Getting ready for the first 2009 meetup...

From: Jonathan C.
Sent on: Thursday, April 16, 2009 9:44 PM
Hi folks. I'll be announcing the next meetup real soon. I'm looking at the last week of April or first week of May (2 or 3 weeks from now). To get a better sense of when, where and what people feel like doing, I will be creating some polls shortly.

One question is when to meet. From past experience, the most convenient time tends to be after work in the middle of the week, when people feel like winding down with a drink and maybe something light to eat. So I'm leaning toward something like Wednesday from 17:30 to 19:00. But I am open to other days/times, so I will ask people for their preferences.

A trickier one is where to meet. Zurich is a tough town to find a venue that is convenient, large enough for a sizable group, private, and free (or at least cheap). So we need to decide which of those qualities are the most important and come up with the best compromise. For example, we could book a nice private room somewhere, but it would cost some money, which everyone would need to pitch in for. Or we could just reserve a big table at a restaurant, but then it's hard to have a conversation because of background noise. It would be great if someone could volunteer a conference room in their office, but those are usually too small for more than 10 or 15 people.

Lastly, I want to know what you prefer in terms of format and structure. I always find it helpful to have someone give a short presentation, followed by Q&A, to provide a focal point for the meeting. But it can be a challenge to find a subject that is general enough to be of interest the majority of the participants. And depending on the group, sometimes it makes more sense to just get together, not provide any structure, and let conversation spontaneously happen. So I'll put out a poll and let democracy do its thing.


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