I often waffle back and forth on talking about things I want to try for the conference. One because I like stuff to be a surprise for attendees, but also in case I can’t do what I was planning, no one knows.
Now I’m thinking of trying a different approach. I’m gonna talk about our ideas, so we’re a bit more locked in and on the hook to make sure we don’t slack off on executing them. This post is to keep me on my toes and deliver the event I want to deliver
We did this last year, and got a ton of great feedback. Folks commented that the price of the conference was covered in the time saved by consulting with a speaker on an issue that had been holding things up. That’s awesome. Last year the labs were a bit hard to find, and since I wasn’t sure about them, I didn’t make a ton of noise. So the labs will be back this year for sure, and easy to find and use.
I’m also going to merge them a little with an idea I got from another event. Speaker Bar. This one is still pending hotel approval and sponsorship, but the idea is that in the labs room, a speaker will be manning a bar (Don’t get crazy it’ll be beer and wine most likely), and while she is pouring drinks, she’s answering questions. It’s like the basic lab idea, but less formal and less “here’s my code, take a look” and more “what’re your thoughts on using this approach?”
The bar will likely be in the lab room, in the corner, so it’s sort of an all-inclusive speaker room where everyone knows there’ll be speakers hanging out helping.
This idea isn’t my own either. In fact I attended an awesome small business/boot strapped entrepreneur conference where they did live tear-downs of websites. I don’t know if this will be lunch sessions, or something else, but the gist will be, you hand your device to an MC who is on stage with an ELMO (those handy little see what my device looks like on the projector screen deals). The MC (likely a speaker) will be part of a small 2-3 person panel, and they’ll walk thru the app or game and offer feedback. Probably a bit harshly given time constraints. The idea is that these folks might not have seen your app/game and don’t know what they should know. We all do things with basic assumptions built in,and when someone doesn’t have them, it exposes those gaps. The idea here is to offer fun constructive feedback in a crowd.
This is more an overall thing, but I’ve been wanting to make 360|iDev a little more polished for a while. Not big event, stuffy shirt, no swearing polished, but overall impression polished. That means things like a slide deck in between sessions instead of a blank screen, music playing before general sessions, instead of a big silent room. A more polished app with some cool new abilities built in. Hopefully more, but those are what we’re working on right now. To be clear, the vibe of the conference isn’t gonna change. We’re NOT gonna waste money on huge stages, with couches and fake plants, and a big 50′ screen. Those are nice, but those are what makes conference tickets cost more.
I’m really excited about this year’s event. I can’t wait for September to roll around, it’s gonna be a great time! Hope you’ve bought your ticket. Don’t wait until we’re sold out!