A request and an invitation for UX event organizers

This originally appeared in Issue 030 of my UX Writing Events newsletter.

Hi friends,

The Events part of this UX Writing Events newsletter wouldn’t be possible without the often thankless, often volunteer efforts of people around the world who’ve kept the light of community, sharing, and learning lit during an awfully dark time. It’s been hard enough just to live, to be a person getting by in the world in 2020, and it’s honestly inspiring how much absolutely cool stuff people have found the energy and inspiration to produce this year. I mean, I’ve sent 30 of these in a row, one a week, and have not run out of stuff to feature. 

I’ve gotten to peek behind the scenes of several online events this year, events of all shapes and sizes. I can tell you confidently that they require no less effort to produce than in-person events. Sometimes they’re even more work!

I say all this by way of request and of invitation.

The request: Consider sending a thank-you note to someone whose work you have benefitted from in 2020. Did you enjoy someone’s talk at an online meetup? Find a great job opportunity through someone’s Twitter? Solve a problem at work thanks a tip in someone’s book? It’s been a tough year for people who (in some cases used to) make their living in the form of public speaking, workshops, consulting, and the like. A little note can go a long way!

The invitation: If you (or an organization you have the ear of) does training and community building in the UX space, please consider online programming as part of your mix even after it’s possible again to safely hold events in person. I get a lot of grateful notes from folks who don’t normally have access to things like $2,000+ in-person conferences in Austin or Seattle who’ve been loving all the free online meetups this year. That’s not me, that’s you!! So again, thank you. We’ve made a lot of serendipitous progress in providing greater global access to UX education and communities this year, and I’d hate to have it all disappear in 2021 because wine-and-cheese mixers are the business world’s default understanding of what constitutes “networking”.

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