Manchester’s grassroots digital community is thriving. Last year I started http://technw.uk as a way to get all the event organisers together and create a single point of information for the community to discover all the events gong on in the area.
On the site we currently have 11 conferences and 46 meetups.
From social meetups, to international conferences, Manchester certainly has a lot going on. Most of which all branched off from GeekUp; a social gathering of geeks in 2005. GeekUp quickly drew audiences with great content and speakers, with more specific meetups branching off, like North West Ruby User Group.
I founded Manchester GIrl Geek Dinners in 2008, when I passed the baton to Samantha Bail a few years later, she evolved it into Manchester Girl Geeks with monthly meetups, tea parties, unconferences and a huge following. With so much talk of a lack of women in the digital sector, Manchester is certainly contending the national norm, with enough talented ladies eager for events, we now also have regular meetups for “Ladies that UX” and “Ladies of Code” (formerly “Ladies Who Code”).
All these meetups and conferences have been started by self-organising and motivated individuals of Manchester. With reports of well over 100 organisations in the area, Manchester is definitely doing things differently.