In my last blog about Manchester’s social media cafe, I blogged my thoughts on the venue-swap to the BBC Manchester offices.
Thanks to Tim and Gill for their useful feedback. Their thoughts were that the BBC offered a great opportunity to properly set up sessions in different parts of the space, with presentation facilities and much, much better sound.
I completely agree – this is a big benefit of a space like the BBC, and the advantage is that we can access it without necessarily paying the rates of renting office/conference space in Manchester, which at this stage would make the meetup unviable.
However, in a totally unscientific poll on this blog (which received a paltry 17 votes) 82% (14) suggested we reserve the BBC for ‘special events’. 3 votes were cast to try and remain at the Beeb where possible. No-one disliked the BBC as a venue.
I think this is telling. The BBC is obviously a great place to hold events, but perhaps some regular attendees – including myself – may feel that it may not be suited to having regular meetings there. This was the thrust of what I wrote last time.
It certainly has benefits over the slightly awkward layout of The Northern (and bar prices are thankfully cheaper). But, I’d like to see different venues explored – coffee shops or other pubs with function room spaces. Perhaps suggestions can be noted in the comments?
It’s also worth noting that not everyone can access a space that serves alcohol or one that doesn’t have disabled access. Not something we always think about but something we should try and consider, even in informal meetups.
Finally, there’s no planned meetup in August. So how about an informal meetup? I’ve started a discussion thread on the Social Media Manchester Ning network, which complements the wiki. Sign-up to comment and keep networking through the summer, either online or offline.