Chatfest – Shanghai: Connecting our users (and the team!)

March 26th, 2009 | Posted by Toffler in members

Last night was our very first italki Language Exchange Meetup!  More than 45 people, from at least 5 different countries, came out on Wednesday night to chat with each other.  Being based in Shanghai, Chinese and English were the most popular languages, but we also had people who spoke Korean, Italian, Spanish, French, German, and Japanese.  We also ran some activities to help people get to know each other and get comfortable with participating in language exchanges.

Everyone seemed to have a good time — check out the pictures:
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It always makes an impression on us when we meet people who tell us that this was their first time speaking to a foreigner.  Many of the attendees told us about the friends they had made through italki, in addition to the help they received on learning a language.  Hearing stories like this make us feel that italki really has a role to play in bringing people together.  Based on everyone’s encouragement, we’ll definitely be holding more language exchange meetups in the future.

If you’re an italki member, and you think you’d like to organize a meetup in your city, please contact Toffler (at) italki (dot) com.  We’re thinking about Bangkok, Thailand and Seoul, Korea in the near future, but we don’t want to discourage other cities that have vibrant communities.  As always, let us know what you think — and keep on sharing languages and cultures!

The team

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  • Kenneth

    cool! i came there too. keep going italki!

  • Katrina

    Seems i was hidden in the pic,hehe~~
    the event was so nice!

  • Italki user

    I don't get it. What is the purpose of this event? If it's to obtain feedback, great. Otherwise, this isn't likely to impact the broader user base, who use italki to connect and do language exchange with people outside of their home cities. Not sure italki should be paying for these types of events vs. focusing it's spend on areas that drive more scalable user impact.

  • italki

    Hi italki user —
    One of the main goals of the Chatfest was, in fact, to get more feedback. In addition to connecting our users, we wanted to get more firsthand opinions on what we could do better on the site. As always, if you have suggestions, you can send us feedback through the website or through email (feedback at italki dot com).

    In terms of the event, we're almost embarrassed to say that we didn't pay for anything. Our users had to buy their own donuts and coffee… (Hopefully they weren't too upset about that.) While we know that most of our users are connecting with people often thousands of miles away, there's also something nice about being able to make offline connections with people as well. Most of the responses we've received have been positive, so we'll consider doing events like this in the future.

  • kenzo

    Interesting that attractive boys and girls of all races in mixed gender balance all seem to be there. There might be an insight in there… hmmm.

  • kenzo

    Interesting that attractive boys and girls of all races in mixed gender balance all seem to be there. There might be an insight in there… hmmm.