by Marty Laurita

There weren’t any design events in my city, so I organized one myself.

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” — Carl Jung

Doing something you’ve never done before is inherently exciting.

When I wrote to Framer a couple of months ago asking why there weren’t any Framer events scheduled in Boston, they responded with, “Well, why don’t you host one?”

Truth be told, I’m generally not one to organize events. I think I’m a little too micro-manage-y of a person to both enjoy it and keep it running smoothly. It’s like asking Woody Allen to host a comedy show while catering it at the same time. But this time, for some reason, I said yes.

When someone asks you to host a meetup, jump in!

And if Framer hadn’t connected me with two extremely outgoing, organized, and awesome partners-in-crime, Emily Carlin and Gideon Goldin, it would not have gone nearly as smoothly.

So, as Nacho Libre says, “Let’s get down to the neety-greety.”

As I quickly learned, there are the five ingredients to a successful meetup:

  • Location
  • Food
  • Booze
  • Guest speakers
  • Some semblance of an agenda

We locked down the location, food, and booze relatively quickly. Finding a great speaker was much more of a challenge.

After some time, we connected with Andrew Nalband of Cut and Fold, a veteran designer and avid Framer user. He used Framer to develop killer interactions like this:

You can try the interactive version here: http://share.framerjs.com/zydimzquxu7b/

And after a quick survey of other events, we had an agenda, which I promptly inserted into a flashy little invite.

So, our with our ingredients prepped and ready, it was time for liftoff!

The Event

People began filing in around 6:30, and with our abundance of food and drink, there was a comfortable atmosphere in which to socialize.

We had pre-surveyed participants, so we had some idea of everyone’s skill level going in. Most people had never used a code-based interaction tool like Framer, so we decided to start from ground-level.

The presentation consisted mostly of an introduction and a show-and-tell from Andrew. He went through the basics of the tool, as well as some inspiring examples of it in practice.

What I loved about Andrew’s talk was how comfortably he switched into “educator” mode. He went right down to basics and walked everyone through the interface, what a layer is, and how animation works. We had no idea about what he was going to talk about beforehand, but he totally crushed it!

People were so engrossed that Andrew was able to speak for a full hour.

I also went up to share some prototypes, but there are no photos of that since I was charged with the photography ?

We live-streamed the event in its entirety on Facebook. You can watch it here.

Reflection Time

The biggest lesson learned was that, as others have found, it might be good to split people up at the beginning to maximize the effectiveness of the event.

While the event was a big success, I did get some feedback that some people came expecting more of a walkthrough, while others were there to better understand how framer fits into the design workflow.

For the next event, we will definitely strive to meet these needs, and to be even more awesomer!

I’d like to thank our amazing sponsors of this event: Framer, Tamr, and Society of Grown-ups. It wouldn’t have been nearly as great without your support!

Also, thank you for reading! If you have any thoughts, I would love your feedback in the comments.

Also, be sure to check out my last article about prototyping with FramerJS.

If you liked this, click the? below so other people will see this here on Medium.