You don’t need a corporation to start an event

I don’t often read Scobleizer[3] but his job change announcement caught my attention yesterday.

In particular, this part explaining reasons for moving to Fast Company rather than start his own business:

I want to build communities that lead to interesting events. But if I did my own business, running an event team would have to wait until I got my business on solid ground. That could be a year or more. That would mean opportunities lost. Fast Company and Inc have awesome event and marketing teams — I’ve been to their events and if I wanted to build a team like that it’d take capital, time, and talent that I don’t have.

Maybe it takes all that time and capital to do a big corporate conference, but when I see “community”, I think of what we’re doing here in Portland with the user groups and Ignite and Legion of Tech… and absolutely none of that required formal event or marketing teams, money up front, or things of that sort. These events are happening because some of us started going around and talking to people about doing something fun in our spare time. It’s amazing what you can pull of with a small group of volunteers, and the act of planning and running an event creates community in itself.

People shouldn’t be intimidated that they have to do it big. Simple works well: a space donated by Free Geek or CubeSpace, a company or two chipping in as pizza sponsors, recruiting a few people to talk about fun stuff they’re doing, and emailing everyone we know to show up. That’s really all you need to start. Maybe things grow from there, maybe not. Either way you’ll meet people and learn something new.

There’s details, of course, especially when you start to grow. Legion of Tech[1] is working[2] on a guidebook to what we know about running events, so hopefully soon I’ll be able to point people to that as well.

[1] Which is a non-profit corporation, but mostly because the things we’ve been planning started to involve more cash and liability than any one person should be responsible for. We could get by without a formal legal organization (and did, for the first Portland BarCamp and Ignite), it just makes bigger events harder to manage.

[2] By working I mean that I think we have a couple of wiki pages set up to start writing things down.

[3] Why? It makes me feel like we’re from different planets, and not in an interesting way.

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2 responses to “You don’t need a corporation to start an event

  1. Scobble-Dobble really does not have to start his own thing, he’s got offers up the wazoo. He may also be thinking that this may not be the year to do a start-up better to get more traction. Remember you yourself stated that you don’t often read Scobleizer. After Fast Company Scobleizer may have just what Robert needs to move business forward.

  2. How does scoobie doo feel about turnips?