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Chicago Tech After Hours (ChiTAH)

What is ChiTAH?
There is a real need for more opportunities for informal networking within the Chicago technology community, especially in the suburbs. To address this need, Chicago Tech After Hours (or ChiTAH, pronounced “cheetah”) was created in 2009. The goal of ChiTAH is simple: to help make lasting business connections within the technology community in a casual, fun atmosphere.

The Huguelet Group LLC is one of the founding supporters of ChiTAH.

What Does a ChiTAH Event Look Like?
ChiTAH events currently take place 2 to 3 times a year at various locations around Chicagoland. A typical ChiTAH event has a business-casual atmosphere and dress code. There is either a short presentation or none at all during the event - the focus is always on informal networking opportunities. As such, attendees are encouraged to come whenever they are available and stay as long as they want. Refreshments are usually the responsibility of attendees in a 'cash bar' scenario. There is no cost to attend a ChiTAH event.

When is the Next ChiTAH? How do I RSVP?
*** Many thanks to all who attended ChiTAH 010. ChiTAH 011 is expected to be announced in 3Q 2014, so be sure you're on our mailing list below. ***

ChiTAH 010 will take place on Monday, 17 March 2014 from 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM at The DuPage Club at 1901 South Meyers Road in Oakbrook Terrace (630.691.1300) - conveniently located near I-88, I-355, I-55, and I-294:

http://www.thedupageclub.com/

For ChiTAH 010, we have again partnered with Chicago's Hegemony Consulting Group (http://www.hegemony.com/) to sponsor the night's festivities. Our sincere thanks to the team at Hegemony!



At ChiTAH we're always trying new things out, so we are holding ChiTAH 010 on St. Patrick's Day. If you are looking for an opportunity to get out and celebrate in a business environment, this event is made for you!

In addition, we'll have representatives of the Illinois Technology Foundation (dedicated to the development of the technology talent pipeline in Illinois, http://www.illinoistechfoundation.org/), Rev3 (the new manufacturing technology incubator, http://www.rev3dupage.com/), and Accumi (a new start-up offering a hosted software application for dynamic equity allocation amongst founders, http://www.accumi.com/). We'll have "birds of a feather" areas designated for the following topics, which can help you connect with like-minded members of the technology community:

  • IT Leadership / Project Management
  • Software Development
  • IT Infrastructure / Networking
  • Mobile Applications
  • Business Intelligence
  • Career Strategy
  • Start-Ups / VC / Funding
  • Social Media / Web 2.0 Applications
There is no cost to attend; just bring plenty of business cards and a willingness to help other members of the Chicago technology community while helping yourself. However, ChiTAH 010 is limited to 125 attendees and an RSVP is required, which can be obtained at:

https://chitah1.eventwax.com/chicago-tech-after-hours-chitah-010/

As a courtesy to other potential attendees, please register for ChiTAH 010 only if you are reasonably confident you will be able to attend. Due to the number of community members that typically want to attend ChiTAH events, RSVPing for and then not attending a ChiTAH event may limit your ability to register for future ChiTAHs. If after registering you learn that you cannot attend, please send an email to info AT chitah DOT org to let us know and your space will be offered to another community member. Thank you for your consideration!

How Do I Stay Informed About Future ChiTAH Events?
Although free, ChiTAH events typically "sell out" of space within a few days of being announced. Therefore, we encourage interested parties to join the ChiTAH mailing list so as to be the first to get ChiTAH announcements and updates by visiting:

http://mad.ly/signups/68199/join

and completing our form.

How Can I Interact with the Chicago Tech Community via ChiTAH?
Besides attending ChiTAH events, please consider joining the ChiTAH group on LinkedIn at:

http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1871433

as well as following us on Twitter at @ChiTechAfterHrs. To find other Chicago-area organizations that may also be of interest, once you follow us visit our profile and see who we follow.

Does ChiTAH Provide Sponsorship or Exhibition Opportunities?
Some of ChiTAH's founding members have been involved in running other networking groups and in those roles spent considerable time trying to identify formal (i.e., paid) sponsors for their events. For an informal group such as ChiTAH, this tends to reduce the frequency of events. As such, ChiTAH does not actively seek formal sponsors - but is interested in speaking with any company who would like more information about them.

However, at each ChiTAH we typically have 1 or 2 tables reserved for growing Chicago companies to use to exhibit their products or services. If your company would be interested in utilizing one of these tables at an upcoming ChiTAH to tell its story to the Chicago tech community, please contact us via e-mail at the address below. Tables are provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Who Do I Contact for More Information about ChiTAH?
For more information on ChiTAH, send an e-mail to info AT chitah DOT org. Feel free to pass the word about ChiTAH along to other like-minded members of the Chicago tech community.

3 April 2013: SPS/ChiTAH Collaboration Announcement
Arthur Zards, President of XNet Information Systems & founder of SiliconPrairieSocial (SPS) and Jim Huguelet, President of The Huguelet Group LLC & co-founder of Chicago Tech After Hours (ChiTAH) jointly announced plans to combine a large portion of SPS into ChiTAH to form a major technology networking series for the western Chicago suburbs. SPS, which began holding events in 2007, and ChiTAH, which began holding events in 2009, host regular networking events that have drawn nearly 2,000 attendees from the technology community together over the past 7 years.

"ChiTAH has always had the same philosophy as SiliconPrairieSocial: connecting local members of the technology community with their peers for the benefit of everyone," said Zards. "I'm excited to be able to see the mission of SPS continued through ChiTAH in the years to come."

"SiliconPrairieSocial served as inspiration for creating ChiTAH several years ago, and through the years we've borrowed several SPS ideas for organizing and running ChiTAH events," said Huguelet. "Being able to bring SPS and ChiTAH together is a great development for the suburban technology community."

In the future, large networking events will be held under the ChiTAH moniker but will include past participants from SPS.


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