I’ve been watching the WordPress Geneva meetup group grow from strength to strength over the past 2.5+ years. The group recently reached the 300 members milestone and threw a party, with 50 people showing up to celebrate.
I created the group on meetup.com in May 2012. The first meetup was five people sitting on my terrace on a warm July evening, sipping wine and chatting about WordPress. The excitement was in the air.
The group really took off in the fall of 2012, when Manuel Schmalstieg joined us. I was very fortunate to work with Manuel, who has been the main driver behind the group’s success. Not only has he been a frequent speaker, he connected us to HEAD (Haute Ecole d’Art et Design). Thanks to this connection, the group was finally able to host meetups at modern, fully-equipped (wifi, projector) locations close to the Cornavin train station.
A great location determined the group’s success. Being close to the train station meant that our meetups were attended by people coming from as far as 125 km away. Many members and even organizers travel to meetups from neighboring towns, such as Neuchâtel, Versoix, and Nyon, and as far as Lausanne and Thonon-les-Bains, France.
After moving from Geneva to Zurich in January 2014, I handed off the group leadership to Manuel, who now runs it with three other organizers, Patricia Brun Torre, Evren Kiefer, and Helen Yau. The team has not slowed down: frequent meetups continued, group members have been traveling together to regional events like WordCamp Europe and WordCamp Paris, and there are three events scheduled for March, expanding the group coverage to cities of Lausanne and Neuchâtel.
Congratulations, WordPress Geneva group, on reaching the 300 members milestones, and let’s see what year 2015 will bring!