This past weekend I played co-host to the first of what will hopefully be many TECHnic picnics. The concept is simple. Invite user groups from around the community to a purely social outdoor picnic. Provide food, games and prizes and give people a chance to network.
I'm happy to say it went quite well.
Over the course of the day we had about 150 people come, with peak attendance at any give time around 60 or so.
For the first go around our main sponsor was the fine folks at Boundless Flight, a local consulting / technology company that helps sponsor the local Java user group. Many thanks to Heidi Hooper for latching onto the TECHnic idea and making it a reality. When it all came down to it Heidi did 90% of the work, i basically helped find prizes and played M.C. for the event.
In addition to boundless we quite a few companies sponsor and provide food, drinks or other picnic necessities. Briefly thanks to Pradco, Bulldog Resume, TSC, Bluebridge Networks, Best Technology Strategy, Simplex IT, Eventus and Flex Hire (i hope that's everyone.)
Finally we had some great companies step up and provide prizes or give aways for the event so another set of thanks to Microsoft, The Pragmatic Programmers, Redgate, Jetbrains, Balsamiq, Wireframe Mockups, Telerik, Techsmith, Scooter Software, O'Reilly, Apress, Wiley Publishing, Macromates, Cornerstone and Pixelmator.
You guys all rock. Here's to hoping the technic concept continues and gets bigger every year. I've already had a couple people from outside of cleveland ask me about it considering to put one together in their home town. I hope they do, it was a great time, an excellent networking opportunity and all said and done well worth it.