• Nigel Dias
    4
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    Looking for a meetup near you? Check out this our meetup calendar and sign up to the newsletter for regular updates. You can also check out this Google map of meetups around the world (let us know if we missed yours).

    Want to start your own meetup? Want to speak with other HR and People Analytics organisers? Looking for some support? Please complete this form if you'd like to be included in our organisers community to share ideas and experiences.


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    In a world increasingly saturated by conferences, webinars, podcasts, videos, articles and blogs, there is another event format becoming more popular throughout the HR and People analytics industry: The Meetup.

    I believe HR and People Analytics meetups have the potential to play a crucial role sharing HR analytics practice, and accelerating innovation in the space - but many people don't know what meetups are, or based on my inbox, how to start their own.

    In this blog I'd like to to do three things:

    1. Share the value of meetups (using our London meetups as a case study).
    2. Invite existing meetup organisers around the world to connect our local communities with a global network, and maybe grow a pool of awesome content.
    3. Inspire (and support) potential meetup organisers to found their own communities around the world.

    What is a meetup?
    Imagine a room filled with people from your city, using their spare time to discuss HR and people analytics. Then imagine they represent the widest diversity of thought: people from HR and people from not-HR; analytics professionals and non-analytics professionals; Veterans of the industry and rookies. Finally, imagine this grassroot network, given a loose structure as part of a safe community, sharing their day-to-day experiences and inspiring innovative new ideas.



    How has it worked in London?
    In pure numbers, over 2000 tickets have been "sold" (our events are all free), to a community that identifies itself as approximately 40% HR data professionals, 20% non-HR professionals, 30% HR and 10% Other. Average registrations have gone from about 20 to 150 during that time, to watch speakers of whom around 66% are advanced HR analytics practitioners, and 33% are non-HR data professionals, invited to inspire us with data stories from other industries.

    Since June 2018 we have been recording all the sessions, and they can be viewed by anyone for free. I've shared my favourite presentations below, but if you don't read that far, please click this link.

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    Top Five Reasons to Attend and Run Meetups
    It is no surprise to anyone reading this, that cultures of openness and diverse thought result in greater engagement, learning and innovation. This is literally what meetup culture is.

    I've run hundreds of meetups, starting from my days in Croydon Tech City (meetups were the foundation of our strategy to grow the fastest growing tech cluster in the UK), to the London HR and People Analytics Meetup and #ThisIsHR, our HR tech startup community.

    Here are my top five reasons to attend HR and People Analytics meetups:

    • They are inclusive - Nearly every other event costs money (usually a lot) and requires time during the work day. These costs exclude anyone who can't afford a ticket, anyone who is curious to learn about this seismic industry change but can't justify the time off work (like an interested HRBP), and most importantly, non-HR data specialists who can inspire us with alternative and vital perspectives from other data industries.
    • They are innovative - How do you drive innovation? Get a talented, diverse group of people into a safe space and get them talking. We deliberately structure our talks to profile HR analytics trends, and to inspire new ways of thinking - whether by encouraging discussion in a room with a high diversity of thought (the best kind of diversity), or trying to spark innovation by profiling examples of data use from other industries.
    • They are local - We strongly believe that meetups should be owned locally, so even when we help other people run meetups in their cities, we insist that local people own it. We don't want meetups to feel like an event arriving in town for the day, and the local knowledge, enthusiasm and pride will help the community form.
    • You hear real stories about HR data use - How many times do you hear presentations that are either too polished, too high level, or just generally un-relatable? Whether it is because the presenters can be less senior, or because the meetup is a smaller, safer and more intimate space, it is common that you can hear more detailed stories. In the London group, we deliberately try and encourage more detailed technical talks, to develop better technical practices in the industry.
    • You hear the actual obstacles - Similar to above, the safe meetup environment means that often presentations can be less polished and tell easier truths. When presenters are giving 'their favourite data story' it is easier to understand what they did (or didn't) do and why.

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    What types of talks might you see at Meetups? Watch our recordings...
    At our meetups, we usually ask our HR data speakers to 'tell their favourite data story', and I ask at least one speaker per session to 'try and blow people's minds' with technical complexity (they don't always listen) - we want to push boundaries and get HR data scientists thinking together, right?

    We've had a wide variety of talks, from hot topics (has anyone not predicted attrition?) to niche issues (absence) to technique specific (text analytics). Since June 2018, we have been recording our meetups so anyone in our community, or the world, can watch them for free. If you are a meetup organiser, and record your sessions and would like to share it with the ThinkTank community, please feel free to post it there too.

    Three talks to watch from the London meetup sessions:
    • @Andreas Kyprianou (ex-Head of EMEA Talent Practice at Bank of America) on Predicting Performance
    In this talk, Andreas gave an excellent (and quite funny) talk on analysing recruitment and talent data in the context of performance. Yes, it is quite technical, but I'd encourage everyone in the field to watch it if they have time. Click here for the video (you may need to create a free user account).

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    • @Kevin Metherell (People Data Scientist at Experian) on Organisational Network Analysis
    Whilst I am personally a bit tired of Organisational Network Analysis (or ONA) talks, Kevin's is the first in a long time that made me stop and think. In particular, listen out for his example of ONA to identify not only who is talking to who, but when - and specifically how they try to analyse WHEN women are tagged into a decision-making process, rather than just 'if'. Please click here for the video (you may need to create a free user account).

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    • Dr Stylianos "@Stelios" Kampakis (Sports and Social Media Data Scientist) on the relationship between Performance on the pitch and Social Media performance
    We may measure and analyse performance data all the time, but we aren't the only ones. Stylianos is a highly experienced data scientist, and gave us an interesting talk about sports and social media data science. This is a great example of a talk that might inspire HR and people analytics professionals to learn, apply or adapt techniques from the sports data industry. Please click here for the video (you may need to create a free user account).

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    CALL TO ACTION / NEXT STEPS:
    I would like for everyone in the HR and People Analytics profession to have the opportunity to attend meetups in their local areas - I can think of few better ways to both grow our industry and truly accelerate innovation. If you like the idea too, then maybe you can get involved. How? Read on.

    OPTION 1: How can I find my nearest Meetup?
    Lots of meetups already exist - In New York, Chicago, San Francisco, in Mumbai, in Sofia, and we think there are more - but they can be hard to find. We all use different platforms (Meetup.com, Linkedin, Facebook, Eventbrite) to host our sessions. How can you find the nearest one to you?

    1. Click here to view the global meetup map. These are all the Meetups that we are aware of, and that were happy for us to link to their homepages. Please note: The meetups listed are independent of us and we aren't responsible for their sessions.
    2. Click here to find all the dates and events of meetups shared by the organisers.
    3. Sign up to our newsletter, which now includes all upcoming meetup dates.

    Please click this link to open the interactive map of Meetups around the world.

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    OPTION 2: I'd like to work with other meetup organisers around the world. How can I register my meetup on your map and site?
    1. If you would like us to include your meetups on the map, please message me here or email .

    2. If you would like us to share your meetup details on our site, our Twitter, our Linkedin and newsletter, please post it on the Calendar Page.

    3. If you would like to speak with other meetup runners, and maybe even align themes and sessions, please complete this form and we'll include you in our conversations.


    OPTION 3: How do I found a meetup chapter?
    If there isn't an HR and People Analytics meetup in your area, or if we can't find one, or if you want to start your own, maybe we can help.

    1. Please complete this form and we will invite you to our How to Run an HR and People Analytics meetup webinars.
    2. Keep an eye on the newsletter for our How to Run an HR and People Analytics Meetup Guide and Resources.
    3. If you can't find speakers, or need a bit of sponsorship, or help coming up with topics, or anything like that, perhaps we can help with that too. Don't feel shy to ask!

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    Full list of meetup speakers (London and Leeds) available to view on the Forum. Please note: you may need to create a (free) user account to watch the videos.:
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