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Analyzing Meetup Signups And Conducting An Event Retrospective

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

Retrospective Of Dublin Tech Talks June 2023


I led a session at Dublin Tech Talks on 21st June 2023. I learned new things during the preparation, performance, and post-action phase. I share my analysis and learnings here.


I considered 6 topics to present, created promotional material, analyzed the sign-ups per day using automated software, and collected qualitative+quantitative feedback.


My earlier post on supplementary resources from the talk is here.

Debrief: 3 Stages To The Speaking Engagement

I split the debrief of my experience into 3 stages. I explained these 3 stages in a previous article here.


3-step flow chart from preparation and performance to post-action.
3-step flow chart from preparation and performance to post-action.

Preparation For Dublin Tech Talks

What was different about my preparation for Dublin Tech Talks in June 2023? Let’s look at the stages in preparation and see what I did differently from other talks.


steps within the preparation phase for a presentation include writing, slide creation, and rehearsal.
steps within the preparation phase for a presentation include writing, slide creation, and rehearsal.

I considered a few topics for the event.

  1. 4 Real-life PM examples of measuring and improving CX. Read more here.

  2. 3 Examples of mapping customer journey for any product. Read more here.

  3. How to get your next Product Management job? Read more here.

  4. 5 Tips to Improve your Resume to Break into Product Management. Read more here.

  5. 4 Learnings from building a content pipeline for a SaaS product.

  6. How to outsource 3 parts of Product Management.

I choose the first one. I had the opportunity to reuse the slide deck I presented to another audience. I collected feedback from the audience of the previous talk and reduced the text on my slides.

Slide deck comparison before and after adding interactivity, improving the story, and reducing text.
Slide deck comparison before and after adding interactivity, improving the story, and reducing text.

For props, I ensured we would have pen and paper, thanks to the organizer, and I bought a Sherlock Holmes hat, to provide a story element. It went well with my hook: "let’s investigate like Holmes.”


Promotion Of The Event

Given this was a smaller event with only one speaker, I needed to promote the event. First, I provided a brief of the event to post on meetup. I wrote this description.


Why did 60% customers drop off at the simplest step?


Despite launching a coveted feature, why do we still have 100s of inbound support tickets?

Why were 10,000 customers angry with us?


These are the kind of questions Harshal Patil will bring to the audience in this session. Putting on his imitation Sherlock Holmes hat, Harshal will share uncommon tips and tricks to bring these questions to justice!


This session borrows from Harshal’s product experience, including as a product consultant and prior to that, as a Staff Product Manager at Twilio. He discovered some tips and tricks on measuring customer experiences (CX) and ways to improve CX. Harshal will share four case studies to illustrate missteps and learnings in measuring and improving CX.


Second, I created snippets to post on social media platforms such as LinkedIn. I created a template message and contacted a few friends in similar domains. I thought they might find the topic interesting while helping by bringing some familiar friendly faces to the audience.

In hindsight, I should have posted in Slack communities as well.


Analyzing Sign-Ups To The Meetup Over Time

I used distill.io to track the number of registrations per day. The registrations were not front-loaded. Registrations were driven by contacting people and social media platform posts. The results were similar to my research on webinar benchmarks. I’ll cover that research in another article.

Tracking the event registration using distill.io
Tracking the event registration using distill.io

Presentation and Performance

Similar to my talk at Product Camp, I added interactive elements. You can see the slides I used to conduct the interactive activities.

 5 slides to conduct interactive activities with attendees.
5 slides to conduct interactive activities with attendees.

The audience loved the interactive activities between the slides.

Interactive activity to engage the audience in dublin tech talks.
Interactive activity to engage the audience.

Follow-Up, Feedback, And Fine-Tuning

 Post-action includes feedback and reconnection. But feedback has many ways.
Post-action includes feedback and reconnection. But feedback has many ways.

I reused the diagram from my previous post. In the Q&A time of the discussion, I got several interesting questions. These helped me understand the confusing and insightful parts of my talk. Attendees also filled out an anonymous survey.

Feedback form for the talk on my website.
Feedback form for the talk on my website.

Feedback On The Talk

I first collected feedback on the different roles in the audience. I had about 20% PMs, 20% project or program managers, some engineers, and a few other roles. The group was a diverse set of professionals in the room.


The second feedback I collected was their interest in the topic. I had 4 case studies. But, I decided to limit the discussion to case studies to enable more time for an involved discussion. So, I let the group decide which case study they want to drop. They choose to drop the “Launch + Checklist” case study.


Attendees anonymously (a small sample size out of 20 attendees) gave my talk an average 5 rating out of 5. They rated the clarity of my communication at 5 out of 5.

Visual of talk attendees’ anonymous feedback on my talk.
Visual of talk attendees’ anonymous feedback on my talk.

During conversations with attendees in-person or over social media, I gathered this feedback:

  • The Sherlock Holmes hat was very nice, but more seriously, that's really what's needed to gather data and then investigate more deeply to really find what the problem is.

  • I previously more heavily used my experience, but now I know that is not the best way. You really need to focus on what the problem is or usually find there are more than one problems to solve. then which one to prioritize.

  • I liked hearing your stories.

  • I learnt a lot from you yesterday.

  • I took a lot of takeaways. Looking forward to the next one!

  • Great talk at the DTC the other day.

  • It was really interesting.


Self-Critique: Feedback I Gave Myself Before The Conference

  • On Delivery: let arms relax to the sides instead of interlacing fingers.

  • Find alternative activities instead of every activity being a discussion in a pair.

  • Look for ways to use individual consumer experiences vs professional product-building experiences in the activities.


I captured my spouse’s feedback.

  • Story-like. Engaging. Not very technical.

  • Was not clear at the end whether I was asking about Qs on the presentation or Qs about the checklist.


Harshal Patil presenting at Dublin Tech Talks about Customer Experience
Presenting at Dublin Tech Talks

Anything else?

My earlier post on supplementary resources from the talk is here.


Speaking engagements continue to be high-effort activities for me. I also find them an interesting approach to building credibility while improving my understanding of building products.

I wrote about my speaking opportunity at Product Camp Dublin 2023 here.


I wrote about my primary research into webinar attendees here.


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