Last Wednesday we kicked off Belgium’s first ever Dataviz Meetup and it was a roaring success. Within a few short days of posting, our Meetup gained over 200 members, with around 90 registering for the first get together. This confirmed our feeling that a gathering like this was long overdue.
We were lucky enough to hold our gathering at DigtYser - and if you don’t know about them, you should check them out – they’re a Techhub and co-working space in the heart of Brussels.
Focusing on finding our feet and agreeing a structure together as a group, we kicked off with an interactive Kahoot quiz to get to know each other a little better. This showed us that the room was made up by a broad mix of professionals, academics, scientists, designers, coders, and hobbiests. The perfect recipe for idea sharing and collaboration!
Alongside Datylon’s very own Chief Entertainment Officer, Stijn Simoens, Maarten Lambrechts hosted the night taking us through Belgium’s rich dataviz history inspiring us all to keep the spirit of our talent alive! Check out his slides.
Next we heard ‘lightning talks’ from six of our members, presenting for no longer than 5 minutes on something that inspires them about dataviz or a recent project that they’ve worked on. Lots of super-interesting, thought provoking and inspiring stuff on a wide range of topics within the dataviz sphere. Showing us just how dataviz touches (and is improving) many parts of the world we live in.
Before we moved into the all-important drinks and networking part of the evening, we gained feedback on the approach we had taken to kick things off, gaining input on matters such as the frequency going forward and if the content and presentation style was suitable. We agreed to hold Meetups bi-monthly and that the structure worked well but we will keep an open mind going forward. We also voted on what our logo would be, selecting from a range that had been kindly proposed by members. Then did I already mention we got to mix and mingle with some drinks to close off the night?!
If this sounds interesting to you, then please join our Dataviz Belgium Meetup Group! It doesn’t matter if you are a dataviz guru or just interested, you are absolutly more than welcome to join our little (but rapidly growing) community. You don't even need to worry about missing the first meetup, there's a full video available for you to watch below.
Oh and while you're at it, don't forget that we are gathering opinions about using Adobe Illustrator for dataviz in a short online survey.
In the words of Maarten, let's all help to make Belgian dataviz great again.