GeekOut South-West: Our Story So Far
You know, this may seem like a relatively simple article to write about, but it’s made me think back and reflect a lot. We’ve been going since 2013, meaning that in September of this year, we’ll officially have been around for five years; half a decade. In this time, we’ve had to learn a lot about producing content of all forms. We’ve written regular articles, we’ve produced videos, we’ve made little in-jokes, which have become more (see Gordon the GeekOut Goat). However, in our time, we’ve had to learn how to bring about a balance of being content creators, community organisers and being our own tech teams. If you’ve ever wanted to do something similar, here’s a reflective post on what we’ve done over the years.
The First Meetup
Let me start by saying the GeekOut South-West meetups were originally very unsuccessful – Our very first meetup was two people including myself. That’s right – Just one person joined me (Thanks, Felipe!)
When I ran the first meetup, I genuinely didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I just posted on this very website that I was going to meet in the King William Ale House for some drinks, hoping people would join me. A colleague joined me – And whilst no one else did, we had a blast just chatting about geeky stuff; video games, comics, you name it. We then happened to bump into the guys who ran Excelsior, who were also there on a night out. We explained that we were attempting a meetup, so if any other geeks were interested, then they could get in contact. I don’t know if the Excelsior guys did anything, but from the next meet onwards, things changed.
We went from two to five, to seven – And we sort of floated around this for a while. Then in 2014, I started advertising on Meetup and boy oh boy, did I have to learn a lot quickly? The first people came to the event and I had to learn how to actually deal with people quickly.
I’d like to think, that in 2018, I’ve got the formula for a fun meetup down. Bring games, bring items of interest, get prizes for a competition, get a venue to enjoy our company.
The Solo Months
When I started this website, it was an ordinary blog, which I posted maybe two or three times a week on. I used to talk about things such as my first cosplay disaster, or what games influenced me growing up. I had no real voice, except for a young and ambitious guy who just wanted an outlet. As the months went on, I wanted to grow it and make the meetup a bigger, more important thing. Having met Joel prior to starting the site, it was a real joy getting him on board, sharing my message with me. I’ve never looked back since.
If you’ve got big ideas, trust me, you’re going to need a team; be it yourself and someone helping behind the scenes, or be it a collection of writers. You’re going to need your friends, you’re going to need your readers and, most importantly, you’re going to need to be consistent with your posting formula.
This year has so far been our most successful start of a year, which we attribute to every single person involved. From Joel, Chris and I, we thank everyone who reads our simple site and we hope you stay with us as we transition…
… Oh, speaking of transitioning.
The future of the website is looking strange; we’ve spoke in the past about what we’re trying to build and, admittedly, I dropped the ball. As of the past month, I’ve picked the ball back up. As of the past month, I’ve picked up other balls. We’ve come up with a strategy, a schedule and most importantly, a sensible way to deliver all of what we want to achieve. We’d rather not tell you of dates we want things done by, but rather we’d certainly like you to know that Joel and I have seriously picked up the eBook project again. Chris has been secretly reaching out to people about a project which he’ll announce in the hopefully not-too-distant future and I’ve been working on the new website again almost religiously.
All we can say is what we’ve always said – We love having you guys here, but we hope you will help us write the next chapter in our story. If you want to write a guest article for us, we’d love to have it! If you just have some comments to make, let us have them. We seriously read every single message that comes on here; we always try to respond to them and we want to make the future of GeekOut Media a reality.
Just, thank you for bearing with us!