Thibaud’s blog

Notes, thoughts, and open-source software

Funding Oulu’s Web Development Meetup

I’m looking for funding for Oulu’s Web Development Meetup. I’ve asked my employer, Codemate. Here’s a post explaining why, and how.

Why

Quite simply, organising good events takes time. In the past I had the support of Springload, my previous employer, who gave me a very generous allowance to organise events. Since then, I organised events with my free time. Talented’s Tuomas is always there to help, but even with two of us it’s not uncommon for a given meetup to take around 8 hours to organise, host, and debrief. It also takes money. The sums aren’t enormous, especially considering event hosts are often generous enough to cover catering costs, but it’s still not zero.

With a bit of funding, I would be able to spend time on the meetup without rushing it. We would be able to reliably record future events. Heck, there could even be some prizes!

Recording events

TL;DR; it takes more time than I thought. But is well worth it – our last meetup, the first one to be recorded, already had ± 70 minutes of watch time on all of the videos:

Screenshot of the YouTube analytics dashboard, showing the watch time for talks from the last meetup. 24min, 24min, 15min, and 4min

How

Quite simply, I sent an offer to my manager! I think Codemate would be a great sponsor – they’ve been very supportive of the meetup, eager to host the event, and they’ve sponsored similar initiatives in the past. It just makes perfect sense. I gave them the option to either provide cash only, or grant me some time.

We’ll see what they come back to me with. In the meantime, I thought it would also be interesting to share what I sent them so others can learn from it. Here is the full sponsorship offer:

The offer

I’m looking for sponsors for the Oulu Web Development Meetup. Who best to ask than Codemate!

The group

The meetup group has now been going for more than 2 years, having organised 10+ events. The whole group is 200 people strong, and recent events have had an attendance of ± 30. Starting with our last event, A journey in Elm land (held at Codemate 😄), we also started recording the talks and we now have a small audience on YouTube.

All in all, this is one of the largest and best connected groups of tech people in Oulu.

What the Meetup needs

Organising good events takes time, and money. The biggest hurdle is to find the speakers. We need to pay the Meetup.com subscription. I’d also love to occasionally fly speakers from Helsinki. Finally, there is the video recording equipment. This is what your sponsorship will help cover.

I’m looking for:

  • 1000 euros for a year’s worth of events. Time-wise, this will allow me to occasionally take a day off to focus on the meetup without compromising my personal finances.
  • OR 500 euros, and 1 day/month of time to spend organising the events. Less upfront cost, more time. Win-win.

The big difference this will make is in our ability to reliably record events. This takes a lot of time, that I can’t commit to without support.

What Codemate gets in return

More than anything else, the eternal gratitude of all future attendees! The “Above & beyond” achievement for supporting the local tech community. My eternal appreciation 🌈.

Practically, here is what we will do over the next 12 months:

  • We will produce higher-quality events thanks to your support, which means better learning and sharing for everyone in Oulu – Codemate employees, potential job applicants, in-house dev teams of Codemate’s clients.
  • We will advertise Codemate’s sponsorship at the beginning of all events.
  • Codemate will be mentioned as a sponsor on the group’s Meetup page (with logo and link to a page of your choice).
  • Official social media communications related to the events will mention “Sponsored by @CodemateLtd” or equivalent.
  • Recorded talks on YouTube will also mention “Sponsored by Codemate”.
  • If you wish, we will write one blog post on Codemate’s blog after each event to quickly recap what happened, and link to the talks.
  • If you wish, we will make a new “Community” page on Codemate’s website to showcase Codemate’s involvement – Mimmit koodaa, the meetup, etc.

I’m also very open to suggestions for other ways to promote Codemate through the meetup.

The vision

Beyond the Meetup, I want to see more people sharing their experience with others. I want everyone to have more discussions about our craft, and learn from one another. I want people to realise public speaking is no dark magic, and just about anyone can hold a 10-min talk to share their story.

In Oulu in particular, the community isn’t very visible at the moment. There is an opportunity to change that. Who knows, maybe in 2019 we could be organising a full-blown Codemate tech conference here in the north!


All in all this is nothing extraordinary, but it’s always interesting to know how those things work behind the scenes. And reflecting back on that “vision” section – wouldn’t it be pretty cool to have more tech events in Oulu!