The energy was high at Lee Tech on Tap in Chicago and I can see why people keep on attending. Given how much I have written about the event many people were surprised this was my first one to attend and I am glad my first was where it started.
There are some great people I met there and discussed ideas that wouldn't have happened if I wasn't at the event. Usually when you go to an event you feel good if you make a couple of good contacts. In one night, I made at least 7 good connections that I will follow up on.
The benefit of an event is finding people of the same mindset and people who are different who stimulate new thinking.
A good indicator of the energy and how well things worked is the sub groups that existed. There were over a dozen sub groups and people knew at some point, "hey you need to take to Mike, he is right over there, let me get him."
The support of sub group of discussion is a method to foster better collaboration. This is what Rob Howard discusses in the post I reference on collaboration software.
It should be noted that I am not advocating that communities be limited by membership size. Rather, capabilities should exist within a larger community to support smaller, internal groups that can form around narrow areas of interest. This is validated by both Twitter and Facebook, which have in recent months both introduced capabilities to narrow the scope of conversations:Lists, privacy controls, and so on.
I am still digesting the event, and there are a series of follow up meetings I have today based on the connections I made last night.
It was well worth the plane trip to come to Chicago. And, I am looking forward to my next Lee Tech on Tap event.