After the event – 26 November 2010

Thanks to everyone who came along today and thanks to bmibaby for kindly sponsoring the teas and coffees.

BSMC November 2010

Next month’s event will be a week earlier to avoid some Winterval shenanigans the week after. There’ll be the option of grabbing a festive frankfurter from the German market afterwards. Listings for that will be up shortly.

In the meantime, here are a few tweets from the morning.

Change of venue?

Finally, Alison Smith has requested that we find a new venue in the new year – specifically one that has better disabled access.

Anyone got any suggestions? Decent coffee, excellent proximity to transport and a space that we can take over for a morning are the kinds of benefits I’d suggest we should keep if looking elsewhere.

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9 thoughts on “After the event – 26 November 2010

  1. Hey Chris – I have seen a coffee shop that have an advertise for people to use their venues there.

    It’s called the Urban Coffee Company and is based right by “Pigeon Park” A.K.A Colmore Row – It is a little small but has an upstairs for those willing to go upstairs and some tables and chairs for anyone who needs to stay seated.

    Btw, Coffee there is £2.50 for a medium latte and £2.70 for a large latte – they also provide FREE wifi, and it’s a strong signal too.

    Would you like me to check it out?

  2. Sorry, didn’t have time to reply when I first saw this and promptly forgot. Gah!

    I know UCC very well (I did some work for them when they opened). It would be good but is a bit of a walk across town (not far, but far enough) and we’d need to take over the upstairs, which doesn’t allow for wheelchair access, which takes us back to square one.

    Ta for the suggestion though.

  3. Following a bit of chat on Twitter a few options have come up:

    Cafe Blend
    University of Birmingham conference centre
    Town Hall cafe

    Any more?

  4. I think we bring in enough traffic that venues should be competing for our attendance – whether by sponsoring an event, offering a bulk-purchase discount (beyond the equivalent of a loyalty card), or whatever.

  5. There’s something in that, but I’d rather we were at the venue that suited us best, rather than the one with pockets deep enough to buy us. The actual cost of anyone attending is pretty negligible.

  6. I’m really pleased Chris has taken up my tweet request for a more accessible BSMC venue. Thank you.

    I’d not be doing what I’ve been doing with Pesky People if it wasn’t for BSMC peeps help and support I got my first blog up the night of my first BSMC visit in 2009.

    If I was a wheelchair user I’d not even gone in the door of Coffee Lounge, got downstairs or got to any of the events. Pesky People might not exist.

    @pigsonthewing suggested Cafe Blend – yup the access is good there, accessible loo, turning space, ramped access and no steps (steps are my enemy cos of crap balance). Wifi is patchy sometimes but maybe that was just on my last visit.

    What’s needed venue wise (apart from the obvious central location so easy to reach by everyone, wifi and tea/coffee on tap):
    1. Wheelchair access including turning space, accessible loo, parking near by)
    2. Decent acoustics so it’s not echoey (really annoying if you are hard of hearing or Deaf) even in a busy space
    3. Ideally some chairs with handles (easy to sit and get up from can hold on for support.

    It will benefit others too including folks with prams, if you have heavy luggage, space to stand and talk, also people who hate using stairs or have a walking mobility but don’t consider themselves disabled.

    If it’s accessible you can promote it widely – attracting a new audience :-).

    Marek suggested Urban Coffe Co – it’s nice but tight for space on ground floor and loos are downstairs. The usual problem with old buildings.

    I added a comment on accessible events on CityCampBCN post worth looking at if you are planning future events outside of BSMC. http://bit.ly/g52x8l

    cheers, Alison

  7. @Chrsi for sure, I’m not suggesting anyone “buy” us, or that we go anywhere unsuitable; but whatever venue *we* choose, should recognise what we bring to them, and react accordingly. We’re good customers!

  8. Much as I want to advocate the Uni of Birmingham conference park, being honest and open I am not sure it will meet EVERY criteria: the only one it really fails on is accessibility by public transport.

    Yes we have a train station (and apparently we’re the only Uni in the UK to have one!) – but it’s a fair schlepp to the conference park from the station: http://bit.ly/esMb13

    Once you get there of course facilities are excellent: not sure if the journey is worth the hassle if we are aiming at a more accessible venue.

    And besides – getting out of the office once a month is half the fun! – let’s go somewhere nominated by someone who knows what they are on about on this score: Alison – Cafe Blend is it?

  9. Yeah, I think it’s just that little bit too far out, but thanks for the offer.

    One other thing – I’m keen not to have the BSMC moving around every week. One of the reasons I haven’t been to the Birmingham Bloggers in aaages is that it’s always on a different day in a different place. So I’d like to know that if we’re going to move somewhere else then we’ll be there for a good 12 months or so.

    Also, the voice we seem to be missing here is the voice of the people who’ve not been able to come along to the BSMC because of the accessibility issues.

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