Operation: Relocation

Written by  on December 17, 2019

Hello Hackers!

As some of you may know, we are reaching (and at times exceeding) the capacity of our current venue. As it stands, we can currently seat 22 comfortably around the outside of the tables, possibly a few more if we start putting people in the center but that causes issues with room for plates and the wait staff. Aside from that we can only have a handful of people standing against the walls before the wait staff also have trouble with that.

To combat this, we are putting out a call to all of you to help source a new venue. We have a few requirements, and some nice-to-haves, to take into consideration:

  • Requirements:
    • Cannot have a room fee of any sort
      • We have no budget, at all. Everything paid for (website, room fees, speaker dinners, stickers, etc.) comes from our own pockets, and occasionally attendees will chip in / repay but we don’t expect this.
    • Must be located in Minneapolis
      • Preferably near a bus route, and with decent parking. Paid is fine, but free is better.
    • Must have food onsite
      • We used to order pizza at the Hack Factory but that was a logistical nightmare with all the various food preferences and sensitivities. Food should have a range of dietary options (vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.) and be reasonably affordable. A venue with food nearby (food court style) could work depending on the proximity and variety.
    • Must be able to seat 30+ with tables
      • Currently we are consistently seeing around 20 attendees but we want to plan for future growth. Table seating for 30 is the minimum, but consideration can be given for non-table seating as well.
    • A/V options
      • Very worst case we can bring a projector and try to get a blank wall, but ideally there would be a large-screen TV or projector setup available. Audio is a plus but not required. Some speakers have expressed interest in recording their talk, or possibly streaming, and this is something we may look into in the future.
  • Nice to have:
    • Free parking
      • Currently we have paid options which aren’t terrible, but free is always a plus. If the venue can validate or discount, all the better.
    • Alcohol
      • This one almost made it to the Requirements section, but push comes to shove if an otherwise perfect venue had everything except booze we’d have to really consider it. Drinking is of course optional at all meetings, but historically speaking many of our attendees have enjoyed the drink.

Only the requirements are (go figure) required, but we want to check as many boxes as possible. By way of comparison, our old venue Elsie’s was ideal and checked every box, but then some things happened and long story short we ended up being asked to pay $125 per meeting which is not sustainable. If someone is amazing at SE and persuading people, getting back to Elsie’s would be fantastic 😉 But please don’t SE them without checking with us first. The last thing we need is a dozen hackers all trying to get us into the same place for free.

If you would like to help, please see this Google Docs spreadsheet here.

Identify a venue, call or otherwise research what features they support, and fill out the sheet, putting your contact info (email/Twitter/Slack) by whichever venues you enter (if desired) so we can reach out with any questions. If something doesn’t check every box, please save the info anyway. Always good to have and it will come in handy if nothing else is perfect.

ALSO: At our December meeting it was suggested that we look into sponsorships. This would probably involve a larger company paying for our space, food, and hopefully allowing drinks, in exchange for a short pitch at each meeting. We haven’t discussed this internally, and there are some things to consider, but it’s worth mentioning here. If anyone works at or knows somewhere that might be willing to sponsor, please contact @TactiFail (admin at tacti dawt fail) directly.

Thanks for listening, and extra thanks to those who volunteer!

— TactiFail

Thursday, December 12th 2019 – 6:12PM @ Wilde Cafe

Written by  on December 9, 2019

Hello Hackers!

For our last talk of the year, “Strongthany” will be presenting the story of his journey into OSINT and the world of retail ice cream machines:

This talk will go over my first experience with OSINT and what it taught me.

Short and to the point, I like it. And in true Minnesota fashion, we talk about cold things while it is cold out 🙂

— TactiFail

Where:  Wilde Cafe – 65 Main St SE, Mpls.
When: Thursday, December 12th 6:12PM