Celebrating five years of Sydney content strategy meetup

The Sydney content strategy meetup is going from strength to strength. I can’t believe we just celebrated our fifth birthday! What a great achievement for the Sydney content strategy community. Our five year birthday is a perfect time to take stock and remember why the meetup is so awesome. 

Celebrating our fifth birthday at Atlassian

Celebrating our fifth birthday at Atlassian

Some stats

  • We’ve had 20 presenters over the years, with some favourites doing return visits
  • We have had three sponsors and multiple venues
  • We started with six attendees in 2011 and had about fifty at our last one in November 2016

History 

Robin Ball and I started the meetup because we were both looking for a more vibrant, 'in person' conversations about content strategy. It is so often the case that as a content strategist you are one of a kind in your business or on your project. We wanted to fix that, to reach out to other like minded people.

We have regulars, we have people who come just to listen to a particular presenter and we have people who have been attending since the very beginning. All of these people are important in creating the rich, vibrant community we now have.

Attendance has been increasing every year, in no small part due to our awesome sponsors, Atlassian, Thirteenth Floor and Digital Eskimo. For over 18 months the crew from Atlassian have been going out of their way to help set up, host, clean up and take pics. You guys rock! 

A big thanks to the amazing hosts at Atlassian, Claire, Warren, and Sam - plus the many others who have helped out not pictured :)

A big thanks to the amazing hosts at Atlassian, Claire, Warren, and Sam - plus the many others who have helped out not pictured :)

Logistics 

I’m really proud of the community we built up. But this does not just happen. It takes a lot of work to find great presenters, advertise the event, work with venue and catering sponsors, set up the space and answer questions from the community. If you are thinking about setting up a meetup get ready to invest some time - it is definitely worth it! 

Celebrating our fifth birthday at Atlassian in November 2016

Celebrating our fifth birthday at Atlassian in November 2016

Why the Sydney content strategy meetup rocks!

There are three reasons why the meetup is so popular. 

  • It engenders community and is a great place to hang out with other like-minded people.
  • It is a great place to learn more about content strategy - we have a presentation and workshop model which really helps people engage
  • It raises the profile of content strategy in our city - the more people who do what we do and know what we do, the better it is for everyone.

Read more: Why I run a content strategy meetup  

Content strategy in Sydney

Australia’s content strategists are on par with the rest of the world. There is not the critical mass that you might see in other cities like London or San Francisco however. We don’t really have tech hubs or hot pockets of digital activity and therefore there are less content strategists. But less of us does not mean that we are not experimenting, sharing and innovating with the best of them. We are also used to using technology and very long flights to connect internationally in a way that people from some other countries are not.

Interestingly many people who come to the Sydney content strategy meetup would not describe themselves as content strategists - there is certainly a lot less content strategy consulting going in Sydney. Most people are working full time as something slightly different like web managers, digital strategists or information architects and doing content strategy stuff. But in a lot of ways that makes sense. As many content strategists will tell you, we have been doing the work of content strategist long before it was called content strategy.

Celebrating our fifth birthday at Atlassian

Celebrating our fifth birthday at Atlassian

An open invitation

If you are working as a content strategist, information architect or web manager please come along to the next meet. It will be in Jan 2017 at a date yet to be announced. If you sign up the Sydney content strategy meetup google group you will always know when the next meetup is coming up.