There are a few things over the next couple of months that I hope to get along to. No doubt they will lift one’s spirits as Manchester’s traditionally wet August gives way to a wetter Autumn.
(OK, perhaps I’m over-egging the wet thing – but check out some of the events below).
Update: there are loads more events going on than just the few I’ve listed here – but these are the ones I hope to get along to, with a bit of commentary. Check the foot of this post for how to find out about other events!
After the August hiatus, Manchester’s Social Media Cafe returns on 8 September from 6pm and in a slight change to its usual slot, this is the second Tuesday of the month. It’s being held again at the BBC, complete with subsidised bar which no doubt will help swell the already large crowd of regulars. Sign-up to make sure you don’t get left out.
Anyone can offer to present a session, though the talented guys from Cahoona have already snagged one with an exciting presentation on Umbro Industries, “new initiative from Umbro geared towards giving potential Manchester based innovators the financial backing they need” (not anymore) and there are still three slots open.
I blogged my thoughts in July on the use of the BBC as a venue and it was useful to get Julian’s feedback on the challenges surrounding finding a suitable venue. If anyone has any ideas, leave a comment there, on the wiki or tweet @smc_mcr.
As a (relative) newbie to Manchester, one of the best ways that I’ve found out about things to do and see is by tapping in to Manchester’s extensive network of bloggers. Their first-hand reviews, advice and tips have been invaluable in helping me settle in and find out where to go and what to do.
So, it’s exciting to see their contribution recognised in the community-led Manchester Blog Awards, to be held on 21 October at the curiously-named Band on the Wall venue. At £4 a pop it’s hardly a stretch, so I hope to go along and meet some of the talented writers on whose blogs I lurk quietly.
While ‘most verbose microblog’ isn’t a category (for which I might in with a chance!), they’ve also got updates on Twitter @mcrblogawards.
BarCampManchester2 is the second BarCamp to be held in Manchester and will happen in November. I’ve not been to one of these events before, though I did attend BarCampUKGovweb09 in January, aimed at public sector digital types.
The atmosphere at these events is great – everyone is keen to learn and get to know others who could help out with projects of mutual interest. Right now, the event is still in planning stages but it’s looking to be an exciting two-day gathering which means late-night geekery and gaming. Ideal for me, who seems to exist in a perpetually nocturnal timezone to the chagrin of my early-rising colleagues.
It’s not exclusively a techie event (which is great for me) so I hope that a wide-range of people will go along. It’s slated to be held at a weekend in November, though not firmed up yet probably on the weekend 7-8 November, at the Contact Theatre on Oxford Road. Keep on eye on organiser Ian’s twitter account (@cubicgarden) and the Twitter tag #bcman2.
Quite evidently, I’m not a girl. But I had a great time as Ella‘s date at the previous Manchester Girl Geek Dinner and I’ve signed up to go again. The fourth Girl Geek Dinner is being held from 7pm on 29 October at the ever-accommodating Sweet Mandarin in the Northern Quarter and will celebrate the Manchester Science Festival.
The event has a clear majority of females and guys are only allowed if they have a date who invites them. This gives it a unique atmosphere and the fact that it is a ‘dinner’ is different to the other types of geek networking events I’ve attended (the food was also really good last time).
So if you’re a girl and a geek, go check it out. A fiver gets you a meal and a drink. And if you’re a guy, well, you’ll have to see if a girl geek takes pity on you. You can also follow the event on Twitter @mancggd.
Are you coming along to any of the above? Perhaps I’ll see you there – leave a comment below or tweet me @technicalfault.
Updated: other geek events
A couple of people kindly tweeted me to draw my attention to a few other events. There a whole series of GeekUp events, which come to Manchester on a monthly basis. And if you want an extra dose of BarCamp goodness, check out BarCampBlackpoool on 17 October.
Dominic “The Hodge” Hodgson has setup a really useful calendar of these events, called Where’s the Geeks? which aims to cover geek events UK-wide. This is probably a good starting point for all the other events in Manchester and beyond. There’s also the North West Digital Communities email list, which is quite helpful for keeping tabs on nearby geeky goings-on.