Where to find your people at ONA18

While there are tons of networking opportunities and official parties and receptions throughout the conference, the ONA community is also organizing its own gatherings during the week. Here are some of the meetups coordinated by other attendees to help you find your neighbors and people who share your interests and hobbies.

Geographic meetups

Several of the geographic meetups have more than one RSVP page because they’re co-hosted by multiple groups. You only need to RSVP with one group. We recommend picking the one closest to you, so you can easily stay in touch about their future events after the conference.

ONA Reno and ONA Sacramento will co-host a meetup before the Opening Night Reception. Come make new friends to team up and explore the conference. They’ll meet at Jo’s Coffee for introductions and then walk over to the Moody Theater together. Thursday, Sept. 13, 5-5:45 p.m., Jo’s Coffee, 242 W 2nd St. RSVP with either ONA Sacramento or ONA Reno.

ONA San Francisco and ONA Silicon Valley will co-host a meetup right before the Opening Night Reception. Join them for a drink starting at 5 p.m., then they’ll walk over as a group to the Moody Theater just after 6 p.m. Follow @onabayarea and @ONASiliconV for updates. Thursday, Sept. 13, 5-6 p.m., Corner Restaurant (ground floor of the JW Marriott Austin). RSVP with either ONA SF or ONA Silicon Valley.

ONA South Florida, ONA Gainesville and ONA Atlanta will co-host a breakfast meetup Friday morning at La Peña. Grab a breakfast taco and meet some of your neighbors attending the conference. Friday, Sept. 14, 9 a.m., La Peña, 227 Congress Ave. RSVP with ONA South Florida, ONA Gainesville or ONA Atlanta.

Join ONA Pittsburgh will meet up on Friday for lunchtime tacos at Torchy’s. Come to the JW Marriott lobby at noon to rideshare or meet them at 12:15 p.m. at the restaurant across the river. Friday, Sept. 14 at 12 p.m. in the JW Marriott lobby or at 12:15 p.m. at Torchy’s, 1822 S. Congress Ave.

ONA Seattle and ONA PDX will co-host a Pacific Northwest meetup Friday at the JW Marriott Lobby Bar, on the ground floor by the main entrance. Friday, Sept. 14 at 4 p.m. in the JW Marriott Lobby Bar. RSVP with either ONA PDX or ONA Seattle.

Meet ONA Philly Friday evening at the lobby bar for drinks and networking. Friday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. at the JW Marriott Lobby Bar. RSVP with ONA Philly.

Interest meetups

The annual Educators’ Meetup is an opportunity to hear from the 2018 Tow-Knight fellows and participate in discussions about how to evolve the ONA Educators’ group efforts. An ONA18 conference badge is required to attend. Thursday, Sept. 13 at 3:30-5 p.m. in Grand Ballroom 8 at the JW Marriott. More details on the ONA18 schedule.

Event planners, unite! For the second year, this group is getting together to meet other event planners at the conference. Thursday, Sept. 13, 5 p.m. Email trevor@journalists.org for more details.

The run streak continues: runners, meet in the JW Marriott lobby for a morning run. All levels welcome! Follow #ONA18Run for updates. Friday, Sept. 14, 7:30-8:30 a.m., leaving from JW Marriott Lobby.

As always, if you’re looking to find people tackling a very specific problem, Table Talks is the place to be. You’ll sit at a table with others who want to deep-dive into the same problem, and have a facilitated discussion with notes. Just head to the room that has the topics that interest you most, sit anywhere and our trained facilitators will you give you (very brief!) instructions on how Table Talks will work. An ONA18 conference badge is required. Friday, Sept. 14 at 10 a.m.-12 p.m., various locations at the JW Marriott. Check the schedule for details.

Woman founders, join moderator and News Deeply Executive Editor and CEO Lara Setrakian for a meetup to share experiences and lessons learned as women founders. No RSVP needed, but an ONA18 badge is required to attend. Friday, Sept. 14, 5-6 p.m., JW Marriott Room 502. More details.

Calling all visual journalists: There are two meetups for photojournalists, video journalists and multimedia journalists at ONA18.

  • Follow up the Opening Night Reception with drinks and good company at Bangers Sausage House and Beer Garden, about a 15- to 20-minute walk from the Moody Theater. Tickets are not required, but the organizers request you sign up via Eventbrite so they can reserve enough space for all who plan to attend. Thursday, Sept. 13, 8:30-11:30 p.m., Bangers Sausage House and Beer Garden, 79 Rainey Street. RSVP on Eventbrite.
  • Start Saturday with delicious breakfast tacos, provided by the Kalish Visual Editing Workshop. Gather at La Peña, a short walk from the JW Marriott. This meetup is open to all visual journalists attending ONA18 and will include vegetarian options. Come early, as the free tacos are limited and might go fast. Saturday, Sept. 15, 9-10 a.m., La Peña, 227 Congress Ave. Email Danny Gawlowski with any questions.

Looking for a pick-up basketball game while you’re in town? Byard Duncan is organizing the ultimate journalist hoops session. Time and location TBD; fill out this Google form to weigh in and stay in the loop when plans are set. Check in with Byard (@ByardDuncan) for more details.

If you want to gather a group that isn’t listed here, there’s a community space in the back of the ONA18 Midway that will be open for group conversations and impromptu meetups. Just check the Midway opening hours, then post a call on the ONA18 Facebook group or on Twitter using #ONA18 to spread the word.