Let’s take a peek inside the amazing Mexico City design community! Meet long-time Dribbble Meetup hosts Jaime Smeke and Rulótico Gonzáles and learn about their passion to continue growing the design community in Mexico City and how hosting Dribbble Meetups has helped them do so. The duo has hosted a total of 15 meetups now and has some great tips to offer if you’re looking to host a Dribbble Meetup of your own!
Meet the hosts:
Hi! I’m Jaime, an Interaction Designer and UX enthusiast from Mexico City. I love e-commerce and mobile design because they pose challenges way beyond the regular browsing experience. I got started in the Dribbble community because I couldn’t find many sites that shared UI shots that could be used for inspiration. I was instantly drawn to Dribbble’s simple appeal.
My name is Rulótico and I am an interactive Designer interested in Design Systems, code, and helping designers improve their skills. I started going to the first meetup in Mexico City and since then have never stopped attending and organizing the events.
Why did you start hosting Dribbble Meetups?
Mexico has always been a household name when talking about design. Whether it’s graphic design, textile design, murals, architecture or any other creative area, our country has some big names. These Dribbble Meetups started because we felt digital design was lagging in our area. This led us to discuss the status of current design communities in Mexico and why none have really taken off. There also weren’t many places where we could share knowledge (this was before coding schools took off), so the meetups organically turned into spaces where we could learn from each other. Check out a photo of our first meetup below.
What are some of your favorite things about planning and hosting meetups?
When we hosted our first few meetups, our idea was to always keep it simple and keep it humble. Nobody likes to sit for a couple of hours listening to someone gloat about their achievements. Attendees want to share, learn, and have a good time. With that in mind, we have strived to build a community that learns from itself. Be it from carefully nitpicking our topics and speakers or even having regular attendees as keynote speakers, we want this to be a fun experience. There are few feelings as satisfying as having a packed meetup where everybody is sharing and learning from each other and also having an awesome time.
What are your hopes for your future Dribbble Meetups?
Ever since our first meetup, we set out to build a community around digital design that stands out from the rest and that helps Mexico become an important presence in the digital design space. We hope to find more and more people with amazing stories to share, more unique personalities willing to teach their peers how to go from ordinary to extraordinary, and more attendees to help us build this ever-growing community we’ve grown to love so much.
Any tips for other Dribbblers who may be thinking about hosting their first meetup but don’t know where to start?
Keep it simple: It sounds cliché but it’s true. For our first meetup we were just eight to ten people drinking coffee in a restaurant, talking about ourselves and about design. You don’t have to try to fill an auditorium—remember it’s quality, not quantity that matters. Two years and twenty-one meetups later, we still go into each meetup with the same carefree, relaxed attitude.
Enjoy yourself: Know you’ll have a huge smile on your face after your meetup is over knowing you are contributing to build a stronger community. Meetups are one of the few spaces in the professional space where people go because they want to, not because they get paid for it. Your attendees could be out there doing literally anything else, but they’re here with you, wanting to learn from and share with their peers.
Don’t get discouraged: We’ve had meetups with over 100 people, and we’ve had meetups where not many people showed up. Just keep going with the same drive and passion. Research what your attendees want to talk about, learn to listen, and you’ll eventually start building a community.