“What we didn’t have was an affordable, one-day, painless, no-brainer conference. So registration was surprisingly slow. And we just didn’t get enough people to make it work.” – Joel Spolsky

Conferences – professional, or otherwise – are funny beasts.

  Taking days away from the day job
+ paying hundreds (if not thousands) in entrance fees
+ sitting in a chair
+ watching PowerPoint slides.

I’m not crazy about any of those attributes by themselves – together, they make a frightening combination.

Within the past 5 years, I’ve “organized” two conferences (and many smaller events) – PodcampMN & FontConf.
In both cases; the venue was donated, entry fee was $0, they were 1 day affairs, sessions were determined led by participants, and the larger goal was to make the event I would attend.

With that in mind:

  • At PodcampMN – beer was donated by Flat Earth Brewing.
  • At FontConf – I picked up the tab for coffee from The Roastery (cause there’s good coffee)

All said and done – I think they turned out quite well

One of the promises of software, especially internet-based software, is that, with a little elbow grease, you can make the thing you would use.

Then, at least, there’s 1 happier person in the world.