On holding a conference

  • Respect the audience.  Treat them like adults.  This means, among other things, assuming they know how to take appropriate notes and that they don’t need a “guiding voice” in order to figure out your message.
  • Make your message comprehensible.  This means having a central thesis and giving presenters useful guidance.
  • Do not try to induce socialization with gimmicks.
  • Run on time.
  • Nobody really cares about the swag.  Put more effort into talks and less into stuff.
  • Sponsors can be important sometimes, but don’t let their interests override those of the audience, who are giving the most precious resource of all: their time.
  • Avoid videos.
  • If someone offers you candid feedback and you call them, assume that you are going to get….candid feedback.  Imagine that.
  • This post is only here because I attended a godawful conference last week, and thought it might pay to state the obvious for others to read.