COBA October 2003 Meeting

The October 2003 COBA featured a group brainstorm on improving the meetings and planning for the future. The Camera Owners of the Bay Area has been in existence for nearly two years now. I originally created the group as a face-to-face forum for digital SLR enthusiasts to meet and talk about digital photography. We’ve had 18 meetings thus far, with presentations on underwater photography, backpacking photography, workflow, color management, lighting, and various products such as the Canon 1Ds, Sigma SD9, and the Digital Rebel.

A small group of COBA members were present for this meeting, including Esperanza, Harold, Dave, Jeff, Les, Jim, Kendrick, Stephen, Gil, Larry, Horst, Martin, Javier, and Mark. Taking a page from the IDEO Workshop that I attended a few weeks back, I started the group off with a short creativity exercise where we drew images of circular objects on a piece of paper. It was interesting to see what kinds of circular objects people could come up with in 2 minutes, including a wheel, black dot, AIM icons, jack o’lantern, CD, trashcan cover, brake, coins, balls, dice, moon, Death Star, plate, nostril, peace symbol, sun, Blink 182 logo, binoculars, eyes, cookies, planet, coke logo, lens cap, lens, reset button, and more.

Our brainstorming session identified four areas that we delved deeper in discussing:

  • Group Exhibitions
  • Field Trips
  • Future Presentation Topics
  • Group Structure (or how Adam can reduce his workload managing COBA)

If you haven’t joined the mailing list for COBA, please do so. One of the ideas that was mentioned was having a mailing list for group announcements such as field trips and presentation suggestions (the current mailing list is used only for meeting announcements). The COBA Forum could function in this manner, but email lists are typically better at getting a message in someone’s face. After all, visiting a forum is a habit while reading email is automatic.

Having breakout sessions where individuals lead small groups in discussions (such as on workflow or asset management) was another good idea mentioned during the meeting. Over the coming days and weeks, I’m going to pore over the notes that we made during the brainstorm. Hopefully, it will help make planning future meetings easier. If any of you have any suggestion, feel free to contribute them to the group!

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