Saturday, January 29th 2011 from 12:00 PM
Starbucks at Manchester Picadilly Railway Station
Note: Free registration is necessary at http://phpbbnorth.eventbrite.com/ - see below for more details
Please read this post carefully, including the FAQ below before attending.
About the event
There has been significant interest in a phpBB meet up in the North of England and a date and initial venue has now been confirmed.
We will meet at the Starbucks in Manchester Picadilly Railway Station between 12.00pm and 12.30pm (allowing time for people to travel to Manchester in the morning). I will be there from around 11.30pm - this is the best rendezvous point especially for those who may be unfamiliar with Manchester. There is only one Starbucks in Piccadilly station, and it is very easy to find although if you are unable to do so there are plenty of staff on hand to direct you to it.
The rest of the day would be a daytime activity in Manchester City Centre - after speaking with Christian we thought a 20 minute session at "Laser Quest Trafford Centre" might be a good idea - it's an activity that I expect everyone will enjoy and if it's not something people want to do there is a lot more in Manchester to see.
We will reconvene somewhere indoors as light fades - most probably a pub/bar which serves food for those who would like to eat - depending on what people want to do people can leave when they like and the event will finish when everyone has left - people are welcome to stick around for as long as they like. A good area for this is probably Deansgate. The Pitcher and Piano at Deansgate Locks seems like a good idea.
The idea of putting forward this loose 'itinerary' is to make the day more worthwhile for those who are flying in for Europe. The event will be informal with no real set agenda - the idea of the event is simply to put names (or rather usernames) to faces - essentially it's a networking event. It's also a really good opportunity to chat about phpBB and the future of phpBB with some of the most influential and knowledgeable people in the UK and European phpBB scene, whilst having some fun in Manchester throughout the day and over good food and drinks in the evening.
Things will become a lot clearer over the next few days in the thread as people confirm their attendance.
Itiniery and afternoon/evening venue(s) [to be confirmed]
IMPORTANT UPDATE REGARDING LUNCH ARRANGEMENTS AND DAY TIME ACTIVITY 18/01/2011 - Please express your thoughts
I've had a few different suggestions for lunch - the food court has also been suggested - though I don't think this will really bring the group together. Although it will cater for many tastes (there is a Burger King, McDonalds, and a KFC there... I think something slightly more special should be organised especially since some people are flying in for the event. A restaurant in the evening might not be to everyone’s taste - but how about Pizza Express? For those who don't know this is not a typical fast food place - it's a borderline restaurant and it has a really good ambience which isn't formal at all. They cater for everyone, have good vegetarian options, and also other Italian dishes (including pasta) for those who don't want pizza. They have a wide range of drinks, alcoholic, soft drinks and water as well as a wine list.
The price there is slightly more than what you'd pay for fast food but it's nowhere near the price of a full blown restaurant. I genuinely think everyone should be OK with this - so please let me know your thoughts below. I can make a booking for around 13.30 to ensure we call get a good table, and also we will also all be sitting together. It's also likely to be a lot less busy than the food court on a Saturday, and a lot less noisy which means we can have conversations more easily - I will be making the booking within the next few days to ensure it all runs smoothly though - so if there are any objections please make yourself heard now
You can browse the menu, and the prices here http://www.pizzaexpress.com/our-food/discover.aspx - please let me know what you think. At an estimate you can eat for £8-£10 per head depending on what you drink.
The good thing about doing this would also be that we'd be under no pressure to go to a restaurant in the evening so we could go to a good pub/bar where people can eat pub food if they wish, whenever they like. It's also very close to Picadilly station so not far of a walk
12.00-12.30 Meet at Starbucks Manchester Piccadilly Station (map)
13.00 Pizza Express (Piccadilly Gardens) not far from Picadilly Station (map)
Afternoon – LaserQuest (TBC - possible – depending on what people want to do - it will be a 20minutes journey from Manchester city centre to the Trafford centre, and there is plenty to do in Manchester city centre if this isn't what people want - although it is great fun) (map)
Evening – The group will be at The Pitcher and Piano in Deansgate Locks from 5pm onwards
[Arches 9 & 10 Deansgate Locks, Whitworth West, Manchester] (map)
Event registration (free) - required
You need to register free on eventbrite here: http://phpbbnorth.eventbrite.com/ to confirm your interest / attendance. This is so I can identify who is actually interested, determine numbers and decide on venues and booking if need be over the next few days.
Those who expressed an interest previously need to register to the event
The following people have expressed an interest - if you are listed here please confirm your attendance by registering on Eventbrite for free here http://phpbbnorth.eventbrite.com/. This means that venues can be booked if need be, and plans can be made in advance to ensure the day runs smoothly.
A full list of confirmed attendees is available on Eventbrite here: http://phpbbnorth.eventbrite.com/
Please remember to register on the eventbrite page at http://phpbbnorth.eventbrite.com/ - this is so I can identify who is actually interested, determine numbers and decide on venues and booking if need be over the next few days.
Important Notes regarding the event/FAQs:
How can I contact the event organiser?
best and fastest way to contact me is via the contact the organiser link on the eventbrite page here: http://phpbbnorth.eventbrite.com/
You can also PM me if you'd like my Skype details, or my mobile phone number
Will the event have a Twitter presence?
There will be a Twitter Hashtag for this event - #phpbbnorth. The official Twitter account for updates will be @phpBBNorth
I'm under 18, can I attend?
Due to the fact that the event will be taking place partly in venue(s) which serve alcoholic beverages, the event is restricted to over 18s and 16-18s on request. If you are aged between 16-18 please contact the organiser and we will most probably be more than happy to have you attend the event (at the organisers discretion). Without prior notice no 16-18s will be allowed at the event. It is also to important to note that nor the organiser or any of the other attendees will are liable or responsible for the actions of any under 18s who do attend.
I've never been to Manchester before - what is it like and how can I get there?
Manchester is a very accessible and well connected city for most of us in the North, and for that matter the whole of the UK which is why it was chosen as the location of this meetup. It's also a really good city with a wide range of venues to choose from. As some have already said, if anyone wanted to fly in from Europe or even elsewhere in the UK including Scotland and Ireland, Manchester Airport is very well connected to the city too. Not to mention rail connections are excellent (TransPennine Express services from the whole of Yorkshire/Lancashire/Cumbria/Scotland, Virgin Trains 2hrs from London, CrossCountry direct from almost everywhere else inc. Birmingham and the Midlands). You can learn more about Manchester on its Wikipedia entry.
What about laptops and Wifi?
Christian 2.0 wrote: I sadly don't have a laptop any more, so I wouldn't be able to participate in any social coding activity. Even so, I was thinking it would be more along the lines of a social get together as opposed to a libertyvasion-esqe coding workshop. Not sure what the others think?
I completely agree - I think this should be more a social event in all honesty - though people are welcome to bring laptops it can be a bit of a burden finding places with power sockets and/or wi-fi - it also takes up a lot of time and isn't very sociable especially for those who don't have laptops. So if you wish to bring a laptop that is fine, although you'll probably find that it's more of a hindrance than anything and it won't really come in useful - there will be no special provisions for Wi-fi, although it should be noted that Starbucks offer free Wifi if you do need it for any reason.ToonArmy wrote: wrote:Depends what people want to do, but I'd rather have a day out having a good chat meeting people than hunched over a laptop trying to fix a problem on somebodies forum.