Experiences from and suggestions for community organizing

For quite a long time, I have thought that it would be helpful to exchange and discuss experiences we have had with local Fairphone community meetups so far. I invite those of you who already organized and held meetups to contribute your own experience and impressions. What works, what doesn’t? Any ideas, any questions, any know-how that can be shared?

I want to start this with my own suggestions and experiences with one point that I find needs more attention:

Advertising your Fairphone meetup

If you want your Fairphone meetup to get noticed not just by the limited number of „usual suspects“, but to reach out to people who haven’t heard of your local group yet and might be interested, here are some ideas. On a side note, I recommend to spend more time on this than on scheduling votes and discussions.

  1. Fairphone Community Forum
    A forum event announcement has the major advantage that you can still edit and update the announcement later (which you can not or only with delay do on most of the following channels) and that you can include contact info completely according to your needs. I recommend to include an email address if you want to allow people without a forum account to get in touch with you – it’s the only channel of communication that every single forum visitor has access to.
    For details of the forum event tool, have a look here: The forum’s new event tool(s) 2022

  2. Fairphone’s events page
    This offers an overview of upcoming events Fairphone staff will participate in, but also meetups organized by the Fairphone community. The page is relatively static and cannot be „subscribed“ to or fed into RSS feeds or the like; website visitors will only seldom notice an event there. However, it tends to be picked up by search engines and tends to rank high in their results, so it can still pay off to submit your event to it. Just submit your details to @Ioiana_Luncheon. I strongly suggest you provide a link to your event announcement in the Fairphone Community Forum (see above). This allows people to find updates or alterations to your meetup in time, and it also allows people who find out about the event (too) late to get in touch with you and your group anyway.
    Please note it can take a while until Fairphone staff finds the time to bring your event online, so submitting your event there should be the very first thing to do right after the forum announcement. If it’s not online after 3-4 days, contact [to be updated] by email.

  3. Social media
    Fairphone is happy to share or retweet your event announcement on their social media channels (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) – marta.artigas@fairphone.com is your go-to person here. If you create a formal „Facebook event“, Fairphone can add it to their own event calendar on Facebook. Fairphone will also (if you ask them to) share or retweet your forum announcement of your event if you don’t want to use social media yourself, but this will only feature prominently on their social media channels temporarily and sink down once other new posts are added.

  4. Local media
    I have made very good experience with announcing meetups in the local newspaper(s). It keeps bringing new people to our local group, even when they cannot make it to the meetup. I have had people contacting me days or even weeks after a meetup telling me they could not attend, but were still interested. Note: Newspapers almost exclusively reach people of middle or higher age, so be prepared that they often come with rather modest knowledge about smartphone basics (but also more funds to afford a Fairphone :wink: ).
    Find out the email address of the newspaper’s local affairs department and send them a brief draft on what your event is about and the key facts (exact date and time and exact venue). Bear in mind: Once/if they print it, you naturally cannot change the announcement anymore. So if the basics of your meetup change later, readers will probably miss those changes. This is why you should always include a contact email address („for further information“ or similar) in your draft as well.
    When formulating your text, I recommend to emphasize the original Fairphone „mission“ (tackling poor working conditions in sourcing raw materials and in the industry, conflict minerals, sustainability etc.) and rather not or hardly the phone as a „product“ – because the latter might make newspaper staff regard/treat your draft as commercial advertisement that would rather belong in their PAID advertising section (and thus require hefty payment). „Fairphone wants to offer an alternative to …“ is how I usually try to avoid such cliffs.
    Last but not least: Make it as easy as possible for newspaper staff to take over your draft. Newspaper staff loves submissions they don’t need to work on themselves. So don’t forget the most important things (date/time, venue, contact info) and keep it short (unlike what you are reading here …). If you need inspiration, you can find a couple of these announcements (in the final shape that newspaper staff gave them) in the Aachen community’s topic (in German only, sorry :frowning: ).
    Many cities and towns also issue monthly or bi-monthly free magazines about city life, concerts and other events that include long event calendars. My experience so far has been that having a meetup listed in these did not seem to be noticed much (these event calendars often give just 3-4 or even fewer very short lines for an event). And given their release rhythm, your event can usually only be included when you submit it early in the month before release (sometimes even before the 1st of the month before release).

  5. Reminders (concerns points 1 and 3)
    Make sure your first announcement of an upcoming event is not the final one as well. You can never underestimate how few and rarely people visit the Forum and notice our posts. So I recommend to bring your event back into people’s attention or rather increase the likelihood they will notice it at all by a second, third or fourth attempt (depending on how much time is left until the event). It doesn’t take much to get your forum topic back to the top – if your own post is still the last one in your event topic, all you need to do is a minor edit of that post. You might want to do so at various times (i.e. sometimes on a working day, sometimes on a weekend, not always at the same clock time of the day). Of course it can never hurt if you have anything substantial to add to the post, but you don’t need to be afraid to just bump it to the top for the sake of having it back in the spotlight.
    On social media, make sure to post at least one reminder a few days before the event. If you find the time, co-ordinate with @Ingo / @urs_lesse and marta.artigas@fairphone.com when it comes to Twitter (and with the Marta again when it comes to Facebook).

P.S.: I am not including these lengthy suggestions in the existing ✏ Tips on how to organize your (first) Fairphone community meetup for now because I think it’s a bit premature to generalize my own singular experience. I mainly want to start a continuous exchange of experiences between meetup hosts.


Thanks for your advise and thanks for starting the discussion!

Although I understand and support the idea to keep this discussion here I still don’t know how to integrate all “primary organizers” into the discussion.
E.g. @MrsMorgendorffer organizes Múnich and is not in the angels group.

Regarding annoncement:
The Múnich meeting is also published in Meetup and various participants have said that they came after finding the meeting there.

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I think both @MrsMorgendorffer and @Marie1 could be included in the Angels forum section (without necessarily including them in the Angels group of the forum – see myself or BertG).

I added some more info on formal requirements of event announcements in the forum (point 1 above).


Thank you, @urs_lesse for the thorough write-up! Just some quick thoughts from my side: Fairphone events page is indeed important. Many times people have told us that they saw the meetup on the events page when they were randomly browsing the Fairphone homepage.

What also draws a lot of attention to our meetups in Vienna is the Angels program, and especially @paulakreuzer meeting up with people and providing spare parts.

That would require making them @trust_level_4 , I think. :thinking: What do the @moderators think?


I’m reviving this and making it a public topic because it seems to me we have quite a few Angels & Activists now who haven’t achieved the formal trust level yet and might like to join the (hopefully starting :wink: ) exchange of experiences. Think of this as an exchange of “best practices”.

I’ve also made a few edits to my first post, most importantly: There is no longer a website form for Current and upcoming events at Fairphone - Join us! event submissions, you need to email [to be updated] your event details instead.

P.S.: If anyone finds stuff in my first post that shouldn’t be out in public, let me know :angel:


Handy local community URLs

A few of us recently had Fairphone set up easy-to-memorize URLs that redirect to our local community topics in this forum, e.g. hamburg.fairphone.community, aachen.fairphone.community, gothamcity.fairphone.community or grenoble.fairphone.community (just click to find out what the local community topics look like :slight_smile: ). If you are running such a local community yourself and want this for your community as well, just let me (or someone else of the usual suspects) know and I can arrange things with Fairphone. Just bear in mind you need a “home” topic in the forum first.

One suggestion: If your community’s place/town/region has more than one way to write it, feel free to include these alternative ways to write or spell it, too (e.g. nuuk.fairphone.community + godthåb.fairphone.community + godthab.fairphone.community or: saintpetersburg.fairphone.community + leningrad.fairphone.community or already existing: munich.fairphone.community + münchen.fairphone.community + muenchen.fairphone.community). I would still recommend to later use just one of these in public, the alternative ways are just to “catch” searchers trying the other ways of writing it.


New year, new unsolicited suggestion from me …

Forum groups

Over the last couple of years, I have kept inviting my local community members to join the forum. By now 30 have done so (not everyone needed my push :wink: ). So far I organized the internal communication in one simple private message that included all these Aachen forum members, but when I was recently trying to add #31, the “Add” button was gone – PMs have a default limit of 30 participants, it emerged. This limit can be altered by admins, and as a short-term fix, this was granted.

However, I took it as a sign and finally implemented the move to a forum group of our own (you can find it easily in the list of forum groups), a step our tireless moderator @Volker had encouraged me to do for quite a while (my laziness challenged his admirable patience quite a bit …). Volker and @Alex.A were very helpful in the endeavour and it went pretty quickly and smooth. I am sure they will help you just as swiftly as they helped me, so don’t hesitate if you think it’s a step that your community could benefit from, too.

However, as I still have a local Fairphone email list of around twice the size of our group, I’m continuing to send occasional emails to that list, but only like 2-3 times a quarter, often including a note that anybody who wants more frequent updates can join the forum and our group.

P.S.: I have adapted the topic title.


Bumping this every now and then.

I would like to stress that starting a local or regional Fairphone community does not require you to be a tech wizard nor a Fairphone Angel. All it takes to start is the will to link up with other Fairphoners in your area. I recommend you spend a little time first on finding at least a few of them well before you plan a first get-together. I wouldn’t schedule one unless I know at least 1-2 others who will definitely attend.

If anyone is playing with the thought, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, I’m happy to help however I can. :slight_smile:


Can anyone of you see the upcoming events here?
(without choosing a “type” filter)

I have to choose for instance ‘meetup’ before I see an list of meetings.


Thanks. To me it looks now like midnight made the difference - visible now (!?)

Yes, visible indeed: link leads to Current and upcoming events.

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Just to be sure, not a list like in your message Fairphone community EVENTS, but listed like this

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map.fairphone.community hasn’t seen that many meetups coming up in ages :+1:
All these will happen in the next four weeks.


Anyone feel free to contact me if you are toying with the idea to initiate a Fairphone meetup or community in your own area! :slight_smile:


Marking @stefan.nestelberger primarily to point you to post 12, but you’re free of course to have a look at the rest of this topic as well when you have enough time.

Also updated post 1 (Anna → Ioiana).

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