If you follow us on Facebook, surely you’ve seen (if not participated in) Gorrion Unplugged. It’s the event during which we exchange ideas, share knowledge and spend some time together. This meeting is a great opportunity to see what it’s like to be a part of Gorrion team. It takes place in the complete dark with only Christmas lights on. You may think that we did it on purpose, to stand out from the rest. Well, not exactly. It’s a result of a (not so) funny accident.
Let’s go back a little when the event was called Gorrion Meeting House. This first meeting was already extraordinary – Kamil Myśliwiec was going to talk about Nest. A framework that he created. As you can imagine, we couldn’t wait for his presentation. We wanted it to be perfect and organised everything that could be useful. We have prepared Gorrion’s pens, cosmic notebooks, projector, cables, all the basic stuff. And of course, something to eat, in that case there were doughnuts.
Little did we know that it’s the last thing that we are organising before the part of our building ran out of electricity. Luckily, we still could use extension cords. But 3 hours before the meeting, the light went out in the whole building.
Lucky us, right? Our first meetup ever, lots of preparation done, many people come to see it, and thing like that happens. We couldn’t cancel it, we had to do something. The power failure would take several hours, so we took the matter in our hands. We asked our neighbours for help, and fortunately for us, they agreed. A moment later, we led the cable from the balcony on the third floor, through the whole yard to the second building to power the projector and laptop. Since we couldn’t overcome the problem, we decided to turn it into opportunity. So we organised glow sticks, Christmas tree lights on batteries (a miracle after the holiday season!), glowing in the dark spray and prepared the room for new conditions.
As it turned out (not that we didn’t know it before), we make a pretty good team. Everyone cooperated by organising power, searching for the essential things and preparing the space.
The presentation began at 6:10 pm. About 20 minutes later, the light was turned on, but we no longer needed electricity. We listened to Kamil in the glow of Christmas lights and with doughnuts in our hands.
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After organising many more of these events, we can share with you our process.
Of course, subjects depend on the speakers, but questionnaires are a big help in setting the direction of the presentation. When we have results of a survey, we know what participants want and expect from the event.
Once we have our speakers with topics, we figure out whether we want to have some contests with a prize. Next, we prepare the event programme and everything connected to it – graphics, texts and promotional schedule.
Back in the days, we were also uploading videos after the event. But now, we want the participants to be there with us and feel the atmosphere.
Before the presentations, we inspect their layout and content. We make sure that there are no misspellings, grammar mistakes etc. We also double-check the terminology and the problem itself.
Thanks to Gorrion Unplugged once in a while, a group of people can meet, learn something and exchange ideas. Among participants, there are Gorrion employees, friends, IT enthusiasts or those who want to see how does such an event look like. And guess what? We are all are interacting with each other in a friendly atmosphere and with drinks in our hands. Before noticing what’s going on, we become a part of the experience. And at the next event, there are even more people.
When the presentations, discussion, and Q&A session are over, it’s time for a little afterparty in a smaller group. When it’s warm, we sit outside and talk. But sometimes for the winners of the competition, we prepare something special. Once we even transformed three rooms into an escape room. Can you imagine all the fun they had? It’s all about interacting and connecting. And of course, having fun. Thanks to these events, we can spend time with those with similar interests and network with them. This may bring benefit in the future. For example, very often those who participated in our events, want to work with us! How great is that?
Of course, because of COVID-19, we had to modify our events slightly. We hope it’s not for long. But even the world pandemic didn’t stop us from making them. We switched to webinars. Maybe there are no glowing holiday lights or pizza to eat. But, there are still quality presentations, smiling speakers and Q&A session during which we can have a little chat.
During our first Gorrion Unplugged, we’ve run out of electricity. Now we don’t need it. We made it our tradition to gather in the glow of fairy lights.
Become a part of the experience right now and watch the recording from one of our edition of Gorrion Unplugged in the form of a webinar (it’s in Polish). If you’d like to see more, visit our YouTube channel.