Despite stormy skies last night, July 16, the first Tech Tailgate event was held in the parking lot of Fargo Brewing Company with a packed turnout of over a hundred people. Nine different tech groups showcased their group focus and upcoming events from the trunks of cars, with raffles to win beer or t-shirts throughout the evening.
“We never thought we would get this many people, but obviously there was a need for this type of event, to get everyone together,” said Megan Beck, co-organizer of Girl Develop It Fargo and the Tech Tailgate event.
Beck estimated that there was about 130 people that attended throughout the evening.
“All of the beer was drank,” she added.
In addition to happy hour beers all night, Rhombus Guys pizza was also provided by the champs over at Fargo Brewing Co., who hosted the event and joined the party for a bit.
Notably, the notorious DJ DizzyB made a comeback after a many-years-long hiatus, and was throwing down some beats for the crowd.
“WOAH there’s so many people here! We love it!” Beck and Shannon Wiedman, co-organizers of Girl Develop It Fargo, tweeted during the event.
Responding to a need
Beck, Wiedman, and Fargo Game-Makers founder Kyle Weik organized Tech Tailgate after their participation in Dr. Chanchai Tangpong’s NDSU business class. The class required students to interview them and pin point the strengths and weaknesses in their meet-up structure.
One weakness, the three realized, is that there is a lack of awareness for the tech meet-ups as a whole. Locals are often confused as to who’s doing what, and which meet-up to attend – and if the meet-up scene seems too cluttered, it’s unsuccessful.
Their response? After a brief talk together after the NDSU class experience, the three decided to throw the Tech Tailgate in less than a month, as a get-to-know-you for all local tech meet-ups. In that time they created a website, got an awesome graphic (designed by Adam Wiedman) with t-shirts too, and managed to rally up over a hundred people and feed them beer and pizza. Proof that if you want to make something happen in Fargo, by all means go out and do it.
Meet the Meet-ups
The tech meet-ups represented were Girl Develop It Fargo, Fargo Game- Makers, Interface Fargo, NS Fargo, Geek Meet, Hack Fargo, Fargo-Moorhead Content Strategy, Red River Web Group, and Good for Nothing Fargo.
Here are some short descriptions and links to the meet-up websites, as taken from the Tech Tailgate website:
A nonprofit organization providing affordable & accessible programs to women (18+) who want to learn web & software development through hands-on instruction.
A place to connect with current or aspiring game designers, creatives, and engineers in the Fargo, North Dakota area.
A biweekly meetup focused on learning from platform creators, inventors, and pioneers about unique solutions to difficult problems in technology.
A developer focused meet-up group. The focus of the meet-ups are determined by our members. We are Apple fanboys, so we favor iOS and OS X development.
We are geeks, nerds, hackers, and everything in between. The group was founded primarily on a common interest in diving deeper into web platforms, frameworks, technologies, and best practices.
We are seeking to be a non-profit organization promoting and enabling the idea of open and accessible public data in the greater Fargo area.
Join other content nerds for regular discussions on strategy, trends, best practices, tools, professional development and more.
A group of web enthusiasts whose purpose is to provide a local platform for Web Professionals, students and related industry professionals to network.
GFN is an experimental collaborative community with an emphasis on experimental. Smart folk collaborating and experimenting to solve stuff that matters.
Future Tech Tailgate
For the organizers, this event was a huge success.
“We got to chat with people about Girl Develop It, made some great contacts, and also got some new ideas for events to hold in the future,” Beck said.
As for future Tech Tailgate events, Beck said they are already planning one for the fall that may revolve around employment opportunities in the tech world of Fargo-Moorhead. We’ll keep you posted!
Congrats to all the t-shirt winners!
Photos by Marisa Jackels.