Every 6 months I review what we’re up to, how it’s going, what to keep and what to change. The lessons are coming all the time as we grow and change.
When you shared that you wanted the presentations to happen sooner we moved the sponsor section and the New Tech announcements to the end of the show. When we experienced the power of high fiving to connect with new people we added it in. When Seattle grew to 1,000 new people a week moving in we added a section to welcome them and plug them into the community.
This year you may have noticed that we’ve had many themed events. After the success of our first Women in Tech event a couple of years ago it seemed like a good idea to create more themed events.
The theory was that on months with a theme like VR, IoT, Biotech or mobile tech we’d attract our regular attendees along with people specifically interested in those topics.
What actually happened is that most themes only attracted people interested in those topics. We loved the idea of partnering up with Meetups who specifically cater to cool themes, but it turns out that most of them have those topics covered.
Since we’re looking to fill the holes of what’s needed in the Northwest tech ecosystem, we’ll be doing fewer themed events next year. Women in Tech and Diversity in Tech will continue as we champion inclusivity becoming more the norm for companies in our community, but we’ll leave most other themes to others to share.
Instead, we’ll be noting the verticals our presenting companies represent in their descriptions. This means you’ll see that an upcoming list of presenting companies have tech covering four areas like space, AI, IoT, VR, cloud, mobile, etc. all in one event.
Another change we’ve made is adding two job fairs a year. Our first job fair in April had over 600 attendees helping many people make connections for great jobs. New Tech job fairs will happen every April and September with the next one coming up on September 22nd. (Ping me if your company is interested in hosting an employer table).
The first job fair taught us many lessons too. Among the many lessons we discovered that having a line down the block looks cool, but isn’t cool for people waiting an hour to get into a job fair. In September we’ll be selling a limited number of tickets for each hour of registration to help the flow of job seekers to connect with employers.
Our first legal and tax workshop was successful so watch for intimate workshops to come in addition to our regular events. Hopefully these changes and additions are making your experiences with our community more valuable. It’s always a dance to stay impactful and relevant so share your feedback with us and keep cool.