Along the way of planning this event, a lot of questions have come up. One of them is “why Chicago?” Another one that comes up quite a bit is “why right after Midwest Dreamin?” To answer one is to answer both, and comes from how we started this planning process in the first place, which is what I’ll go into in this post.
In July 2016, members of the core planning team put out a survey to our WIT members & leaders. The main theme of the survey asked members what a Salesforce Women in Tech User Group-led conference should look like. We asked questions on how long it should be (1 ½ days said the majority), if a weekday or weekend would be better (over a weekend, it turns out), and what kind of topics our members would like to hear about (career-building, diversity & inclusion, mindfulness & work/life balance).
As a planning team, we also wondered if it would make it easier to attend for those members with far distances to travel if we held our WIT event aligned with another community-led event. And as it turns out, the majority not only agreed but highly preferred Midwest Dreamin’ for this first year. So we made a phone call to Eric Dreshfield, godfather of the Dreamin’ events. Lucky for all of us, the Midwest Dreamin’ planning team agreed. Since they were holding their event as a full-day followed by a half day, that meant we could hold a dinner the same evening their conference wrapped for all the “Allies” in the Chicago region. This would serve as an excellent kick-off for our event, which could then provide the bulk of remaining content the Saturday following.
We’re all so glad the Midwest Dreamin’ team were WIT Allies and supportive, agreeing to share their dates with us behind the scenes so we could quickly find a venue (and thanks again planning duo Eric & Denise Carbone). Which we did.
More about the Allies Dinner Friday 8/11 coming soon! Also stay tuned for another post describing the venue as well as one about the Twitter post that started the idea for WITness Success.