An example of the handouts at the monthly Spreadsheets n’ Brews meetup. Photo By D. Ramos

The last couple of months I’ve been hosting an informal meetup of Excel users at a local pub (the good folks at Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room) called Spreadsheets n’ Brews. It’s interesting to see it grow from the handful of folks starting in October to two handfuls. What I really like about tending to only around ten people at each event is that we can have some really good talks about pain points with daily tasks using Excel or any kind of spreadsheet software.

However, growing the amount of people who attend, I realized I need to approach things differently and  improve how this event goes. One thing that was pointed out to me was some attendees were actually prepared for a class, bringing a notebook. That was really great to see but at the same time brought attention to my ill preparation. So that’s where the fine tuning comes into play. Luckily the group wasn’t so big that I can spend some one on one time answering questions vs. providing a lecture.

I’m definitely going to continue tuning this event because overall  the response has been positive. Even though there was a bit of a challenge to cater to everyone’s needs, the changes I’ll be making will address the concerns brought up to me. For example, based on the feedback I got during the meetup, I’ve identified some topics that should be covered in future meetups. One small tweak I would do, though, is to try to introduce the topic after we have the majority of attendees present.

This meetup started from a group of administrators with complaints but has grown organically and I’m excited to apply some of the ideas that was put on the table. What would you like to learn that you can’t from a traditional class? Maybe I can help you out over drinks. Let’s talk story. Feel free to holler @ me.

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