This was originally posted at nten.org: https://www.nten.org/article/on-building-the-techklub-network/.
New Technologies Locally is a program that has been introduced to Poland couple of years ago. One of its flagship projects is the network of Tech Clubs operating in 16 Polish cities. Meetings of Tech Clubs are held in all the cities at the same time on the first Wednesday of each month. From the beginning of the program, Tech Clubs have been visited by nearly 8,000 participants.
What’s the Purpose?
Our main goal is to bring under one roof NGOs, as well as representatives of local business, local government, and representatives of the science community. under the guidance of each Tech Club organizer, they talk about technology and how it can be used to work in the organization to become better and more efficient. The cornerstone of Tech Clubs is the mutual inspiration and cooperation of the participants. Tech Club activities contribute to the wide dissemination and use of new technologies for the efficient functioning of organizations and local communities.
Tech Clubs also facilitate the creation of a well-functioning network of contacts to assist in carrying out multiple tasks. All this takes place in a family-friendly atmosphere, when anyone can ask any question and get expert advice. Brainstorming and exchanging ideas are inseparable aspects of Tech Clubs that stimulate and inspire to action.
Thanks to Tech Clubs, concepts such as networking, fundraising, AdWords, Google Analytics, and many more are no longer just empty slogans, but fall permanently to the daily work of third sector entities, helping coordinate and achieve their goals.
We Bring Local Communities Closer
Tech Clubs help to build local communities around new technologies. They are excellent opportunities to exchange mutual experiences and observations. They gather people wishing to develop their skills, eager for knowledge, access to which we are trying to provide them. We invite specially selected speakers who are top experts in their field nationwide. These speakers talk about the latest technological novelties and trends just as they’re being implemented. Meetings are free of charge, so everyone can participate simply by registering online.
Where Do We Meet?
We try to use places that are unique—from cafes and clubs, to technology parks, universities, and conference rooms. Tech Club coordinators freely choose them depending on the number of participants, the needs of multimedia facilities, or simply by creating a pleasant atmosphere. Thanks to these efforts, even a person who came for the first time can easily turn into a regular participant.
How Do We Promote What We Do Online?
Thanks to a unitary visual identity and joint actions, we are able to generate a high level of engagement among Tech Club participants, both before meetings and after.
We encourage each Tech Club organizer to create as much online “buzz” around their activities as possible. We also actively use Twitter to establish interaction between cities and between the participants. What’s the outcome? Used by us #TechKlub is listed in the top 3 trends of Polish Twitter almost every time!
Apart from that, we carry out carefully targeted and extensive campaigns, including such measures as tailored emailing, Facebook ads, and Twitter interactions. We Invite all NGOs to use the power of social media!