Just wanted to let everyone know how 2013 went for GDG Phoenix.
We held several meetings in early 2013 and attendance was steady from 20-30 people . . . about the same as 2012. But we wanted to grow. So, in the middle of the year we organizers got together and decided on a new plan for our chapter. Quarterly meetings instead of every month! Each quarterly meeting would be BIGGER and have 2-3 speakers that would focus on big ideas like Open Source, Games, Women in Tech, Big Data, User Experience, Performance, etc that could attract a larger crowd but still stay focused on developers.
This new course meant big changes. We needed sponsors for more food and drinks, a bigger venue, etc. And we needed to ramp up more social media, maybe get a few Nexus 7's to raffle off, and find speakers. The key was to seek out sponsorships and look into new venues.
Turns out getting a sponsor for a big event isn't easy. I've found that many event organizers turn to their own company for support and that kind of thing snowballs to support the big events. Luckily, Google was just putting together the "DevFest" program and offered to help. That didn't stop us from looking for sponsors but in the end Google was the only ones that came though.
DevFest Southwest (http://gdgphoenix.com/devfest/
) was a great success. Attendance was good (70-80 by my count and by how many shirts were left) and the speakers were well received. The venue was a bit awkward but we made the best of it (and didn't have any options for a bigger venue since the budget was limited).
Immediately after DevFest we started to plan for the next one . . . and after a talk with Donn we came up with a new plan. I'll go over that in a later post.
--GDG Phoenix Team#gdg