On Friday, July 30th Kickstarter hosted meetups in five cities around the US: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Portland. The events were huge successes, with hundreds of Kickstarter creators, backers, and newcomers gathering to talk ideas, tips, and more.
Below you’ll find reports from the representatives at each event, along with photos when available (we dropped the ball there). We’re definitely planning on hosting more meetups as soon as we can, and we hope you join us when we do!
July 30th marked our first official Kickstarter NYC meetup hosted at HiFi on Avenue A. The crowd was a diverse mix of creators, backers, and people just interested in hearing more about the site. Some project creators, like Tony Murphy and Roddy Bogawa, arrived with rewards from their projects to generously hand out to the crowd and Kickstarter staff. Thanks guys! We also overheard some backers introducing themselves to the creators of the projects they had supported, which added an unexpected dimension to the idea of a Kickstarter meetup. — Fred Benenson
The biggest concern with hosting an LA meetup was location: could we find a place central enough that would also be fun? We found it (and more!) in the Mandrake in Culver City. Great spot, friendly staff, good environment. The crowd was big — maybe 80 by my estimation — and a fun mix of backers, creators, and voyeurs. There were stories to share and tips to learn. In the midst of the night I started throwing out my five tips for Kickstarter success, which I shared on the blog earlier this week. Give it a look. And thanks to all the fine LA folks for their hospitality — hope to see you soon! — Yancey Strickler
The San Francisco meetup jostled with burlesque dancers on the back patio at El Rio. In attendance were filmmakers, musicians, terrarium architects, and soon-to-be avocado farmers. There were lots of conversations about projects in the work: “When should I launch it? Do these rewards sound right?” One that’s launched already—and that everybody loved—is Steph’s: a knitting pinup calendar! — Robin Sloan
Chicago’s meetup was held at the infamous Map Room, and played host to a great mix of creators and those who’ve supported them. Nick Disabato from Cadence & Slang, Alyssa Miserandato from Insideout Brazil 2010, Jayme Joyce of Days of the Living Dead, and a number of others were all in attendance to share their stories with anyone interested. And of course we had some special buttons courtesy of Busy Beaver for those who came out to party with us. — Charles Adler
On Friday night, a wonderful cross-section of Portland’s arts and tech communities came together at the Portland Incubator Experiment — a coworking space in Portland’s Pearl district — to drink beer, eat pie, and talk about Kickstarter. Throughout the night over 80 creators and backers showed up to talk about what worked and what didn’t for their projects, set to the backdrop of a large-screen projection of pitch videos from successful projects. Some of the many great projects represented included the folks behind Velosynth, Coup de Théâtre, Violet Isle, Grand Canyon GigaView, and Crap Hound. Special thanks to food projects pieLab and Melting Pot Candy for providing the amazing pie and candy. — Andy Baio
Thanks to everyone for coming out! There were a handful of other meetups that night as well. If any of those folks have stories to share, please do so in the comments. Thanks!