Challenge completed (take 2)

This time it was not cycling 100 miles for charity, but organising a conference in the heart of London for a group of very capable and knowledgeable IT folks.

Taking into consideration that I was taking over rather than inventing, it was easier than it could have been. I already had an established format to copy and tweak to my preference and a list of previous speakers/sponsors to approach. But it was still a challenge and there was lots to do making it work.

Here’s a small abstract from my list of topics covered:

  • venue
  • food
  • drink
  • session abstracts
  • sponsor levels
  • sponsors
  • banners
  • bags
  • badges
  • name stickers
  • speaker gifts
  • speaker/sponsor dinner
  • keynote speaker
  • registration process
  • website
  • volunteer staff
  • bag filling
  • room set up
  • storage
  • transportation
  • speed sponsoring
  • tear down

Each one of these has a process behind it and that process has lots of inputs, variables dependencies and methods (that sounds dangerously close to being organised to me).

I’m still finalising this years close out with evaluations and collecting speaker slides, but so far the feedback has be mainly positive. There have been a few ‘suggestions’ for changes to next year, but I’m pleased to say that I’m not surprised by any of them, in fact I agree with all of them.

I could not have done any of this without the support of lots of people and I thank you all. That includes, all the team that volunteered their time, IBM for letting us use the venue and catering for free, the speakers for writing the presentations and turning up to deliver them, the sponsors for believing in the event and paying on time and all the attendees that showed up to see what all the fuss was about.

“So there will be a next year?” I can hear you thinking it as you read this. Well I hope so, I have every intention of running another one.