Eugene – Product People Monthly Meetups
I enjoy the monthly “Product People” meetups. They are a great place to come meet industry professionals in the field of Product Development. I’ve found that Eugene’s events also have a large number of related disciplines present, there are often videographers, content creators, digital designers, analog designers, marketers, and developers present at these events.
The meetups focus on topics related to or discussing the professional practices in the field of product development. This is structured as a focused roundtable discussion over design trends, on-going developments, and opportunities here in town. A core goal of the events is honing the product management skills of participants and providing direction to anyone interested in the field of product management.
The meetups follow a set framework that encourages group-driven discussion by using a democratic process to decide topics. The meeting starts with time devoted to icebreakers and introductions. Ideally, this intro time gets everyone comfortable and acclimated before the focused discussion. Following ice breakers, existing topics are reviewed and attendees have 30secs, per person, to raise new topics for discussion. Everyone present votes on what will be in today’s discussion and the meeting then transitions to an open format discussion over the chosen topics.
I enjoy the open discussion style of these meetups. Depending on the participants in the session, you will have a wide range of professional backgrounds presenting their unique perspectives. The product managers present will generally do a good job of keeping the discussion from stagnating too long. Additionally, side topics can be put in a “parking lot” for follow-up discussions after the official meetup.
After the allocated open discussion time has wrapped up, the events are closed with an open Q/A session. This time can also be used to provide feedback or discussion on the meetups themselves. I’ve enjoyed using this time to exchange contact details and explore further opportunities for professional networking. Many participants will also promote other professional practice events that are related to the members or topics present.
I’ve found that the local community meetups with open discussion formats are some of the best ways for me to learn about professional practices and network with industry professionals. I like being able to focus on work while a discussion takes place and hop in when I have something to contribute. I also really enjoy the free-format and ability to branch off into deeper discussion. It is often the case that I remain late after an event as I’ve gotten wrapped up into discussions on related topics. It’s delightful to meet new people and hear about their personal experiences.
I find that local events like these are very important for building a network of current contacts for ongoing local projects. They’re also a great opportunity for developing personal confidence in sharing your knowledge and experience with others in your discipline. I’ve always found that teaching a concept to someone else is one of the best things I can do to memorize information.
These events are open for anyone to attend and there is no cover charge. It is requested that respect is given to the venue. Generally, the meetups are hosted at a cafe or coffee-shop, so food and drinks are available.
Upcoming meetups scheduled – https://www.meetup.com/Product-People-Coffee-Meetup/
Where to find additional related meetups:
PS: I forgot to take a good “in-context” photo of the event, so used the stock photo as it was pretty illustrative of the round-table discussion format. Here is a photo from the interior of a previous meetup, but it only focuses on the ample drink selection available at the venue.