Running an Online Meetup

(Note: don't check off the boxes on this page: make a copy for your own use when you run a particular meetup.)

Six weeks before

Picking a Date, Time & Topic

  • Pick a date and time

    • Date:  Remote meetups are typically on the fourth Thursday of the month.  Check the calendars of you and other members of the open source team, as well as the topic presenter's calendar (if you've got a presenter selected) in case there are any conflicts.  If there are conflicts, you can move the date.

    • Time:  Times for meetups alternate back and forth between 2-3pm Boston time and 10am-11am Boston time.  Check the last meetup's timing to determine the timing for the next one.

  • Pick a date and time for next meetup
  • As soon as you've settled on a date and time, book the room.  I strongly recommend starting 15 minutes before the scheduled meetup start time and going at least 15 if not 30 minutes past the meetup's scheduled end.  It can be difficult to get a room for 90-105 minutes across three hours (say, 9:45-11:15) so book ASAP.

  • Topics:  If you don't have a topic already picked out, you can ask the community for suggestions, look for inspiration from talks at the Open edX conference, or consult this list.  Topic presentations should run about 30 minutes, although a little more or less is fine.

  • Add a wiki page here: Online Community Meetups


    Date, time, and location

    WHEN: Thursday, March 12, 1pm EST US / 17:00 UTC. (time converter)     # make a new link at

    ZOOM link:  linkylink   # schedule a new Zoom meeting each time.

    This event will be recorded and available on YouTube. Previous recordings are in the Community Meetups playlist.

    Would you like to present something? Let us know!


    • First Thing

    • Second Thing
    • Speaker Name: Title of the Thing they are Saying

      • Abstract of the talk

  • Scheduling the Zoom event will add an event to your calendar.  Copy the new Zoom link to the two other calendar events (Community calendar and Engineering calendar).
  • Add an event to the events page

Preparing for the Meetup

    • Make the basic changes like the name of the month the meetup is taking place in.

    • There are recurring sections:

      • Community Update: email oscm list asking for suggestions of what to cover, and add slides as needed.

      • Community Spotlight: find one or two community members to highlight for the meetup.  Send them an email explaining what's involved and the questions to expect (Shauna has templates if you want to work from them) and make sure to remind them of the time constraints for this section.

One Week Before

Publicizing the Meetup

  • Post in the events category of Discourse:  Include a link to the wiki page. 

    • Put useful text in the first paragraph, so it's visible when pinned
    • Pin the event post globally, and make it the banner topic
  • Post a reminder in the #remotemeetup Slack channel.

  • Tweet on @OpenEdX about the meetup, using a link to the forum post for more details.

  • Share reminders about the meetup internally at edX via Slack #openedx channel.

Coordinate with Presenters

  • double-check that they are available, thank them for participating, etc

  • Explain to them that they should join the hangout 15 minutes before the scheduled start time.
  • Make sure they understand they must not show any PII in any slides or demos.

One Day Before

Publicizing the Meetup (Again)

  • Post a reminder in the #remotemeetup Slack channel.
  • Tweet on @OpenEdX about the meetup, using a link to the forum post for more details.

  • Share reminders about the meetup internally at edX via the #openedx channel.

Day of the meetup: 15 minutes before

  • Get the Blue Yeti microphone from the recording room.
  • Get to the room and open up Zoom.  Do not click the 'record' button yet.

  • Set screen sharing to "Anyone can share" and "Who can share if the host is sharing?  Anyone"
  • Make sure the presenters are in Zoom. Invite them by adding them or by sharing the link, and check that they're able to join and that you can hear and see them.

  • Get someone else in the room to join Zoom "as the room" so they can display the chat window on the room monitor.  This person will also be in charge of reading the chat and bringing questions into the discussion as appropriate.

  • Set up the room microphone and have everyone inside the room mute their computer's microphones.

  • Post slides and Zoom URLs to Slack #remotemeetup channel.
  • Start the recording (record locally) to start the meetup.

Day of the meetup: afterwards

  • Video:
    • Zoom will convert the recording to mp4, in a directory like Documents/Zoom/<DATE>.
    • Upload the mp4 to our YouTube channel
    • Give it a title like: « "<PRESENTATION TOPIC>", <DATE> Open edX remote meetup »
    • In the description, put a link to the event's wiki page.
    • Select "Not made for kids"
    • Put it in the Community Meetups playlist
    • Publish it as public
    • If there were any technical difficulties or other problems, especially at the beginning or end of the meetup, you may want to cut that out of the final recording.  If you cut footage, Google typically takes at least a few hours hours to process it.
    • The converted video directory also has chat.txt, put it on the wiki page.
      • Be sure to edit out any private messages or irrelevant asides in the chat
  • Slides: make sure the slide deck(s) are viewable by the public.
  • Add links on the YouTube video page:

    • Add a link to the wiki page
    • Add a link to the slides too if they're not already there

  • Add links on the first slide in the deck

    • Add a link to the YouTube recording.

  • Post a reply to the Discourse topic with a link to the recording, slides, and discussion, making sure to thank any presenters.