So the New Adventures in Web Design conference happened a week ago. Last year I wrote a little piece about my feelings of the conference. My words seemed to go down well and even received an official Mr Collison stamp of approval. That earned me a little place on the front page of the New Adventures website.
No Pressure then.
Everything I wrote last year still applies. Possibly even more. I do feel, however, that I should at least make an effort to write something new.
Once again I’m not going to do an exhaustive run through of all the amazing, thoughtful, intelligent, inspring talks. I’m sure other people will do that. And anyway the videos are already being uploaded, and slides added. I will say that every single one of the eight talks provided something to take away and think about. Some were better than others, naturally, but that’s to be expected. I have just a couple of quick points
- Words sound cooler in an American accent. I think our brains have been reprogrammed to that fact from years of Hollywood conditioning. Cameron Koczon’s finishing line of “if it’s 2013 and if you still haven’t done this – YOU FUCKED UP” – wouldn’t be half as effective in a Brummie drone as it was in his superb Brooklynese.
- In a totally heterosexual, totally comfortable with my sexuality, married with a 3 year old daughter kind of way – Robbie Manson is dreamy. This time it was the Scottish accent, his perfectly measured to the gram delivery and, not least, the intelligence of his words … … … mmmmmm
The talks are merely the eloquent spine of the conference. It’s the rest of the package that makes the it the glorious, wonder of geekdom that it is. With that opening I’ve set myself up for running with a horribly contrived string of bodily metaphors – I’ll spare you that.
I will say that anyone who has experienced the conference knows that the heart and soul of the conference is very much Simon, Greg and the army of volunteers that go into crafting it. And Simon’s Mum, obviously. Have a look at Relly’s post and video to get a better idea of their hard work.
Like last year the conference was a sell out. Something like 650 people. However you look at that number it works out to be a lot of web folk. Wandering around the venue at the break times between talks it looks like a lot of web folk. Surveying the hall during the talks it looks like a lot of web folk.
Somehow it never feels like a lot of web folk.
We do, in general, work in a very friendly industry and New Adventures seems to make the most of that. It’s relaxed, accessible, approachable and despite the other 649 people, strangely intimate.
The amount of love that goes into the event is obvious. And I don’t use the L word lightly here. It’s in all the little details like Simon & Greg’s guide to Nottingham, the names of all the attendees in the conference paper, the Tower O’ Cupcake, the ‘fringe’ events, the after party – there are little bits of joy in everything. You feel that all the organisers actually care that you personally have an enjoyable, useful, and inspiring time at the conference.
That’s an incredible achievement.