March 2011 Microtalks – After-Action Report

Thanks to the audience, speakers, volunteers and staff at KLRU-TV for hosting us at the historic Studio 6A!!

Pros: The mood was upbeat, the audience was attentive and respectful, the beer was free (thanks Mr. Mike!) The speakers were engaging with a great range of topics and lots of highlights. I personally had several approach me after the show to tell me who their favorite speaker was, and no one speaker took all the accolades. We’ll have the video on Youtube as before, but we had the use of a better camera and patch-in through an audio system we had time to test properly.

Cons: Parking was the main tradeoff. We’ll need to communicate it better, and a number of ideas were discussed, including Watty’s idea about scheduling a meetup for a free parking lot across campus, so everyone could walk to the studio together. Might be worth trying, but we clearly could use better information on this site about how to get to the location, especially if we use Studio 6A again (and we think we will.)

We had about 90 people in total, which is in line with what we’ve had at the previous two events, maybe a little fewer than the TAD show last December. Clearly we could continue to grow this audience, which is still meant to be mostly general, at least for this particular show. We could still do better about getting the word out.

This is not going to be the only speaking event that this chapter puts together, nor are all such events going to be this general in aim or scope. We have lots of ideas for events that more directly serve pros and enthusiasts who want to become pros.

What we need is help from people who know what they’re doing. Our hope is that we’ll continue meet people like that as we roll along. This chapter is emerging from a period of confusion and inactivity, and 2011 will be a banner year for us.

Special thanks to Allistair Pinsof for the writeup of the event in the Daily Texan on Thursday; our bartenders Lee VanWallene and Chris Kokkinos; timekeeper Andrew “Watty” Watson, and volunteers Edward Furstenau and Brian Alvarez-Bailey.

And, of course, my buddy JJ Weber, broadcast operations manager for KLRU, for making our use of the venue  You da man, Jethro.

I’ve tabulated the scores from the 43 comment cards that were turned in, here.