D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Thoughts from PrDC 2015

Thursday, March 5, 2015 7:06 AM

I wrapped up my 9th Prairie Dev Con this week. I’ve been running conferences since 2009 (earlier if you count Code Camps I guess), and after 2 SDECs and 9 PrDCs, I’m finding that I still learn something new every time. Here’s some thoughts from this year’s event.

Mobile Apps are Essential

This year I updated the conference website for the second time since 2010, although this one was a total re-write instead of tweaking the colour scheme. Moving the site to BootStrap gave the site a mobile-friendly experience, but there’s still limitations to what you can do. For next year I *have* to have a good mobile app and that will be a top priority.

One option I’m looking at is guidebook, which has a free tier that fits with Prairie Dev Con (free for max 200 downloads). I’m going to test it out for Regina this June.

Closing Commentary – Thinking About This

I’ve never done a closing keynote but I’m starting to consider it. The opening keynote definitely sets a tone and kicks things off, but after two days of learning I’m wondering if having a closing commentary on what’s been seen and heard isn’t a good thing. Still noodling on this.

Treat Your Venue As Your Partner

It’s very easy to look at a venue as a business transaction. I’ve dealt with venues in the past that definitely approached it that way, and I felt the conference was nothing more than another line item on a revenue report. The Winnipeg venue, CanadInns Polo Park, is fantastic though and over the two years that I’ve run PrDC there we’ve created more of a partnership than simply a customer/vendor relationship. Feedback I gave last year has been incorporated into how they run things this year, which resulted in a better overall experience for all attendees.

That’s not to say that we didn’t have a few blips, but I’ve found if you treat your venue as an extension of your conference – in that if the venue improves, your conference and attendee experience improves – you get way more value than if you argue over dollars for slight inconveniences.

Making Feedback Mandatory

As I look through the session feedback, there’s lots of people who will select from the drop downs (“How was the speaker?” “Excellent, Alright, Not Great, Horrible!”) but never leave comments. I’m thinking of enforcing comments for the next conference. If you thought someone was excellent, why were they excellent? If you thought someone was not great, why were they not great? Speakers really do want to get better, and really do want to hear feedback. I need to come up with a way to ensure that happens.

Don’t Run a Conference in Winnipeg in March

I think some of my speakers are still thawing off. Winking smile

These are the thoughts I have right now – may blog more thoughts as they come.

D




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# re: Thoughts from PrDC 2015

PRDC is a Do my Assignment Cheap based pioneering worldwide consulting house in the Power business for more than two decades and is among the biggest in its class. 11/16/2017 4:09 AM | Rollins Jack

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