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Thread posted 06/07/12
, tagged: Question, announcement
4,896 views, 6 comments.
I'd like to open discussion about our meeting location.
The feedback I got from our regular members about the Art Institute was overall quite positive, so I think we should at least talk about the possibility of moving our meetings there.
First off, it's important to note that this has absolutely nothing to do with any negative feelings about CALAOMS. I think we all agree that it's a fantastic place to meet, and that Steve has been incredibly generous opening his office each month to us. That said, we have over the last few months been approaching the room's capacity. Although the numbers aren't the most important thing to me, I would like to see the group continue to grow.
So, some pros and cons, as I see it, to moving to AI:
- Much more space: We couldn't necessarily guarantee that we could use the big room that we did last night for every meeting, but most of the individual lecture rooms are designed to hold around 30 students.
- Access to faculty: If we want to have a meeting on video editing or 3D modeling or even best practices on photography (in camera, not in Photoshop) or shooting video, I would have a much easier time getting my fellow faculty members to present if we're at AI than if we're in Roseville.
- Access to students and alumni: I'd estimate that we had 30 or 35 students there last night. Mostly that was due to the CS6 stuff, but if we're meeting there regularly I'm sure that at least some students would start attending regularly. The same applies to our alumni - two of whom did attend last night. So that helps if we want bigger groups, which leads to...
- Potential for Adobe speakers: While I'm not totally obsessed with the numbers, the folks at Adobe are. If we can start consistently pulling the kinds of numbers we had last night, I could almost certainly convince Adobe to start sending other community experts, and possibly even product managers and evangelists to our meetings.
- Possible lab access: This would of course depend on scheduling, but if we had a meeting on an evening that one of the computer labs was open, we could meet in there and do a hands-on session.
- Possible access to downtown design firms: It'd be great if we could start pulling people from some of the design firms downtown. To be honest, I've never made a big attempt at advertising to them, but I think we'd have better luck reaching out to them (for both membership and speaking, BTW) if we were closer to downtown.
- Dedicated space: We'd be subject to scheduling at AI, as the classes obviously take precedence. We would of course know going into a quarter where we could meet, and each quarter spans roughly 3 meetings, but every 12 or so weeks we'd have to figure out again what room we can use. At CALAOMS, of course, no such issue exists.
- Comfort: While our chairs at AI aren't uncomfortable, they are of course no where near as comfy as those awesome chairs at CALAOMS. :)
- Disruption: Moving meeting places for a group like ours can be tricky. As an example: Ted and I are the only people who were a part of the group when we met in Auburn who are still active today. So in the five years or so since we made that move, we've had almost 100% turnover in membership. To me, the community and the friendships are by far the most important aspect of the group, and if moving would impact that I'd definitely be against it. However, it is worth pointing out that back then, we really didn't do as much to foster the social aspect of the group (I think that things like our BJ's after-meeting really help), so it's not necessarily the same thing, but it's worth thinking about.
We have an advantage that this is coming up now, since we have 2 months before the next meeting. What I'd like to do is have this discussion for a bit, and once we seem to have gotten folks' ideas, I'll send out a SurveyMonkey survey to more formally collect people's thoughts on it, and then we'll make a decision.