Wed 24 Apr 2013
My friend Kiran from HasGeek has got coverage at the FirstPost.
The idea for HasGeek came to him after experiencing first hand the travails of sustaining community-driven events.
“Community events were just not sustainable. Proto, Barcamp, LUG (the Linux Users Group), MoMo (Mobile Monday) Bangalore and OCC (Open Coffee Club) were all community-driven events that died in one way or the other. Not because there was no need for them, because learning from your peers in a bottom-up, community-driven manner still has value. But because its tough for a few committed volunteers alone to keep organising those events year after year,” he says.
What if someone could take away the pain of actually organising the events, leaving the community free to learn from one another?
“I realised then that if you do these events as a full-time commercial activity, they can become sustainable. HasGeek came in not as a representative of the community, but as a “community service provider”,” he says.
HasGeek events are based on an unsubsidised user-pays model with prices ranging from Rs 1000-2000 per day of attending. Sponsors’ funds are used in non-core areas like T-shirts, swag or upgrading the quality of food served. “Doing this has freed us from being sponsor-driven, which is a radical achievement in the events space. For our last two major events, the majority of our revenue came in from participants, something unheard of,” says Jonnalagadda.