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Pivoting the program to better support Meetup groups

by innovationcentre for COMPANY, MEETUPS
Pivoting the program to better support Meetup groups
Bayview Yards Meetup Program

Four years ago, the Bayview Yards Meetup Program was launched. Since, it has supported our city’s Meetup groups by providing complimentary space at Ottawa’s innovation hub and audiovisual, security, and furniture setup for their events. These Meetups offer the opportunity for like-minded people with similar interests to make meaningful connections. The program has helped groups like Women in Blockchain and Ottawa AI to bring together hundreds of professionals through engaging presentations and panel discussions. It’s provided a stage for thought leadership to thrive in our city.

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the program. It’s made it impossible for Bayview Yards’ Meetup partners to host in-person events and difficult to keep group members engaged. Traditional activities – those held in physical spaces – are prohibited, so organizers have had to pivot and reimagine event delivery, and they’ve been working with Bayview Yards to do it.

Together, Bayview Yards and Meetup organizers have introduced a new approach, one we have quickly become accustomed to – Meetups have gone digital. Now, not only can members continue to connect, but they can do it from the comfort of their home while reaching more people.

Digital Events Package

To ensure continued support, Bayview Yards launched a new Digital Event Package that’s helping Meetup organizers to promote and host their now virtual events.
This new package includes:

• A stipend to purchase a digital tool to host online events
• A digital ad budget to promote events through various channels
• Consultation with the Bayview Yards’ Event Producer
• Consultation with the Bayview Yards’ Digital Marketing Manager
• Resources to guide organizers through the transition to digital

This package provides Meetup organizations financial support, so they’re able to host and promote their events effectively. It has flexibility built-in so they can select the digital conference tool that meets their specific needs while considering their unique desired outcomes, whether that’s to facilitate networking, learning, or collaboration. And it also offers guidance and advisory services from our team’s experts; they should get started on the right (digital) foot.

The experience

Mark Tse, Co-founder of Ottawa Cyber Security MeetupMark Tse, the co-founder of the Ottawa Cyber Security Meetup group, has partnered with Bayview Yards through the Meetup program for over two years. The goal of his group is to create an educational forum in which academics, cybersecurity practitioners, and business leaders can gather to share and exchange knowledge within their industry and network professionally. Tse’s group is composed of over 1,200 members and is growing daily. If not for the support of the Bayview Yards Program, Tse confirmed that the value brought to members would have suffered.

“The partnership between Ottawa Cyber Security and Bayview Yards is great. We bring in speakers within our industry to share their knowledge and experience with our members. We are so thankful to have the continued support of Bayview Yards to host traditional and digital events.”
– Mark Tse, Co-founder of the Ottawa Cyber Security Meetup group.

Despite the disruptive challenges COVID-19 has created for the Meetup Groups, Bayview Yards will continue to work with our community to find creative solutions that help navigate our current reality. If you have any questions regarding the Bayview Yards Meetup Program or would like more information, please visit the website where you’ll find the details.

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