Big social- and civic-focused events put on by the community in Vancouver, WA are usually small. It’s as if we pander to a supposed dominance of our neighbor to the south (Portland, OR). Every now and again a certain event gets the community to evolve to a new, better standing. Why can’t this be the focus going forward?
More than 150 people attended the Meet the Meetups event last night. By contrast, 50 attendees has been the threshold of a large gathering, at least by my experience. I think that I have seen that number topped only three times in Vancouver. (Vancouver’s Tech Tours comfortably passed that threshold, too, but I did not attend.) I think credit is due here and so I’ve included hyperlinks.
- A VanTechy talk about Amazon Web Services (Lead Organizer: Eric Preisz)
- Startup Weekend Vancouver (Lead Organizer: Dave Barcos, North Bank Innovations).
- The kickoff of PDX Women in Tech in Vancouver (Lead Organizer: Camila Morrison).
Each of the above were special events in their own right. VanTechy announced that evening they were breaking into ‘tracks’ with even more and lasting community involvement. Startup Weekend Vancouver palpably put the startup community in focus north of Portland, including being the first event at CoLab Coworking that is facilitating so much buzz in the downtown area. And, the PDX Women in Tech event was widely considered a positive groundswell not just for women in tech, but the tech space itself. What was special about each was that they thrusted the business and technology communities forward.
With ‘Meet the Meetups’, I’ve been fortunate enough to be a co-organizer for two of the four biggest events. Only this time I was also one of the featured destinations for event goers.
My support to Lead Organizer, Max Crismon, was behind-the-scenes data gathering and communications. The last effort I put in was setting up the room. Then, I manned my table for three hours to greet those who approached me and wanted to learn more.
Up until today, I had my own ends through participation in ‘Meet the Meetups’. My group, ‘Live Interviews of the Ambitious‘, is getting off the ground. The first two events have been scheduled. They will be unlike anything else here in town (fireside chat format). And, the group serves as a marketing channel for my business, Rehr Consulting. So I had vested interest to see the event go well, and my own table gain attention. The best way I could support that was to get involved.
Doing My Part
‘Live Interviews of the Ambitious’ is primed to be next in line to get the community to evolve. My group is
- Focused on community.
- Sponsored locally.
- Intensely, genuinely developed for others to “learn and be inspired.”
Maybe it’s time not just to put on an event here in Vancouver. Maybe it’s time not to hope it does numbers even for reasons of attracting interest. I think it is time for the goal of community groups to evolve the community itself. And, I think ‘Live Interviews of the Ambitious’ can make that happen; so too can Rehr Consulting from a business standpoint, one company at a time.