Maria Keenan

The History of (and 3 Events for) Geeks

It seems that the interest in finding information about geeks is at an all-time low:

Source: Google Trends

For literal centuries, geeks were been shunned, and being associated with that label has been shameful:

Source: Google Etymology

In fact, the 1975 edition of the American Heritage Dictionary, gave only one definition: "Geek [noun, slang]. A carnival performer whose act usually consists of biting the head off a live chicken or snake."

Perhaps our modern acceptance, lack of Googling, and reclamation of the word is down to the fact that geeks have provided us with such delights as the internet, vaccines, and the ability to watch on-demand videos of dogs getting stuck in things.

But one element that's certainly helped to normalise the concept of being a geek or a dweeb or a nerd, or anything else you want to call it is our ability to get together and show all the wonderful ideas that come from being knowledgable and excited about different things. And events have been a big part of that. 

Events for geeks are thriving, and have been for at least the last decade, to the point where using the term is how a lot of those events brand themselves nowadays. Below are some fine examples that showcase how truly chic it is to be geek:

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Maria Keenan

Two 5-Minute Ways to Decide if Event Technology Fits Your Needs

Functionality is a big word.

The fact of the matter is, it can be nearly impossible to get the truth about whether or not a piece of event technology will work for your needs, and if it'll have the features that you want.

In a previous life, I've been the person on sales calls who was taught to steer the conversation away from talking about specific features in the pursuit of "qualifying the customer better" which is essentially Sales Code for "getting dirt you can pull them up on when it comes time for them to push back."

And it sucks. As a customer, that sucks.

In that scenario a) the seller is usually being condescending and assuming that you've never bought anything in your life and b) you've probably done your research ahead of time, meaning that you just want the person on the other end of the phone to answer the damn question, because you get the gist. 

The thing is that we, as purchasers, have a lot to choose from when it comes to our event stack. Not only are there multiple companies that make the same kind of solution, but so too are there multiple different solutions you'll potentially need to consider in order to pull off the event you're envisioning.

Thankfully, we've had over a decade of being able to use the internet effectively to dig up info on previous customers' experiences with the software we're considering. That said, that too can lead to information overload.

Off the back of that, here are two quick resources to help you make faster, more informed choices when it's decision time and you need to commit to an event technology vendor:

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Maria Keenan

3 Ways Events Are Making Tech More Accessible

There's been a lot of criticism across the industry, either saying that tech is falling short when it comes to helping under-represented minorities, or that inequalities have persisted long after they've been called out as being unacceptable.

Though these may be small events, I wanted to share some reassurance this week by showing you three examples which prove that events are making tech more accessible, one community at a time:

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Annie Lowney

Overheard at the World's Most Disappointing Conference

- How was the conference?
- Do you really want to know?

- That bad, huh?
- My cortisol levels peaked in the queue* to register, and don’t get me started on the toilet queue.
- It was that long?
- It had the parameters of a small country with lots of hostile locals.
- Urgh.
- Then there was the swag bag… glossy sales brochures that everyone dumped in front of the sign that said, “We are a sustainable conference”.

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Maria Keenan

2019 Tech Events to Add to Your Agenda (Yes, Already)

The events space moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

It seems like tickets are going on sale earlier and earlier nowadays. Obviously, this helps with forecasting for the event organisers themselves, but it also allows loyal attendees to get significant discounts on tickets that they were probably going to buy anyway. 

As well as all of this, the conferences with the confidence to go on sale a year or more in advance tend to have a quality reputation behind them, so let's take a look at some examples and see if these 2019 tech events should get marked in your calendar:

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Maria Keenan

The Many Hangovers from Alcohol at Community Events & How to Cure Them

Daisy Onubogu (pictured below) is head of community at Roam. She works with the several teams who organise events in their global locations, including Miami, Bali, Tokyo, San Francisco, and London.

Her role is to see how those who stay with Roam can engage more with the local communities, and how they can take away an in-depth association with the places they work and live. 

Meaning, they probably shouldn't be drunk all the time. 

Aside from attending events where the queues for workshops are always significantly shorter than the queues for wine, the issue of alcohol at events is one that's cropped up in my awareness more and more recently. 

When organising meetups, it seems that the bar is the easiest place to draw a crowd to. Alcohol at community events is even more of a prerequisite if you're an introvert that needs a couple of beers or a glass of wine are seen as almost essential if you're going to be networking for the evening. 

I wanted to speak with Daisy because Roam, to an outsider, seems like a tranquil nirvana where people can meet a community with a similar pace to their outwardly hard-working, yet balanced lives. But how do they entertain themselves?

This is what she had to say:

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Paul Campbell

A Note on Security, Data Privacy and our Terms of Service

In just over a month, May 25th will mark the deadline for compliance with the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation. The GDPR has struck fear into the hearts of businesses within the EU and beyond. At Tito, however, we greet the GDPR with cautious optimism. Strict data protection regulation aligns with our attitude on the matter since the start: respect people’s data.

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Maria Keenan

Meetups - A Round-Up

Anyone over the age of 20 will tell you that it gets harder as you get older to make friends. 

There's any number of reasons for that. Perhaps it's because other pursuits take up our time and energy. Perhaps it's down to not having a designated new step like school or college to throw you into a new pool of people. Or maybe it's just because you get lazy.

For a remedy to this, this week on Tito we're going to take a look at meetups. Constantly rated as one of the best places to meet like-minded folks, our customers showcase very varied interests, which you might share with them:

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Maria Keenan

3 Specific Reasons Why You Should Get an Event Planning Qualification

Candidates with a bachelor’s degree in meeting and event management, hospitality, or tourism management should have the best job opportunities.

- The US Bureau of Labor Statistics

This, to me, is extremely frustrating.

Not because I don’t hold a degree in any of these, but because, for a bureau of statistics, you’d think they’d focus on this thing called “at least some factual analysis.”

To be fair to bureaucratic entities, they do state on their website that, “Most… event planning positions require a bachelor’s degree” which is at least an attempt at justifying the hypothesis.

When it comes to the initial evidence I had going into writing this post, I had no stats to begin with either, but then again, I’m not a State department.

Given that it's my literal job to work alongside event organisers both online and off, I've heard time and again that there’s a gap in the market for proof around whether or not event management qualifications and degrees are worth the time and money that goes into them.

So, I dug a little deeper.

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Maria Keenan

Events for Good - A Round-Up

You might be lead to believe that running an event is pretty formulaic. Something, perhaps, like this:

  1. Start event
  2. Sell tickets
  3. ???
  4. Profit & happiness

Well, sorry to disappoint, but events are never that easy to produce. Some even skip the "profit" part. 

One thing that we can be certain of though is that anyone that decides to put on an event wants it to be good. Today, with a twist, we wanted to share with you some events that are not only good, they're working for the greater good:

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