Hyper Island Meetup (a Starter Kit)
We were a team of seven Hyper Island alumni from a variety of programs talking about how to strengthen the community of Hypers here in Amsterdam, to host an event where new-school graduates could be introduced to the old guard of experienced alumni: share our knowledge, connect with each other and together grow from our experiences.
We all had a great time – so good in fact – that we wanted to share three of our learnings and hopefully help others who wish to pay it forward and arrange their own meetups!
1. Make it into a labor of love
One of the biggest factors in making this event a success was that we spent a great deal of attention to aligning the expectations of our core planning team.
In only three brief (..& boozy) planning sessions, we had centered our motivations and processes; giving us a sense of trust, responsibility and pride in what we were making.
Dividing up tasks between us became painless, and everyone poured their heart into what they did without it feeling like work. In the end, we had people working on everything from marketing and sponsorships to documentation and process design.
We also leaned on Hyper to help out by officially promoting the event, which they were more than happy to do.
2. Make it for Hypers, by Hypers
We didn’t just want to have a regular meetup event where everyone just gets liquored up, but rather simulate the feeling of Hyper through using the tools and methodologies we’re all familiar with. We designed our event to be a workshop first and meetup second, providing a simple reflection question around what alumni learned after they left Hyper. We designed the event, but didn’t overdesign it either, so that everyone could relate to easily; effectively lowering the threshold to participate.
Everyone got time to reflect individually as well as in smaller groups. To maximize the diversity in the reflections, we asked the big group to form a line from oldest– to youngest alumni, the group could organize itself into smaller ones, consisting of old graduates as well as new ones.
Next, we gave the small groups of alumni time to get to know each other and establish the psychological safety so that everyone could speak up and feel heard. When everyone was done sharing their reflections in the smaller groups, the whole group of around 60 people came together, stood in a circle and shared what they talked about. And of course we ended the evening with a check-out!
3. Make it good for us; great for companies
By talking directly to the companies we work for – we were able to get a sponsorship for a venue, equipment as well as 300 euros to spend on security, drinks, and snacks. In exchange, a representative of the sponsoring company was invited to attend this otherwise Hyper-only event, receive their due publicity and network with the guests.
Sponsoring companies were by no means acting altruistically, as 300 euros is a far cry from a usual recruitment budget. To give them access to our community, as well as a display of our way of working, is a huge opportunity for them to network with potential employees and clients.
This means that if you work for a company who is looking to fill a position, get some publicity and/or network for potential clients or partners: for only around 300 euros they can connect with our pool of creative talent.
After a clap-out, everyone headed over to a nearby bar; grabbed a drink and a new friend and either shared our reflections or talked about everything and nothing until closing.
In the end, what felt absolutely clear was that Hyper Island is not confined to its classrooms or curriculum. We have been taught a way of learning, thinking and being that many of us expressed a genuine need to reconnect with.
Our community deserves to be nurtured & sustained, and meet-ups like this are great (very easy and extremely rewarding) examples of how we can achieve that.
We are very thankful for having organized this alumni meet-up and to the 60 something alumni that leaned in. Thanks for having us!
Are you interested in hosting a meetup?
Have some questions?
Need a hand?
Don’t hesitate to shoot any of us an email and we’ll help you out or use the officialHyper Island Alumni Meet-up Kit.
Interested in coming to Amsterdam for your internship?
Join the Hypers in Holland Facebook group!