Thoughts on Net2van in 2013 and 2014

We are nerds. We like to count and to play with numbers. Sometimes we are driven by numbers.

The Year 2013

In 2013 Net2van held (or organized field trips to) 42 events and had 1,316 attendees pass through our doors.


That is a big number. Especially for an all-volunteer team.

The Romans would have written it as:


In binary 1,316 is:


Wolfram Alpha has this useless trivia to share about 1,316:


The Year 2012

In 2012 we held 15 events with 702 attendees.

Why so many more events in 2013? Because we had a stable trio of core organizers (Chad, Stevie, Eli) and because we wanted to experiment with going deeper into topic areas. So we added new territories (Surrey) and new event series (Community Manager Forum and Video for Nonprofits).

So the number has gone up this year, but at what price?

Our average attendance per event has gone down and the qualitative sense is that event quality has not been as consistent as we would like. Plus the organizers are starting to approach burnout. 🙁

The Year 2014

So we’re going to try a new strategy. The core interest in expanding Net2van so that we can go deeper into subjects and offer hands-on learning opportunities still drives us, but we’re going to use this year to test a new model: core events and quarterly workshops.

Core Events

We will continue to hold a monthly 90 minute event on various topics of interest to the nonprofit tech community. We’ll hold it in Vancouver. We gotta stay true to our roots!

This will be supplemented with additional learning events as great opportunities present themselves, but the schedule won’t be fixed and we’ll take them on as our capacity dictates.

We will also continue to co-produce the Community Manager Forum series of events with Invoke Lab’s Crystal Henrickson.

Workshops and Unconferences

We will develop a series of three hour workshops that will be offered two or three times per year. These events will be held during workdays or weekends and will probably cost about $25/event. We will put more polish into them and may deliver the workshops across the lower mainland.

Our first topics will be Digital Storytelling and Online Fundraising.

We will also continue to organize a quarterly NetSquared Camp unconference.

What Are We Leaving Behind?

The Video for Nonprofit series will be wrapped up in early 2014 with a hybrid workshop/unconference.

Monthly events in Surrey and Abbotsford have ended. Instead we will test demand for occasional workshop-style events.


So, what do you think? Are we on the right path?