In the US they have already this movement which is now swapping over step by step to Europe: Meetups. Meetups are kind of “mini-conferences” about a special topic organized by volunteers and take place regulary in bigger rooms of companies in the evening of a working day.
Last week we had a great Web Performance Meetup at OTTO organized by Oliver Ochs, Markus Leptien and myself.
We met at 7 p.m. in the “Loft 06″ on the OTTO campus. There were like 60-70 attendees and half an hour of welcome small talk. The crowd at such meetups is a great mixture of buddies working in your technical discipline and those interested to learn about that topic. We had people from a lot of web companies in Hamburg like OTTO, XING, Telefonica, Parship, Microsoft and even People flew in from Munich to attend – like Heiko Specht (Compuware/gomez) and Thomas Schlagenhaufer (Keynote).
The two talks were really great. First one was held by Johannes Mainusch form XI … uhm OTTO now. It was all about “Monitoring” and about the chances of doing it frequently and everywhere. This really inspiring talk lasted 40 minutes and was followed by a short “dinner break”. At this point we liked to thank OTTO for that WOW catering.
Saturated and satisfied people gathered up again for the second talk by Heiko Specht and Kristian Skøld from Compuware/Gomez. This one was about “CDNs and Monitoring of CDNs” and more technical then the one before. After round about 45 minutes – and many thrown gadgets – later everyone was finally aware that CDN are good but no trivial matter.
So, this is what a typical and well organized meetup can look like. There are so many benefits for each and everyone being involved. The host gets many specialists to a given topic into his rooms which is good for brand awareness and maybe even for hiring purposes. The sponsors such as O’Reilly or in the past Keynote and Compuware have good oppurtunities to achieve attention. And the attendees get to know many other people of their discipline which really encourages networking and knowledge exchange. Of course everyone gets to hear a broad variety of talks.
We at XING as a Professional Networking Company will further push this concept of professional-get-togethers. We already extend the number of hosted meetups to four. Three years ago we started with just the RubyOnRails Usergroup, now we hosted and will host again the HH.JS (http://www.meetup.com/hamburg-js/) and Frontend Usergroup beside the Hamburg Webperformance Group (@hamwebperf) and the Haskell User Group.
Did we caught your interest?! Then sign up for one of the next events taking place in Hamburgs great webdeveloping community. You will like it, promised!