At the time, the Geekup network featured events in Manchester, Sheffield, Chester, Leeds, Liverpool and Preston; a remarkable achievement benefiting hundreds of attendees every month. I benefitted from this personally as a regular attendee of Geekup Sheffield.
In September 2011 Gemma heeded the call of the fatherland and returned to Manchester, and that was when I took on organising Geekup Nottingham.
Losing Gemma was a blow: we had only 8 attendees at the October 2011 event, I'd made a right hash of the marketing, and the projector at Cape, our venue at the time, started hanging at a symbolically despondent slant.
Since then, gradually, attendee by attendee, Geekup Nottingham has grown. Recent events have seen as many as fifty attendees, we've moved to a better venue, we've been able to take on sponsorship (thanks Cordius!) and offer free beer and (soon...) food.
As the event has grown so too have our ambitions. We'd like to do more with the community of smart tech people we've gathered: hack events, campaigns, spin-off meetups on specialist subjects, workshops, training, help for startups, charities and community groups; it's difficult to do all that with a brand we don't have ownership of.
At the same time, the opportunity for the event to move to Nottingham's business hub & cafe bar Antenna came up, so it seemed like a great time to rebrand and build something new - new home, new name and a new era for Nottingham's burgeoning software community.
Tech Nottingham is born.
Our next event is on 12th May at Antenna, and our guest speaker is Gemma Cameron herself - come along, it's free!