Almost 11 months ago, my wife and I both quit our jobs in Indianapolis and moved to Des Moines. She was set to start classes at Drake Law but I wasn't quite sure how I would spend my time. Looking back, it's been a great year.
By nature of my interests, and my personality, I attend a lot of events. They range from meetings and meetups to conferences and unconferences. Typically, these events come with a nametag and much of the time I keep the nametag as some sort of keepsake or "proof of participation". I've been doing that since college and I know I'm not alone.
Now, in addition to keeping the physical nametag, I plan to do an annual post here on the blog showcasing the best events in one image (see above).
In Year One of my new career these three topped the list:
- Highlight Midwest - Des Moines, Iowa - October 2009. The event had a few hiccups but was a great early intro to the tech startups, creative class, and social media community around the Silicon Prairie.
- South by Southwest (SxSW) Interactive - Austin, Texas - March 2010. I was very fortunate to get to attend SxSW last minute. I'd wanted to go for the last few years and the event did not disappoint. Great exposure to the world-wide version of the groups listed above and a great time to get to know the SPN team better.
- Big Omaha - Omaha, Nebraska - May 2010. SPN's own event, Big Omaha was actually the best of the three. Even though I'm on the team, I was more participant than organizer at this one and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to experience it.
Note: the nametag/image idea is totally borrowed from the creativity of Erin Sparling on his site erinsparling.com. I'm not exactly sure who linked me to Erin's site but I loved the image so much that I wanted to recreate it for myself. Also, it's obvious his is better than mine but I'll work on it for next year.