So last night I attended the second ever Blackpool Geek Up (#geekupthetower).
For those that don’t know what a Geek Up is, it’s a “grass-roots knowledge sharing and networking social for folks involved or interested in all forms of technology and creative media.” Which has kindly been organised by Les Pounder.
Unfortunately I wasn’t around to attend the first one, but by all accounts it was a success, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how many folk turned up to this month’s event. Although I would liked to have seen more familiar faces, as there are plenty of geeks whose absence was noticed (ahem, Jaime, Steve & Dan)
The monthly meet ups are being held at Gillespies on Topping Street in Blackpool which seems a decent spot, with friendly staff, reasonable facilities and a decent selection of drinks including non-alcoholic ones for anyone driving. There’s street parking available on many of the surrounding roads which is free after 6pm and a 5 minute walk from the train station for those coming in from further afield.
The talks last night were on Android and IT in Education. I was thoroughly engaged by both speakers, despite the commentary for Tottenham vs Man Utd blaring from a speaker above my head. There was even a projector made available for the evening, although I didn’t manage to get on the wi-fi whilst I was there, but maybe that was my mistake? Anyway, 3G served in it’s absence.
Two observations about the attendees, 1) age and 2) gender; the crowd was predominantly male and over 30. Other than me, and a female friend I had asked to come with me there was one other lady who I didn’t get chance to speak to representing the fairer sex among a group of maybe 20 people.
As a bit of a barcamp veteran I’m fully aware that guys out number girls significantly at these sorts of events, but I was disappointed that there weren’t more women there, especially as the event is in it’s infancy and hasn’t been established as a guy-zone?
I’d really like to encourage more women to attend these types of events, to prove that there are women working and studying in science/engineering/technology in Lancashire and that they do want to be part of the community. When I go back to Uni in a few weeks I’ll definitely be telling my classmates about the event and encouraging them (but especially the girls) to come along and check it out, and maybe even contribute in time.
The other observation is the age. Not that I particularly think that the age of the people attending affects the success of the evening (nor would I say that gender has an affect) but it would be nice to see some younger faces in attendance and again, when I go back to Uni I hope to encourage a few of the other students to take part in local tech events.
The next one will be held on 26th September from 7pm & hopefully I will see some of you there!