As the year comes to a close we wanted to take a moment to take a look back on what has been a pretty busy year for us, give some insight into the behind-the-scenes activities and some details on what to expect in the new year.
We started off this year with a new team of organisers and a slight change in format to running the meetup (mostly) every other month.
@Marcus_Noble_, @ninjanails and @richdevans will be taking over as organisers. We would like to pass on our massive thanks and love 💕 to @benjaminbenben, @spikeheap and @peterjwest for everything they've done for @JSOxford up to this point.— JSOxford (@JSOxford) November 27, 2017
This gave us the time we needed to focus on getting more quality, diverse speakers to join our incredible past speakers. There was a lot more involved in running JSOxford that we had initially realised which led to us unfortunately missing some months but gave us plenty of opportunity to learn, adapt and improve for the future.
JSOxford attendance saw a steady increase month on month with us hitting our all-time highest turnout in July. We have been delighted to see so many new faces showing up to each meetup and hope to see it continue. 💖
This year saw some new (and old) sponsors supporting JSOxford and helping us to deliver this event that we love so much.
One of the main areas we have struggled is with the venue. While we love The Story Museum things haven't been easy for us. We've have had difficulties getting confirmation on available dates and the current refurbishment of part of the building has led to uncertainty of availability and has caused the room to be less accessible due to the lift being unavailable. The Story Museum is also fairly expensive for our purposes at £450 for the evening event.
Even with the wonderful support of our sponsors we haven't been great at getting the funds needed together. With the high cost of the venue, roughly £100 on drinks and snacks each event and various recurring costs such as the Meetup.com fees, domain name renewal and our public liability insurance we've had a hard time covering it all without contributing out of our own pocket.
With JSOxford not being a registered business we've made use of OpenCollective to handle receiving money from our sponsors and claiming for our expenses, all in an open and transparent way. This has been a wonderful service for us and avoids the need for us to register a company and pay an accountant etc. just to be able to cover our expenses but it does come with its own fees that we also need to take into consideration.
Looking forward to 2019
With the new year on the horizon we're planning to take a lot of what we've learned from the past year and use it to make JSOxford bigger and better in 2019.
One of the first changes that many of our seasoned members will be happy to hear is we're planning to bring back Summer of Hacks which will be focused on by Rich and Adam while Marcus and Seren continue to focus on the regular evening events. Stay tuned for more information and reach out to Rich or Adam if you're interested in helping out in the summer.
In the hope of controlling our costs more and to avoid some of the current issues with The Story Museum we're investigating some new venues. We're currently viewing some of the local schools in Oxford that will provide us with an accessible, well equipped room while also supporting our local community. We don't have anything confirmed yet but rest assured we're working hard on finding the perfect place to host JSOxford in the new year and will announce it as soon as we know.
With the move to a new venue and better control over our finances we're aiming to move back to a monthly event but will confirm along with the venue as it is reliant on availability.
- New organisers in 2018
- We've had some issues with our current venue
- We're splitting our focus in the new year with Rich and Adam focusing on next years Summer of Hacks while Marcus and Seren continue to focus on evening events
- We're looking at a new venue for the new year
- We've been using OpenCollective to manage our finances transparently
We hope you're all as excited as we are for what's to come and will join us in building our ✨wonderful✨ community. We wish you all a happy holiday and a fantastic new year. We can't wait to see you all again in 2019.