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The Tuts+ London Meetup 2013

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Although our tutorials and courses reach millions of people every month, the opportunity to meet our readers in person doesn’t come around as often as I’d like. The same is true for our editorial team. We have over twenty editors around the world, from the UK and France, to Thailand and Australia. We talk regularly on Skype, but it’s never quite the same as meeting in person for a few days.

This month, we organised a joint Tuts+ and Envato Marketplaces meetup in London—our first event in the UK. We flew in our editorial team from across Europe to attend a community night for local Tuts+ readers and Envato Marketplace buyers and authors.

The Tuts+ Team in Foggy London Town

I love the benefits of working in a remote team at Tuts+, but there’s a definite advantage to physically meeting up. Better understanding each other’s personalities can make a huge difference when working remotely, and ideas flow more freely in-person than at opposite ends of a Google Hangout.

We spent two days as a team exploring London, sampling some of the capital’s food and drink, wandering along the Thames, and going up The Shard. It was also an opportunity to better get to know other Envato teammates—marketplace reviewers, support staff, and members of the community team.

Interviewing Our Readers

Before the community night, we took the opportunity to talk to a handful of our readers, exploring their suggestions and ideas for Tuts+, and finding out how online education has helped shaped their career. I was fascinated by some of their stories, and learned a lot from the chance to talk face-to-face.

What Does a Community Night Look Like?

I don’t think a community night necessarily needs presentations, speeches, and fanfare. It’s about like-minded people getting together, discussing the industry in which they work, and meeting the team responsible for the sites they use every day. All helped along with a liberal supply of food, drink, and free goodies.

The venue we chose in London was The Folly. A restaurant by day and atmospheric cocktail bar by night, it’s part of a growing chain of quirky establishments that are spreading quickly across the UK. The fact that the decor’s colour scheme perfectly matches the Envato brand had (almost) nothing to do with our decision to hire it for the evening.

Throughout the night we welcomed over a hundred community members, handing out free t-shirts, stickers, and goodie bags to attendees. Whether talking to a dedicated crafter or an experienced web developer, one thing was apparent in everyone I spoke to—their passion for learning.

It was a real privilege to meet so many people who have seen their careers and lives changed by the skills they’ve learned at Tuts+. I found it incredibly inspiring to talk to freelancing students, full-time designers, developers, and experienced university professors.

We left London with fresh ideas for the coming year, and a better appreciation of how we each approach our respective roles at Tuts+. Thank you to everyone who attended. It was a pleasure to meet you, and I hope to see you again next year.

Check out the rest of the meetup photos on Flickr

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