Update June 2017: The event was a roaring success!
The Global Get-Together was all we hoped it would be, and more. With 65 members coming together from over 20 cities around the world, and organized purely through the incredible community spirit that underpins Stitch itself, it was the rare type of event that leaves you feeling privileged to be part of.
All attendees made deep and lasting connections from the event and are already planning the next one! The photos from the event have been shared with all attendees but naturally can’t be posted here because of privacy concerns. If you head over to our Facebook page, however, you can see a handful of the photos from the event to give you an idea what it was like.
Stay tuned for announcements about the next get-together!
If you’re not a Stitch member, you probably don’t yet know about the historic 2017 Stitch Global Get-Together from May 19-21 in Monterey & Pacific Grove, California.
And you almost definitely don’t know about the magical community effort from Stitch members all over the world that has gone in to make the event a reality.
It’s been a great example of what Stitch is all about, and a reminder that Stitch is above all a community, full of amazing members doing amazing things to make life a little bit more fun, a little bit more rich, and a lot more full of company than it otherwise might be.
So let me fill you in on a few things you might not know.
Stitch members “going the distance”
Stitch’s main focus has always been to help our members find companionship in their local areas.
But one thing that has surprised us is how many connections have been happening between members much further away than that.
At first we only heard about these connections anecdotally, such as when our first marriage was between Carol and Doug, who were living 1300 miles apart when they first met. Or in the many conversations we saw happening between members on the Stitch forums, sometimes across the other side of the world.
But when we looked into data from the Stitch system, we could see a trend that was much larger than we had realized. 23% of all “Stitches” (connections between members) are with someone over 100 miles away. And the number of these long-distance matches has grown 58% in the last 12 months.
Many of these connections occur because so many of our members travel, and now that Stitch has such a global footprint they find Stitch a great way to meet people when they’re in a new city.
Merle from Hawaii enjoyed a hero’s welcome when he visited Sydney and came to a New Member’s event:
And just today the Stitch offices enjoyed a visit from Pamela, visiting from Portland:
We’ve got examples of Stitch members travelling from New York to London and meeting up with the local community there, as well as Sydney to Chicago and New York, and many more.
But much more notable have been all the long-distance connections between people who don’t travel.
Deep, long-distance friendships, and even full-blown romantic relationships, between people from different cities.
So when I heard that one of our members, Regina from Dahlonega Georgia, was travelling to San Francisco to meet her Stitch friend Maya for the first time, I decided it might be an opportunity for a bunch of other Stitch members in the Bay Area to get together.
Regina had told me that Dahlonega is a very small community of only 6,000 people, which made it difficult to meet people in her area. But she had made many great connections with people like Maya, so it seemed like a good idea to turn her visit into a special occasion to meet them all.
I didn’t expect it would snowball into something much larger. Much, MUCH larger!
A community effort
As soon as word got out about the idea of a get-together for members in the Bay Area, the idea quickly started to snowball. Stitch members are never short of suggestions and ideas, and they started coming quickly:
- “Why just in the Bay Area?”
- “Why just make it a dinner, couldn’t we do something bigger?”
- “I’m from Nevada and I’ve always wanted to meet the San Francisco members, could I come?”
- “Do you need help organizing something?”
Before we knew it, we had a team of volunteers from across the US helping organize the event. They had chosen an incredible location, helped organize a whole weekend worth of activities, and had even put together a gala event for the Saturday night!
As a result, the 2017 Get-Together has turned into something truly inspirational.
With members coming from as far away as Japan and Australia, and from over a dozen US states, it’s not just going to be an amazing event.
It’s going to be a testament to the enormous community spirit and sense of giving that underpins the entire concept of the Stitch community.
It’s certainly something I’m going to be proud to be part of.
I hope you can join us there!