So I went to nPost's event on Tuesday... and then slogged myself to the WTIA event on Thursday... that is a lot of networking in such a short week!!
Overall I was impressed though... Having been a bit of a hermit and only coming out to the famed Seattle Lunch 2.0 events in the past, I wasn't sure what to expect of some of these events that took place after hours (note: all seattle lunch 2.0 events take place between 7am and 6pm - which is approximately when my children's daycare center is open). The nPost event was great, I met so many interesting people, got to finally meet some of my twitter friends in person, and found a few more potential Seattle Lunch 2.0 sponsors & hosts!! The WTIA event.... well let's just say <>
The nPost event was down to earth and relevant. There were a few demos that ranged from a six hour startup spinoff to more established operations. There were a few brief pitches from the demo companies as well allowing the opportunity for those that hadn't had a chance to make it to the booth yet to hear what the product was. The crowd was fairly tentative to network and when I started talking to them I found out why... there were lots of techies that were more interested in starting companies than they were in networking. That was great to see. I met a lot of good co-founders, techies, and talked code with a few people. I also met a few of my twitter friends.... in person!! I know meeting twitter friends in person is like online dating, but, two of my twitter friends met on twitter and are now dating... so I guess it's not a horrible thing 🙂
The WTIA event was, almost, out of the weeds. There were only a few people wearing jackets and only two people wearing ties. Ken over at the WTIA really pushed to have the event more interesting and relevant to the tech community. There were still a lot of marketers and sales guys. Everyone knew how to network. No one was shy about it. The only time I got to talk tech was to the CEO of HyBlue Matthew Sutton... and that was at the beginning of the event. I did run into Aviel there but we were both there to see who the heck showed up to these things so didn't get to chat the whole time. Aviel's a sharp guy so that would have been a great evening. I did end up spending most of the time telling marketers and bizdev guys that I organize tech communities that include developers and technologists. The marketing guys (btw, the majority was guys.... not gals.... there are more gals at lunch 2.0 events & nPost events) kept asking why they never meet these devs at events and I had to tell them it was because.... there were too many marketers at the events they attend 🙁
I do think that the WTIA events will come around, or we'll eventually convince them to participate in a meaningful way to the existing web 2.0 crowd. The association does do a lot for the tech community already and offers some great services. They are an invaluable resource and they are working hard to bring more value to the community here in Seattle. The nPost events are.... about as good as it gets though for techie events after hours.
If you're looking for working hours events though..... The next Seattle Lunch 2.0 is at Evri, followed by a Seattle Lunch 2.0 at Whitepages.com, followed by another really cool lunch that I am almost ready to announce 🙂 I highly recommend these events for free food and drink during the workday. It helps you code faster!!
Of course for all of you non-Seattle techies... Lunch 2.0 is about everywhere, here is a recap of the past and future summer events.....