that the only real concern is getting the space. The portland group has a twice-a-year social even where the dynamic-language groups all get together.

Presenting for upcoming conferences

A local meeting is a good place to have members practice for upcoming conferences. You may find that if you can find three people to give a presentation on a topic that suddenly you are creating something larger.

Hack sessions

I don't have experience with this yet, but if you get people together to work on projects, you can have some people show up with projects they're already interested in and have others show up without projects and people will gravitate towards the projects they're interested in. It works well if experienced programmers come with projects and the less experienced programmers can pair up with them. I'd love to hear more about how to make these work.

Other types of meetings

One of the amazing things about tech today is that if you state clearly that something is going to happen, and give people enough information about what you're planning, people will show up. Some other types of meetings I've heard people running or participating in:

Your group could host any one of these.


Day-to-day operation

If you are organizing a user group event, please consider adding the event to the Python Event Calendar on and in the side bar of the website. This calendar is administered by a group of volunteers. Please see the PythonEventsCalendar wiki page for details on how to get events listed.

The Group-organizers mailing list supports people starting and running user groups. A post in the archives of the Group-organizers list describes several organizing tactics (you must join the list in order to view its archives).

Also, please consider posting news from your user group on the Python User Group Blog!

You may draw on the PythonSpeakers page to help find speakers.

Videos to watch

Notes from BOF at PyCon 2013


Alternatives to meetup:

Discussion of meetup alternatives:

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