Last year at the end of January, I attended the first ConfConf. When I first heard about the event, I asked myself, if it really is needed to have an event telling other people how to plan, organise and run an event. But obviously this event is about more than just about this. The first edition covered a wide range of useful talks spiced with a lot of insights on how other people succeeded or also failed with their events. So even, if I can call myself lucky enough to – right now and until now – have an event, which sells out twice a year, I took a lot of things with me from this small and intimate event.
The two faces behind ConfConf – Cat and Ben – are known to put their hearts into what they do. Ben runs events like Breaking Borders and speaks at various events. Cat is part of the Smashing Conference team, an event that Vitaly Friedman started together with me in 2012. Cat has a long time experience with running events for the web industry and community and was the heart of shows for Carsonified and Future Insights, before she joined the Smashing team.
When Cat and Ben started this event, they wanted to gather people who run an event, want to run and event, or are simply interested in the topic of planning, organising and/or running events. Surely someone could ask Don’t we already have enough conferences?, but apart from that I think we don’t, the idea to improve what we have is important. They say
We want people to leave feeling enabled to improve their events with a range of new tools, tips and techniques, inspired by a clearer view of their motivations and contributions to the tech industry and above all, feeling that they are part of a supportive community, working towards a common goal.
I see that you still ask yourself, why I think we don’t have enough events. So here’s why: I think that we need as many events as possible. They are what everybody needs to get away from the laptop, from daily work and routines. Some of us are lucky enough to have a family life or are able to switch off after work is done (whenever this might be). But for those who are not and lack of meeting people in real life, to exchange and chat, events are wonderful. Events are the place to meet like minded people. To recharge your batteries for creativity, motivation, or ideas. They are more than a blog post with a different view on things, where you easily can turn around and say That is bullshit, because then you have someone asking you WHY? And this might lead to a wonderful conversation and discussion maybe giving you more than just one opinion and view on things.
If you agree, then ConfConf might even be an event, that you should consider to attend. Even if you are not into running a conference or meetup yourself. ;)
I myself am going to talk about The Human Side of Event Organisation. I haven’t written the outline yet, but the title itself might give you a glimpse on what it is al about. It will be a roller coaster ride on which I take you to see what partners, speakers and – of course – attendees mean to me and how I treat (or at least hope to) them.
Alongside with me, John Davey, responsible for events like Flash on the Beach and now Reasons in London and Brighton, who is covering the difficult topic of selling tickets in a creative way. Not only event organisers are lined up: Rachel Andrew is talking about the experience as a speaker and how this could possible be optimised to have a great time at an event. Last but not least Cat also gives a talk with very helpful insights, tips and tricks and a backpack with a Plan B for anythings that could possibly go wrong at your show. All this is spiced up with discussions in which everybody onsite exchanges and discusses. Sounds like a good, active and useful day.
Want to join? This way, please.