Portland Lunch 2.0: People are wanting to get back to in-person events. Are you wanting to host…?

With the continued drop in pandemic numbers, more and more events are taking the opportunity to get back to in-person gatherings. And after two years, it comes as little surprise that people are really needing to be around other people. With that in mind, I asked the Portland Lunch 2.0 attendees if they’d rather do the next event as virtual or in-person. Guess what they said…?

Yep. In-person was pretty much unanimous.

And given that 2022 is feeling pretty much like 2007 around here, Portland Lunch 2.0 may be a great option to rekindle some of that community vibe that’s dissipated in all virtual all of the time world.

What’s Portland Lunch 2.0, you ask…? It’s basically an opportunity to buy the community lunch. And show off your office space. Or get people back into your office space. Because people tend to show up when there’s a free lunch involved. And given that people are both aching to see other people and also missing going out to eat, this could be the best time ever to host a Portland Lunch 2.0.

So how do you do that? It’s pretty simple:

  1. Read this.
  2. Make this face 🤔 while you ponder if it sounds doable.
  3. If it does sound doable, complete this form.

Still thinking about it? Okay. Keep making that face 🤔 Or you can read this, too.

Then we’ll get it set up on Meetup and Calagator and I’ll start promoting it on Silicon Florist and social and stuff. All you have to do is order the food and then open your doors around noon on the day you’re hosting.

Let’s not overthink it. You can say a few words if you want, but no formal presentations. You can have your team there, but no selling. You can even post open positions or whatever, but don’t be pushy. Some folks do a chow line. Other folks do separate containers. Every once in a while, someone does pizza like it’s a throwback to a late 90s hackathon or something. It’s really up to you and your budget.

You remember what events used to be like, right? Well, try to channel that. Only make it even more chill. Because we’re trying to get back to being used to attending events, too.

You don’t have to have a spectacular building. You don’t have to have millions of dollars in the bank. You don’t need to be a tech company. You don’t have to be in Portland proper. You don’t even have to be terribly interested in actually discussing what you’re doing. You don’t actually even — get this — need an office. (I had to borrow one when Silicon Florist hosted.)

You don’t even need [insert that excuse that’s preventing you from hosting here].

What you do need, however, is a glimmer of a desire to help the Portland startup community repair after a long, long, long time of disrepair. And ways of ensuring that environment is safe for attendees.

Just buy some food and open your doors for the community and see what happens.

This used to work. Well. Really really well. Who knows if it will anymore? But if you’re willing to take that risk — and be an amazing steward of the Portland startup community — then please sign up to host. And maybe, just maybe, we can rekindle some of that old community magic.

But if that’s not working from a host perspective, I get it. I’ll just have to throw another virtual gathering on the books. Much to the chagrin of the community.

But something is better than nothing.