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Our second year in retrospect

The challenges of event management and community building

A topview of a festive table with women dot code be community stickers spread out on it

Just like the year before, we’re taking a moment to look back upon 2019. We’ll talk about some of the ups and downs we are facing, how we managed our goals and what’s up next for our precious community.

2019, the ups and downs

So far we learned from our earlier mistakes and started planning as early as possible. Of course that doesn’t always guarantee success, but it does give you more time to cope with setbacks.

In 2019 we organised 3 TechTalks in 3 different cities, 2 Social Nights and our very first workshop! A few of us even started meeting outside of the community events for dinner and games.

While our meetup group grows steadily every month, we found it more difficult to communicate our community updates. The root cause of this is mostly the fact that everyone has different communication preferences, which often forces us to post on many different platforms and have to follow up on equally as many. In 2020 we hope to reduce this somewhat to a certain level, but more on that later.

First, we’ll dive deeper into some of our main events:

TechTalks

Last year we set a few event-related goals, unfortunately not all went as planned. We aimed at organising 4 TechTalks, but in the end we were only able to organise 3. Due to a series of unfortunate events, the lingering domino effect resulted in postponing our 4th TechTalks edition in Mechelen.

Our TechTalks in Brussels early 2019

The other 3 TechTalk editions proceded as planned and were a total success! Each event had more visitors than the year before. And even in terms of speakers we had a succesfull year! At our TechTalks edition at Lightspeed HQ in Ghent, we had 6 different speakers, variating in topics and experience.

Definitely a community accomplishment worth mentioning: 5 out of 6 speakers were women!

Social Nights

Our social nights were always cosy. But since they are very casual we’ve had a bit too many people bailing on us very last minute. At some point we’ve made a reservation at a local pub and only 3 out of 10 people showed up. We understand that things do not always go as planned, but the no-show ratio is quite troublesome for us as organisers and for the employees at the pubs we’ve made reservations at. 😓 This makes us rethink the whole social night thing. If you have some feedback on this, we’d love to hear it!

Member involvement

While offline we’re doing great, online not always so much as we’re hoping to. We’ve already mentioned it in our first year review, so it shouldn’t really be a surprise.

Our goal is to create a community where members are eager to engage with us on a frequent base. We’re not talking about weekly, but monthly or every 2 months would be amazing! We’re not just some meetup group for women, we aim to be more!

Some of the things we’d REALLY love organise is a women-only dinner event and a meeting where we can discuss how we can make this community even better. But for that to become a posibility we need members that are willing to engage outside our TechTalks.

In the beginning we hoped Slack would bring us closer together, but we notice that things couldn’t be further from the truth. Slack is a medium that doesn’t seem to work for our community. We think something in the lines of an old fashion discussion forum might be a better fit. But for now we’ll just stick with what we have. We’ll review this in 2020 and in the meantime are open for suggestions regarding the matter.

All by all we are still pleased with how 2019 has turned out!

Our plans for 2020

Our upcoming events

In 2020 we’ll keep up with the pace of 4 major TechTalk events, which will be hosted in the same cities as before. And on top of that we’ll raise you one by hosting a couple of crossover events in collaboration with other meetup groups. These are already being planned as we speak and will be announced early 2020.

That being said, we are on the lookout for venues/hosts and speakers! Check our website for more info.

Other exciting news!

We have been gathering feedback through a survey and with the help of that we are able to move forward with the women.code(be) monthly newsletter!

Since our slack has become a less than ideal platform and meetup is becoming more and more a soulless money squeezing platform with terrible user experience for organisers, we started looking into launching a newsletter.

Through a survey we gathered all the input we needed to find out which content matters. And we definitely want to put that into good use.

The idea is to have curated content each month, consisting of:

To make this work, we need some help!

How can you help us?

Maybe you have written a blogpost recently? Or stumbled upon an interesting article? Or maybe you just struggled your way through some diffult coding process? Submit your content via the link at the end of the article.

We’ve created a typeform to make it an easy process and to spare our mailboxes!

Another way you can help us is by becoming one of the first interviewees of the member spotlight interviews! Or by nominating someone you feel deserves a voice or little more praise! (Must be a woman who codes, who lives in Belgium and preferably be a member of this community)


All links mentioned in the article:
Want to signup for our newsletters?

Have content or events to submit for the community newsletter?

Contact us / nominate someone for the member spotlight interview: via mail or via Twitter.

If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to email us.

By Claudia

I was never good at writing bio's, but here goes:
Avid (board) gamer, always wondering if someone got the number of that donkey cart? On a more serious note: Community founder and Chief of Sprinkles here at women.code(be), often planning our next move. May or may not have experience in front-end development, UX design and product management...