Great Ann Arbor Debut Event Last Night!



You’d never guess that last night was our first time ever in Ann Arbor for a event.

Great turnout, awesome crowd, outstanding conversations, and probably a change in the way we do things from time to time…

…in that we might do away with our “no sponsors” rule completely.  The three of us were chatting after the event last night (we had to do something other than mock each other on the long drive back to Bob’s), and we think we’ve done a good enough job over the years instilling into people what is and isn’t acceptable to us that it might actually be okay to experiment a bit.

conorBut we’ll get to that more in the coming days.  Let’s talk about last night’s awesomeness.

Conor O’Neill’s?

Great venue.

Right on main street, and when we arrived just before 4:30, we managed to snag a parking spot on the street out front.


The Celtic Room inside where we were actually at?

Solid.  Great room for events.  If you’re looking to do something in Ann Arbor, you should absolutely check them out.

Click the logo to check them out.

A huge “thank you” yet again to Mark DiCarlo and the rest of the Wolverine Technical Staffing crew for calling our bluff and getting us out to Ann Arbor in the first place.

For those that missed it, Mark was a guest on our August 5th episode of IT in the D.  If you’d like to hear what Mark had to say about the positions they have open right now, learn more about Wolverine, or just check out the various topics that were discussed that night, you can do so starting here: for all of the various methods of listening to past episodes, or just go straight here – – to start listening in your browser.

Wolverine Technical Staffing laid out a great spread of food.

They laid out a great spread for everyone…and again, seriously, huge thanks to them for doing that.

Food’s never a bad idea when you’re networking one beer at a time, and they really did make sure that there was a great variety of stomach-lining options.

Another good reason to give Conor O’Neill’s a look, by the way – the food was definitely decent.

Now let’s see if people show up.

On the drive down, Bob set the over-under line at 10.

I told him he was nuts, and said we’d have at least 40.

GREAT turnout

The good news is that we were both wrong…but in true “The Price Is Right” fashion, I was closer to the actual number without going over and so that means I win.

Great crowd.

Seriously, a great crowd, especially for a debut event in a new city.  Couldn’t possibly have asked for a better turnout.

Couple of surprises along the way, though.  We had a couple folks show up from other events because apparently word was out that we were in town and so they stopped by to check us out.  On a personal level, I got to put some faces with names and actually chat with a few folks that I’ve known in an online capacity for a while now, and that’s always a good thing.  Lots of new faces…which we expected.  Having never gone to Ann Arbor with an event before, we figured we’d be drawing in a whole new crowd.  Still some of the usual suspects for sure, but the vast majority were newcomers.  Which of course led to quite a few conversations about the basics of who we are, what we do, the difference between last night’s event and our Pink Slip Party events, etc.

Didn’t get charged for your drink? Thank Grand River. They made that happen for a little bit.

The biggest surprise was the sheer number of recruiters that showed up though.Clearly, there’s hiring going on in Ann Arbor, folks.  For a while, it was about a half and half split in the room between “recruiters” and “everyone else”, and that’s rare.

Really rare.  We’re usually at about a 5:1 ratio at a minimum, with the recruiters being the “1” part of that equation…so, obviously, there are jobs to be had in that area.

Naturally, a lot of them are looking for .NET and mobile app developers, but there was also a solid contingent looking for open source developers and admins as well, which was great to see.

So a lot of people looking to hire, a great crowd, a solid turnout, a decent crowd, good food…what more can you ask for?

Free drinks?  Some might say that’s a little high maintenance, but you still got your way for a little bit thanks to Janita Gaulzetti and the good folks from Grand River.

So naturally, a big old hat-tip and “thank you” to them as well for playing a part in making sure last night’s event was so successful.

Some links:

Conor O’Neill’s you can find and read about here:

Grand River you can check out here:

Wolverine Technical Staffing can be found here:, and you can find Mark DiCarlo to drop him a note on LinkedIn here:

I think it’s safe to say we’ll be adding Ann Arbor into the permanent rotation for future events.

Had a great time, everyone.  See you next month at our Pink Slip Party downtown –, and don’t forget to listen live Monday nights between 9pm and 11pm to the IT in the D show live on Raw Radio X:






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