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Many of you know that we have been planning a late October Build It Together event in Detroit. After 4 months of planning, speaking with IT professionals across Michigan, calling for speakers, and working with partners, we’ve learned a few things. First, the more IT professionals that we can engage, at an event like Build It Together, the more valuable the event will become. Second, event-planning is time consuming and requires much longer to plan well. Third, your feedback let us know we need to have more speakers to maximize the value for you. For these reasons. we are postponing a Fall 2014 event in favor of a better Spring 2015 event on May 13th.

To understand how we could make a more valuable event, we spoke with over half of Spring event attendees and received feedback via a survey from over one third of attendees. The results show, loud and clear, that making more time for networking is important to you. We are now looking into including a mixer or luncheon after the event to allow you to meet more people, share ideas, and engage on the topics explored at the event.

Finding partners that add value is important. No one wants to attend an event where the partners & speakers try to sell them on new products or services. Instead, we want to learn about new trends and strategies to provide more value to the organizations we work for. Over the next 6 months we will be cultivating partnerships with local & external organizations to find symbiotic partnerships to provide knowledge and engagement that cultivates the IT community in Michigan.

Lastly, 4 months just isn’t enough time to put together an amazing event. We spent the last 4 weeks calling for speakers and we only received 4 submissions. We heard from you that you wanted to hear from more IT directors about “How they do IT” and we want to find compelling stories from the community. So, we’ll be doing another call for speakers and we hope that you’ll be up for joining a panel of 3-4 others to share your ideas about IT. (If you want to know more you can head over to our speaker engagement page to see what opportunities exist.)

In the end, we just want to be sure of two things: that any event we organize is in the interest of the community, and that the event is valuable to the attendees. With that in mind we have launched a Google+ community and a website dedicated to the Build It Together event.

What topic would you like to discuss at the next event? If you have an idea you think would be valuable please submit it as a comment or on the new site.