Tonight I went to an event that I have been so excited to attend for a long time. I attended the first WordPress Providence MeetUp. The reason I was so excited was that I’ve only done events in Boston and it is great to be able to go to an event in my own backyard and meet and network with people who, again, are in my own backyard. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some fantastic people in Boston however it is the driving to and getting around Boston that is the issue (Oh and did I mention FREE parking, not some $30 rip off (I don’t know how to park in Boston)). For Providence I just zipped on down 95 and then two or three turns and I was at McFadden’s.
|This event was organized by WordPress Providence Founders/Organizers Jake Goldman (@jakemgold) (In Today’s Photo-A-Day), Suzanne MacDonald (@sue_DesigEditor) (We missed you Sue, hope you get home soon) and Ken DeBlois. I met Jake back at WordCamp Boston and took a few photos at his session. He was there first when I arrived (early of course as I have that thing where I need to be early for everything for fear of missing anything, I know I’m crazy). Jake had the photos I had taken of him at WordCamp on his iPad. Jake and I talked a bit and I volunteered to take photos for the event. My set of Photos can be found on Facebook and Flickr. I made sure not to take any during the presentations with the flash so they are a tad dark.||
The format of the event was an hour of mixing and networking. I med some really nice people during that hour and I took a few photos, I should have taken more at that time. Then there was a presentation by Sara Czyzewicz (@sara6633) (Featured in Today’s Photo-A-Day) of DandyiD. DandyiD is a service that links to all of your possible social network profiles and they even have a wordpress plug in that you can use to connect people with those profiles. It is much more robust than that but in simple terms it is a great tool to connect with your audience nearly everywhere. And what is cool is that DandyiD is based in Providence.
The event took place at McFadden’s in Providence. It is a sports bar but they had a private room that we were able to use. There was a projector and a screen and a connection for a laptop. The sponsor for this first event was C. Murray Consulting (@cmurrayweb), a local web development and strategy firm with deep WordPress experience. Jake is the Director of Client Services there. Christopher Murray was also there and so was Wendy Rodger. I looked up the company today and looked on the map, they are currently located right along the Seekonk River. For the past two years during the Roger Williams Paddle I went right by their location. It is interesting when you take a look at something on a map and see where you’ve been in relation to where other places are. But I digress.
After the presentation there was a Q&A session where attendees (there were about 25-30 of us at one point) could ask questions of the group and we could bounce ideas off each other. I wanted to talk a little about some sort of plug in that I wanted for this blog that I’ve been toying with but I chickened out and only mentioned part of what am looking for. Maybe at the next event in May.
After the Q&A we went around the room and talked a little about ourselves and what we do with WordPress. There were many developers and designers in the room, a few bloggers as well.
Once the event was over I stayed at McFadden’s and had dinner with Ken, Jake and also Bill Dennen (@wjdennen) of Wheaton College (right in my Backyard). We had a nice meal and good conversation. I am excited for the next event and am thinking about sponsoring one in the future. Sponsorships are only $100 and it is a good deal, the sponsorship pays for the 15 free drink tickets for the 1st 15 people (I passed on mine as I was only drinking diet coke and figured, why waste a ticket when someone who would get a real drink could benefit). You also get a few minutes to talk about the sponsor before the presentation. And also a link on the WordPress Providence blog.
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