Growing GroupBy

Growing GroupBy

Post by Blythe Morrow

“Can I get some help for the next GroupBy?”

Honestly, I was waiting for that request. When I think about our GroupBy journey so far, it’s remarkable we’ve been able to run five GroupBy conferences all while growing our agency, Paper Sword B2B.

We’ve reached the point where we need to make a decision of whether to cut GroupBy back or continue to grow it, and I can’t grow it without bringing on more support.

We have a lot of love for GroupBy. Many of the speakers we know started on the GroupBy platform. It’s the largest virtual SQL Server Conference still today (I think. I mean, I’m pretty sure), and it has the potential to be so much more.

Just some ideas we want to make available for our amazing community are:

Grow our speaker mentorship program

We’ve already got a great speaker mentorship program. Everyone speaker gets connected to an expert who can guide their session topics, help with presentation skills, and work run-throughs. We want to formalize that program and really make it a benefit of speaking at the conference.

Create virtual groups

We love the idea of continually networking and collaboration throughout the year. We’re thinking of starting a couple of virtual groups that will meet every other month, run by volunteers. They can be around a topic or a project, but we want the groups to have continuity and support.

Study Groups

It’s a lonely world studying for your MSFT certifications, but we will admit it’s a great way to improve your career. Study groups of 4-10 people can help as accountability groups as well as exam prep. You may even make a friend or two while you do it.

What do you think?

We’ve gone back and forth on how you all would react to us collecting sponsorships and hiring people. Paper Sword is a for-profit marketing agency after all. But we are the best at telling the data platform story, and it’s in our interest to help the community be as healthy and inclusive as possible. We’re passionate about making it great.

Tomorrow we’ll announce the sponsorship program: its levels and details. We’re fortunate that as a marketing agency we know which digital campaigns will work best for our new partners, and we know the market well enough to see how a great sponsor initiative can make this community a better place. We’ll be wary when the opposite is true.

If you sponsor GroupBy, we’ll work really hard to get you a return on your money, and your sponsorship dollars will go to hiring more support this Spring who can help build on the programs and initiatives that make this community great. Curious what you all think about this and I’d love to hear from you directly.

We’re always free to chat at hello@groupby.org.