One european anniversary meetup to rule them all? May 6, 2009 9:40 AM   Subscribe

Not a lot of 1 to 2 person anniversary meetups on the European continent but one big anniversary meetup?

Meetups in general in Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands etc. tend to be extremely small due to the low local mefite density. There has been some talk in the past of a big pan-European meetup.
I want to gauge in this metatalk the interest in that.
This needs a separate metatalk thread and can't take place on the ten.metafilter site since the location hasn't been chosen yet.
posted by jouke to MetaFilter Gatherings at 9:40 AM (37 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

In the past there was talk of Amsterdam as the location. But other locations that are easily accessible are options as well.

Obvious concerns are that
- accomodation and trainfare or airfare are relatively expensive since it's tourist high-season
- people might not have money available on account of the economy
posted by jouke at 9:42 AM on May 6, 2009

- accomodation and trainfare or airfare are relatively expensive since it's tourist high-season
- people might not have money available on account of the economy

Yes. Leider and sadly, but yes.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 10:35 AM on May 6, 2009

I think maybe there is something to be said for the idea that if continentals are going to travel around Western Europe anyway for the anniversary, they might as well just head for London.

Just thinking out loud here.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:12 AM on May 6, 2009

There's got to be some EU programme or other that could help with funding this...
posted by daniel_charms at 12:10 PM on May 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

How about national groups putting forth a case? I live in London but I'd actually love to go a-visiting elsewhere for for anniversarial purposes.

Either that or choosing a villa spot somewhere beautiful and wild but pretty much equidistant to all of us and gathering for a weekend: Camp EuroMeta roadtrip!
posted by freya_lamb at 12:14 PM on May 6, 2009

I'd be up for it - in London or elsewhere. A major city like London, Paris or Amsterdam would be pretty cheap for people from most countries to get to with Easyjet.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:56 PM on May 6, 2009

That's certainly a practical and low effort solution gnfti; the London meetup will be the biggest European one by far judging by local mefite population density and history of meetups.

Personally I find a big meetup in an English speaking location not the most exciting prospect. But that's just me.

Freyalamb, where would you like to go? Berlin? Brussels? Paris? Amsterdam?

I'm looking at the Google Earth map (open in Google Earth) to get an idea of what a good location would be. That information doesn't seem to be correct though. Just looking in the profile of one mefite who's based in Berlin at "nearby users" I get 13 people in Berlin. In the Google Earth map it's only 5 mefites in Berlin.
So the value of the metafilter.kml information seems to be questionable unfortunately.

Let's see over the coming days what preferences people have...
posted by jouke at 1:04 PM on May 6, 2009

I'm possibly going to attend an anniversary meet in either London or Dublin. London is more likely because I live in England, but Dublin is possible as I'm likely to be back in Ireland at some point in June/July. Anything beyond that is probably not going to happen though.
posted by knapah at 3:07 PM on May 6, 2009

i would love a large meetup, but i've never been to one, so a small one would do too.

i'll be in Europe in the summer. no plans/dates/itinerary, so once the plans are set, i'll make sure to be in [country TBD] that day.
posted by gursky at 4:23 PM on May 6, 2009

I for one (and picklebird for two) will just happen to be in the Greece the weekend of the 17th-19th. Where its always sunny. And there's good food. And ouzo.
posted by googly at 9:17 PM on May 6, 2009

The more popular the location for those coming from outside of Europe, the more expensive it would be. I'd be up for someplace like Krakow - cheap flights from just about every Euro airport, convenient rail, cheap hotels, good nightlife and gorgeous scenery. The continent would be better than London/Dublin as a travel hub, I'd think. Summer's the high season regardless of location, but maybe we could book a hostel/hotel/b&b en masse? Or camp?

Paris is expensive in summer, but probably the most convenient for rail and air travel links. Prague or Berlin might be the cheapest and the most central for everyone on the continent.
posted by Grrlscout at 11:49 PM on May 6, 2009

I'm a Londoner but I'm interested in joining Jouke and others wherever you guys go.

If you look at the meetups history, Paris has been the most active one on the Continent. So, Paris is a good bet.

I'd lean towards Berlin though myself, for many of the reasons mentioned above. Its a fun town and can be as cheap or as expensive as you like.

There's also no reason we cant have several locations. London, Paris, Berlin etc. and get a sense of everyone's interest by seeing which ones get the most attendees. I see that Berlin already has an organizer. So, sort of like in the US where there are several mega-meetups forming naturally in Portland, New Orleans and NYC.
posted by vacapinta at 1:01 AM on May 7, 2009

Oh yes, Krakow. I definitely want to go there. And it might be substantively cheaper in accomodation and food...

Berlin sounds exciting.
Coincidentally there's a mefite there who runs a pub I seem to recall.

Paris is good as well.

vacapinta, that's a good idea. One snag though: I imagine people will want to hedge their bets so they end up going to the meetup that turns out to be the biggest. The only ones who can't are the organisers it seems. So who's committing early to Krakow to see if anybody else wants to go?

Unfortunately this metatalk post is already of the metatalk frontpage within 18 hours. So I'm not sure we're getting all the views we need from European mefites.
That's always a problem with meetups on the European continent.
posted by jouke at 1:19 AM on May 7, 2009

Krakow or Berlin sound great!

Grrrlscout - yay for camping (eponysterical), but the weather is so changeable in June, I'm not sure it'd fly.

jouke: can we set up a 'Euroville' event in the sidebar and poll for destinations? Pony request?
posted by freya_lamb at 2:18 AM on May 7, 2009

Ok, we're off the frontpage. So I think that it's safe to say that we need to find a space on 10.metatalk to get more people to read our idea and react.
I'm notifying the admins to weigh in on whether they'll help us change the location once it's decided upon or a similar solution.
posted by jouke at 4:14 AM on May 7, 2009

In the past there was talk of Amsterdam as the location.

That rumor was started by Meatbomb, but it turns out he won't even be there then. He will be in Brazil for some reason.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:35 AM on May 7, 2009

I know SC. Meatbomb and Mutant had that plan together and asked me as a local to organise it for them. :-)
Meatbomb is now trying to get a meetup together in Brasil...
posted by jouke at 7:20 AM on May 7, 2009

Mathowie replied. Basically he said that scrolling off the frontpage of metatalk is just how metatalk works and that we should just make do with the existing functionality of 10.metafilter.

One thing we can do to get this under the attention of mainland European mefites is finding out for each country/city who took part in a few meetups and see if they want to point other local mefites this way.

Any other ideas how to get this under the attention of Europe based mefites?
posted by jouke at 1:01 PM on May 7, 2009

Any other ideas how to get this under the attention of Europe based mefites?

Can it be tagged with a general Europe tag so that it shows up under the MeTa upcoming meetups sidebar?

And I'll throw in a halfhearted nomination for Italy, simply because I sort of doubt my work permit renewal will have arrived in time and there's been no sign of a renewal on last year's EU directive allowing pending renew-ees to travel within the Schengen zone. :| meh.
posted by romakimmy at 1:31 AM on May 8, 2009

That's a good idea romakimmy. I'll see what mathowie says about doing it that way.
I think sending out a few notification mefi mails won't hurt either.
Are there mefites in Italy or otherwise that you can notify?
I'll do the same for people who I met through meetups.
posted by jouke at 2:13 AM on May 8, 2009

And about the permit renewal thing; I know somebody who was sequestered on the prison island also known as Great-Britain for the same reason. Sucks not to be able to move within the EU.
posted by jouke at 2:17 AM on May 8, 2009

I'll be up for this- Germany cool by me.
posted by Gratishades at 12:12 PM on May 8, 2009

jouke, just to put the last nail in the old Amsterdam plan, Mutant just might be staying here with me in NYC and attending our event.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:34 PM on May 8, 2009

I'm up for a meetup, London has an active meetup crowd, maybe see if they can organize something?
posted by sebas at 1:51 AM on May 9, 2009

I think Berlin is an excellent idea because July is usually so fantastic here (and it's affordable and we're finally starting to have great travel connections as a bonus), so I'm going to sweeten the deal by 1) pointing out my explanation of how to get cheap Eurostar tix (if there are any left) here, and 2) suggesting that if there are people who need a place to stay here, it might be possible for me to put a couple of people up, so get in touch.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 11:12 AM on May 9, 2009

Hi! I'm moving to Switzerland in June, so I would be making it just under the wire. Prague is more feasible for me than Berlin because I have family there; I'd also be game for Krakow, since I've never been to Poland.

I can also attest that Switzerland is gorgeous in the summer and has extremely entertaining non-alcoholic drinks (milk soda, anyone? No, it's totally awesome, I swear!), but I don't really know how to help people figure out the travel costs.
posted by bettafish at 3:00 PM on May 9, 2009

Er, the potential travel costs, that is.

(Also, just to clarify, I'm not saying NO to Berlin, I'm just saying that some of the other suggestions work better for me.)
posted by bettafish at 3:04 PM on May 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think this should happen in one of the cities in Europe which already has a decent Mefite population, and let me share my reasoning:

1) it's a meetup, implying that there are Mefites there, so I'm not sure what that upside is to turning it into a field trip to a town Mefites don't appear to live in (and on a practical level, I'm skeptical about whether a critical mass of people will really opt to do it in the end – I'd pass on the Krakow meetup, for instance, because even sitting right here on the Polish border, the travel time, ticket expense, and convenience is nearly identical to London for me*, but I'm convinced that there will be more unannounced attendees in London due to the big city/home-court advantage so it seems like a better use of the resources).

2) the ability for locals to make informed plans, and probably also make some of their own resources available (i.e. connectivity, terraces for late breakfasts, etc).

So, I would argue for London, Berlin, Amsterdam, or maybe Munich or Hamburg or Paris. If it really ought to be somewhere else, I would suggest picking somewhere that is in between the big Mefite deposits and has high-speed rail connections, since not everyone likes to fly if it's avoidable, and we have the luck to live on a continent that is largely well-connected by rail.

* Although London specifically might be out for me for another reason: I will have gotten back from a trip to London only 10 days earlier.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 6:44 AM on May 10, 2009

It seems that not having picked a location yet doesn't fit matts anniversary functionality very well.
What do you people think of just picking one location and going ahead to trying to get as many people as possible to go there?
At this point it seems that Berlin would be a good choice since there's already a local who wants to organise it and there are quite a few people who want to go there.

So what do you think of just chosing to have the big european anniversary in Berlin and move all talk to the Berlin thread?
posted by jouke at 11:32 AM on May 11, 2009

Hello, just an update on the London meetup, as it seems relevant to the discussion here - we've got a three-day, all weekend thing going on, with drinks in a bar on Friday, wandering around and dinner on Saturday and brunch recovery/picnic on the Sunday. The idea is to provide multiple options so people can get to one or all of them. So potentially, it's going to be a big 'un, and rolling over the three days.

Details here.

I kind of wish I could go to the London one and the Berlin one, but I fear my wallet couldn't take the bashing.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:47 AM on May 12, 2009

I can try to make Berlin, depending on what shakes out with the UK meetups.
posted by Grrlscout at 8:49 AM on May 12, 2009

Looking at the activity in this thread (where a lot of the comments are from me) and the Berlin thread I come to the conclusion that a Berlin meetup would be small and uncertain. That's not very festive.
So I'm giving up on the Berlin/Paris/Krakow/etc plan and I join the London camp.
And I invite everybody here to come to London too and let's have a drink together there.
posted by jouke at 7:11 AM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Ok, I'm in for London too. Nice idea though!
posted by freya_lamb at 7:44 AM on May 13, 2009

Wait, wait, wait! Let's not abandon the Berlin idea, or suggest it's going to stink, (small, uncertain) ahem! We (Berlin) are a much smaller group than London - so we aren't going to be able to offer the various and varied gathering opportunities.

What Berlin can offer is (almost reliably) beautiful weather, inexpensive to cheap lodging, good food, great beer and an easy, accessible location for a wide swath of people across Europe. The last time I was in London it was a mite expensive, whereas Berlin is almost cheap. And clean and easy.

I'll bring it up in the Berlin thread, where we should gather (there are bunches of very good options - from beer gardens to parks to lakes to Kolophon's bar and etc...) and try and drum up a little enthusiasm.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:08 AM on May 14, 2009

Well, I don't think the idea is that Berlin is no longer going to have a meetup, but that if only one local could commit to attending (to date) then it isn't a good candidate for being the big central meetup location, which I think is correct.

There is nothing stopping us from having an fun 10th anniversary meetup, and nothing stopping other folks in Europe from joining us for it, but I think the discussion here about Berlin v. London v. Krakow as The Big European Meetup got a definitive answer when London successfully organized a really big awesome meetup, and that strikes me as a good outcome the the extent that the goal is for the central meetup to be big and awesome.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 5:24 AM on May 14, 2009

FB: I mistakenly put my response in the Berlin thread.
posted by jouke at 6:44 AM on May 14, 2009

So if London will be the mother of all European meetups Berlin could be, say, the Great-Aunt?
posted by From Bklyn at 12:12 AM on May 15, 2009

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