Our blog

How to Go Off the Grid for Two Weeks. For Real.

In modern agency life, it seems impossible to take a vacation without taking work with you, but it can be done. Here’s how I did it.

Meghan Gardner

Flexbox

As a back-end developer, it can be hard to style a web page. CSS is not very intuitive and around every corner there’s a “gotcha.” Flexbox is a fairly new CSS technology that once mastered, can be much easier to use.

Dan Sudenfield

How to (Successfully) Lead Your First Tech Meetup

There are a number of reasons you might want to start a technology meetup. In order to narrow the focus a bit, we’re going to approach this from the standpoint that you work for (or run) a company that is interested in the idea of hosting a meetup.

Brendan Butts

How Do You Fix a $75,000 Mistake?

As a new marketing manager for a practice group within a consulting firm, I had a lot to learn. And a few of those things, I had to learn the hard way, like making an error that cost the company many tens of thousands of dollars.

Meghan Gardner

Reimagined At Work

When done right, something reimagined is almost magical. It’s not just about integrating a product with another one or allowing for internet connectivity, it’s about taking an existing solution and changing the experience that individuals have, ultimately creating a new kind of experience.

Torrey Fazen

Snapchat

Snapchat launched its first ever TV ad campaign to reposition the app as a camera, which begs the question

Kayla King

The Digital Agency is Dead. Long Live the Digital Agency.

The coming wave of digital de-specialization.

Colin Alsheimer

Tomorrow Comes Today

The coming wave of digital de-specialization.

Dan Zarzycki

Your Next Programming Language (Part 1 of 2)

People often ask “what is the best programming language” to the reply “depends on what you’re doing” – an answer which is paradoxically as true as it is unhelpful.

Ryan Taylor

Making Social Media Politics Great Again

Your uncle will probably never stop posting about his crazy conspiracy theories, but at least now you can rest assured that you won’t be bombarded with sponsored content from illegitimate advertisers.

Nasreen Salem

Six Seconds to Advertise

Whether consumers like it or not, the six second commercial format is here to stay.

Dustin McCormick

Useful Mac Keyboard Shortcuts for a Windows User

There’s a lot of keyboard shortcuts available to a Mac user. As a primarily Windows user, I’ve found a few shortcuts that are extremely helpful as a programmer and may be useful to you too.

Sonya Chen

Animation Trends

When you think of the word “loop,” different definitions might come to mind. You might think of a simple circle, or a rope that’s made into a circle. Maybe it’s a pattern you make while driving, or something else entirely.

Michael Callahan

Stumbling Upon a Twitter Vulnerability

Reading privacy policies on websites and other legal documents are important. I have read Twitter’s privacy policy before but I wanted to make sure nothing had changed. GDPR was coming and seeing how they structured their page and spelled out the details seemed interesting. Starting on help.twitter.com, I went right to the footer. Mouse over the Privacy link and NO click. It looked funny.

Keith Koslowsky

The Alipes Team Vibe

The Alipes team structure and way of working is the most important aspect of how we deliver great solutions to clients. We thrive, believe, and deliver in team. Our norms are about outspoken creativity, inherent curiosity, and effective listening across departments.

Torrey Fazen

From Maryland to Chicago, Alipes is Boston Strong

Boston Strong represents different meanings for different people. Five years after the Boston Marathon Bombing, Alipes reflects on what it means to us.

Kayla King

None of Their Business

There’s an old expression about how good people staying silent is all it takes for evil to triumph. Burger King made a single video that captured the power of a modern distribution channel to spark mainstream conversation about bullying. It’s a corporation using the tools of an upstart movement to deliver a powerful message that staying silent is destructive.

Meghan Gardner

Alipes Opinions

We polled the majority of Alipians and asked them what their favorite social networks were, and why. Most results fell within the big four (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn) but the most interesting thing about the results were the reasons why folks preferred their favorite social network.

Brendan Butts

Blockchain 101

The first in a series of posts covering the Blockchain, key players, trends and how the technology can be applied to a variety of industries, including digital media and marketing.

Colin Alsheimer

#DeleteFacebook – Why it Matters for Brands

Facebook is in trouble. As the social media platform deals with the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, #DeleteFacebook has gained steam, prompting many to reexamine the role that social media plays in their lives. But what does this mean for brands?

Colin Alsheimer

Don’t Wait, Learn How to Code Now

Anyone can learn how to code, but often people go about it the wrong way. As an accomplished web developer, here are my suggestions on the best ways to learn how to code.

Dan Sudenfield

Limitations Can Drive Innovations

Limitation of the design systems of yesterday gave rise to the internet technologies of today.

Jason Tennis

Networking

If you’re a Resistant Prisoner like me, but you see the value of networking, rest assured that you’re not the only one. In fact, you’re already taking steps toward improving, just by reading this.

Sonya Chen

A Trick to Clearly Communicate with Developers and in Teams

Communication is key, and software development is no exception. Anyone who has worked with developers knows how tricky communication can be, whether they are talking about bugs, new features or even layout.

Ryan Taylor

Audience Centric Advertising

The best digital advertising remembers who the audience is.

Michael Callahan

One Less App

However, how do you know if program that you just put on your computer is safe? It may be sending information about you out to an unsafe location. The developer may tell you they are collecting this information in their privacy policy. Although, I’m willing to bet you haven’t actually read the privacy policy. Go ahead, admit it.

Keith Koslowsky

When Brands Sell Culture

Advertising is an unavoidable part of life for most people. It’s been with us since we were born, surrounding us on TV, magazines, and billboards—burrowing into our memories. Speaking as an American thirty-something who remembers a time before the internet, ads have always been around.

Dustin McCormick

We’re Honored to be Honored

We believe our work is the hero of our story—and we’re honored to have captured two Davey Awards, awards named for the legendary hero of small stature and big thinking.

Meghan Gardner

Internet Memes

There’s millions of Internet memes, but only the best make it viral. Learn how the concept of natural selection comes into play in the world of memes.

Kayla King

Glad to Meet You

Alipes, the boutique agency reinventing digital for clients large and small, announced today that it has inked new client relationships and established a presence in Chicago.

Meghan Gardner

Pitching Your Employer, Include the Doodles

It’s a random Tuesday and you have a new business idea. It’s just that, an idea. It needs to be fleshed out, nurtured, developed, but it’s a place to start and you are getting excited about the possibilities. Where do you go next? To friends and family for advice? To your business mentor for a brainstorm? What if the next step is even easier, what if you need to look no further than your current employer?

Torrey Fazen

A Coming Change in Traditional Websites

Over the horizon, there is a significant change coming to your web browsing experience. A change that, once it’s pervasive, will seem necessary.

Nathan Lamont

How Not to Make Friends and Influence People

Influencing the people right next to you may be even harder than trying to capture the attention of someone with 500,000 followers. Here’s why.

Meghan Gardner

Developing as a Developer

There are so many solutions that developers accumulate over their careers. Each one of these solutions can be abstracted and potentially applied to a number of situations. The more solutions a developer has come across, the more solutions they have available to them when they encounter a particularly tough problem.

Brendan Butts

Now Hear This

Check out 37 of the best podcasts to help you become a smarter and more informed digital marketer.

Colin Alsheimer

How to (Successfully) Lead Your First Tech Meetup

There are a number of reasons you might want to start a technology meetup. In order to narrow the focus a bit, we’re going to approach this from the standpoint that you work for (or run) a company that is interested in the idea of hosting a meetup. This could partly be to expose people to your cool office space, partly to network and promote interest in your company, and partly to place you and the company as a whole in a thought leadership role within the tech community.

These are all excellent reasons to start a meetup. Next you’re going to have to figure out what your meetup is all about. You can pick a broad topic or a narrower focus, both have advantages and disadvantages.

Broad focus topics are umbrellas under which many smaller topics can fall. They are a catch all. You can draw a bunch of different folks to a meetup like this, from a vast range of technological and non-technological backgrounds. While you’ve got more mass appeal with this type of topic, you may miss out on folks who are looking to attend a meetup on a very specific topic.

Broad Focus:

  • Web Technology
  • Digital Marketing
  • Web Developer
  • Web Designer

Narrow focus topics really drill down on a specific topic, drawing only those with that specific interest. This will commonly be those working with, or interested in a specific technology. The less well known the technology, the smaller the pool that will be drawn to your meetup. This might be a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on the goals you have for your meetup.

Narrow Focus:

  • React
  • Laravel
  • Wordpress
  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL

After you’ve spitballed a few ideas for potential meetups, it’s important to do some market research. Get on Meetup.com and see if there are already meetups in your area catering to the specific topic you’re interested in hosting a meetup for. If there are, you have a few choices:

  1. You can go full steam ahead, and just host a competing meetup.
  2. You can rethink your topic and go back to the drawing board.
  3. You can reach out to the meetup you found and try to join the leadership team.
  4. If you have a space for a meetup, you can offer it to that meetup.

Once you’ve got your topic squared away, there are some logistical concerns to be aware of. If you’re going to run your meetup through Meetup.com, you need to create an account and go through the process of setting up your meetup.

First, you’ll need a space for your meetup. The space needs to be able to hold the maximum amount of people you’re willing to have attend your meetup. That means lots of chairs or couches.

Next, you need to pick a time for your meetup. Depending on how centrally located your office is, you want to set a start time that gives the attendees enough time to get to your meetup after work.

Lastly, you’ll need to decide on the format of your meetup. Is it purely social? If so, you might consider having it at a bar. If it’s going to have presenters, you’ll want to have it somewhere with a projector or large TV so that any presenters can utilize that for slides.

Here’s an example agenda for a technology meetup:

  • 6:30-7:00PM - Networking
  • 7:00-7:30PM - Web Development in the 21 Century (John Doe, Owner, John Doe Inc.)
  • 7:30-8:00PM - Back-end security in Rust (Jason Jasonson, Security Expert, BestSec Inc.)
  • 8:00-8:30PM - Questions and Networking

Another thing to consider is finding a sponsor (or sponsors) for your meetup. A sponsor is going to get their name mentioned at the meetup, they might donate the space for the meetup, and they will (hopefully) buy the refreshments (usually pizza and beer).

If your meetup is focused around a specific technology, you might reach out to the company that provides that technology and let them know what you are doing. Ask them if they are interested in sponsoring. It’s inexpensive marketing for them.

If you’ve got a space and sponsors locked in the next thing you want to do is find some presenters. If you’ve already gotten interest on your Meetup.com page you can put out the call there, asking for presentation submissions. If you’ve got good social channels, you can send the call out there as well.

If you’re not getting the responses you’d hoped for, or you want to control the message of the first meetup more thoroughly, make a presentation yourself (or approach someone from your social network directly). It’s also a worthwhile practice to ask your sponsors if they would like to make a presentation. This is especially effective and informative if your meetup focuses around a specific product or service.

Pick a date for your first meetup. Make sure to do your market research here too, and confirm there aren’t any other major technology meetups on the same day. Try to give your attendees at least two weeks notice so they can get your meetup on their calendar.

Marketing your meetup requires a multipronged approach. Meetup.com will do a good job of getting people interested but you should also reach out via your company newsletter, your LinkedIn network, and your personal and professional network. It’s important that you fill the seats at your first meetup–that can mean stacking the deck with company employees and friends in related fields.

On the day of your meetup, send out a reminder on your meetup page. Depending on how easy your location is to find, you should put up signs and post detailed directions in your meetup. If it’s really difficult, you might also include a cell number for attendees to call as a last resort.

Don’t forget to order the food, and pick up the drinks. If you’re having it delivered, you may want to call and confirm your delivery is incoming. You don’t want a room full of hungry people grumbling about the lack of food instead of networking and taking in the presentations.

Make sure you stick around to the very end, hand out (and collect) business cards, and thank everyone for coming. Help with the cleanup, especially if you’re in a sponsors space.

In the days following your meetup you should post a recap on your meetup page, along with a thank you to everyone that attended, and a shout out to your sponsors. It’s also a good practice to email your sponsors, and thank them for their contributions.

Follow these steps and you’ve just run a successful technology meetup. Great job.

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