KC Meetup After-Action Review

I have thanked the attendees privately via e-mail but wanted to post some thoughts here. Leading off with a plus/delta exercise, because this situation needs a quality tool …



  • highly enthusiastic and convivial attendees
  • excellent weather
  • fun events
    • Friday night in the Crossroads
    • Saturday morning brunch, also in the Crossroads
    • WWI museum
    • legendary KC BBQ, dined al fresco due to good weather
    • Sunday morning brunch at Union Station
    • Truman Library
  • good discussion during “symposium”
  • my circadian rhythm, as affected by my work schedule
  • at least three attendees had to cancel only a day or two before the meetup weekend
  • communication gaps may have prevented at least two more from attending
  • low number of formal presentations during “symposium”
  • no video of “symposium”
  • parking challenges
  • one relatively expensive meal

Lessons-learned database entries:

  1. Reaching back a bit to the Denver meetup in late April, a twice-a-year, spring/fall rhythm seems like a good idea.
  2. The overall structure of a Friday night kickoff get-together, then ~4 activities on Saturday (including 2 meals), then a brunch and one more optional activity on Sunday, seems about right.
  3. There is pretty much no such thing as too much communication.
  4. Lead time should be at least a couple of months, and 3 – 4 months is better.
  5. The expectation of structured presentations/discussion should be clearly set, and prospective attendees should be encouraged to have something to deliver in the 20 – 40 minute range.

I am uncertain about future locations. I want to think that central US, generally longitudes 85° – 105° W, is preferable. We’ve done Denver and KC; the next two obvious possibilities are Chicago and D/FW.

Admittedly, if I could get away with it, I’d just keep having them in KC. It’s very centrally located and (mostly) cheap, and I’m confident I can get us free/extremely cheap conference-room space even if attendance grows well into double digits.

Anyway, feedback/suggestions welcome.


5 thoughts on “KC Meetup After-Action Review”

  1. Can you provide a rough figure in attendance? And an example or two of ‘successful’ presentations.

    My wife and I are supposed to be in KC in late November (she for Outlander cult rites, me at the WWI museum and maybe Truman’s place) but if easy travel still exists in ’23 maybe I could come up in the spring.

    I’ve been to Ste Genevieve, St Louis, and the ACWABAWS battlesites in the SW part, but
    not any farther in that direction from here.

  2. Two things, 1, Would love to come, and bring a motorcycle. But south of a Chicago – Denver line, a May through mid-September time is ideal. Starts to get chilly on a motorcycle below 70 degrees…

    Two, my name is Mike Skinner, and my family founded Skinner Pasta.
    Would be willing to donate for a pasta feed, if we ever wanted to do something like that…

  3. Mike – I always love to support American made and used your search tool to find a place to buy your pasta. Nothing within 100 miles of Madison, Wisconsin – but your site says available at Kroger. We have some Kroger offshoots locally and I will try to see if any stores have it next time I am in. However, I see your products available on Amazon so next time I get something from them I will add some if I can’t find locally.

    As far as the meetup, I wish I could have been there and will certainly try to make future ones. I would suggest Madison, but it is relatively difficult to get here and the weather sucks 6 months out of the year (you could say more if you aren’t steeled like a proper Midwesterner).

    I’m sort of in favor of doing it in one city every time as when you do this, you can get a rhythm – “we meet here on this day, then do this on this day, etc” but the bad part of this is that it eventually gets boring. KC is fine as it is certainly cheaper than Chicago or other big cities and it centrally located but eventually we may want to do this on the beach, or what have you. Reno is a great location also, I have been there several times and it is affordable and has plenty of hotels, hiking, etc. and the downtown is having quite the revival.

    So there’s my $.02.

Comments are closed.