Can you believe by the end of the month, it’ll have been a whole year since we had the very first event in our second location, Shrewsbury? It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride, with people joining the new event very quickly. All of this has been made possible by our very own Joel, who has worked meticulously on the meetup events. This article is a simple look back at the first year they had, along with a thank you to Joel for his hard work.
On the 30th March 2017, GeekOut Shrewsbury Meet finally started its life, being led by our resident GeekOut Media lifer, Joel. Was he nervous? Oh yes, he was. He may not want to admit it to everyone, but he didn’t know how well the venture would go; especially since this was his first time doing anything even remotely similar. It was also the first time I would have another event flying under the UK ‘GeekOut Meet’ banner.
Their first meetup was a huge success – Which I personally knew would be. There was already a small following of fans up around that area, so I knew we’d be alright! Needless to say the first event happened, split over two venues (Starting in the basement of the Shrewsbury Coffeehouse, then moving over to Montgomery’s Tower later in the evening.) This became a staple of their events for quite some time.
This wasn’t a permanent arrangement, as in August, Joel decided that the movement of games and people was a bit of a logistic nightmare. So he moved everyone from doing the two venues all the time down to just one. They kept going back to the Coffeehouse for a while, before moving their pre-meetups to the Boiler Room, before moving to follow a very similar format to GeekOut Bristol Meets, voting for the pre-meetup.
This month marks 12 months since GeekOut Shrewsbury Meets have started and honestly, we couldn’t have been more thrilled with this experiment. To everyone who has been reading our articles on a regular basis, or those who just checks in on us from time to time, I’d like to say a massive thanks for all of you who believe in what we do. We believe in geek positivity, so we want to keep representing this notion for as long as we can.
The meetups went from mostly being about board games, to encompassing a whole array of geek interests, in a similar vein to its Bristol counterpart. It’s interesting how similar and yet how different the two events are. Both Joel and I believe in trying to bring people together for a great message, that we’re not alone in our interests – But the methods we have for running an event are so different. I’m looking forward to being able to travel up to see one of these meets in the not too distant future.
Joel, buddy, when we met in 2013, I doubt you thought you’d ever join up to write for me. Furthermore, I’d doubt that you thought that I, this guy who was adamant about meeting you for a second time at a second convention, would be writing an article to say thanks to you. I doubt you ever saw your path in life taking you to running a successful meetup group, but from the bottom of my heart, I say thanks for all of the hard work you’ve put into making the events a roaring success.
If anyone is reading this and have been to one of Joel’s events, you really should share with us some of your favourite stories of GeekOut Shrewsbury Meets since inception. Are you a GeekOut West-Midlands lifer, or are you just starting to go to the events up there? As ever, share your real thoughts and opinions below, or over on Facebook and Twitter – Let Joel know how he could make it better, or what he could do differently, or simply what you love about the events so far! Let’s celebrate more geek positivity in the UK.