After posting my favorite conference design patterns last week, a few friends had some great replies on Twitter with their own favorites. I want to highlight them as I pretty much fully agree with these and think they definitely belong on a favorites list.
Co-locating related events, such as pre-conference meetups, or other conferences with cross appeal, is a clever thing some conferences do— Erik Erlandson (@manyangled) July 29, 2017
This is a fantastic call by Erik. One of the things I absolutely love to do at technology conferences is participate in interactive sessions. These are often developer, operator and user forums where the communtities are seeking to learn about the road maps for the projects they use. I look forward to these sessions because I have such a great time hearing about ideas that come from the across community and I am grateful for the chance to experience such a broad cross-section of thought.
Having a community meetup at the same place as a conference about the related technology is a perfect venue for this type of activity. Your community will get to meet each other and participate in some live development which is a tremendous team building opportunity. On a personal note, I also find it fun just to meet people that I otherwise only know through a chat nickname or from video calls.
I like speaker lounges, as a space for last-minute deck hacking and especially if they're set up to pre-test A/V connectivity— Erik Erlandson (@manyangled) July 29, 2017
While this doesn’t target everyone, if you’ve ever been a speaker at a conference or are considering it this is a point to remember. It can be pretty nerve-wracking in the hours leading up to your presentation. One of the things that can really help to quell the nerves and keep you focused on your performance is to practice your routine and make sure that everything on your display device is in working order. For the conference organizers, having a duplicate display configuration in a speaker’s lounge will also help alleviate technical issues beforehand. It’s a tough choice to make as it does require more resources to setup and maintain, but a choice worth considering.
Open spaces is a nice pattern too— XXX (@hguemar) July 29, 2017
Finally, I really appreciate this idea from Haikel. Depending on the venue a conference can get quite stuffy and even when that is not the case we all need space to decompress and relax. It is a great luxury for a conference venue to have large open spaces where attendees can avail themselves of the area and ambience. I really appreciate having the chance to talk quietly with colleagues or study some notes from a session, perhaps while enjoying a tea or coffee.
I can only imagine that choosing a venue is not an easy task for conference organizers, so this design pattern is a big ask in my opinion. But still, it is fantastic when a conference venue can offer some nice spaces for contemplative activities, even in the midst of the air of business and progress that fuels the industry which calls us.
OpenStack Summit 2015, Vancouver CA