In my last post "Toronto Meet-Ups and Greet-Ups", I highlighted some of the main social media and communications events in Toronto. Today, I noticed a tweet by @malcolmbastien which read "Chatting About Event Overload in Toronto" with a link back to his blog. The post features a discussion between himself and Justin Kozuch (founder of Refresh Events), emphasizing that the increasing number of meet-ups in Toronto is not generating higher quality conversations. If anything, the discussions are becoming more fragmented and the groups more obscure. Malcolm's post got me thinking. Many of us go to a number of events for different reasons (mainly networking and knowledge accumulation), but after a while you start to realize you've heard it all before. I'm not knocking the events that I attend, or any of the hundreds of other ones out there—they all have a certain value to their participants. What I am saying is that as time goes on I am learning less and less new information and coming away from the events feeling less accomplished than I might have a year ago.
I wonder how the Toronto community can change this current trend. How can we make the events not only relevant and topical, but beneficial and useful from a practical standpoint?
Idea: What if some of the larger, more established events set up wikis where members of their community can submit problems, campaigns or current projects. Attendees and other members of the community could then put their names beside projects of interest until working groups were formed. I think something like this would allow us to use the knowledge we have accumulated and directly apply it, while still networking and continuing our education. When a group solves a problem or puts a project to bed, they could share what they learned with the rest of the community.
This is obviously only one suggestion. I've always preferred to learn from practical experience. I'm interested in putting the question out there: how do you think we can make these events more beneficial and useful to you? How would you like to see them grow? What would inspire you to attend more of them? Would you be interested in forming working groups to work on solving projects of interest?