Tag Archives: conferences

Top 3 Usability (UX) Conferences in 2009

A few people asked what would be my Top 3 recommendations for Usability and Human-Computer Interaction Design conferences to plan for in 2009. I’m looking at this from very Central European centric point of view of course.

Star burst
Image by Kounelli via Flickr

In no specific order:

  1. UX London, 15th – 17th June 2009, London – Early bird: £895 (~900 EUR)
  2. UX Week, 15-18 September 2009, San Francisco, CA – $1795 (~1 356 EUR)
    or alternative UX Intensive Berlin, 12-15 May – Early bird: $1795(~1 356 EUR)
  3. UX Camp Berlin, 23 – 24 May 2009, BarCamp style event.  Most useful if you speak German or are pushy enough about people speaking English around you.

There’s also a Upcoming group Interaction Design that lists most of these events.

I would advise against going to general Web conferences to learn more about UX as their are too general in their nature and you’ll unlikely learn anything new.

Is there an UX conference that I missed and is a must go in your opinion?

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O’Reilly Web 2.0 Expo Berlin (after experiencing New York one)

While killing time on my flight to the next event, I started thinking about what could O’Reilly Web 2.0 Expo Berlin mean for the attendees.

Web 2.0 Expo 2007
Image by Laughing Squid via Flickr

What I discovered at this NY event is that because they brought in a lot of out-of-town people they mingled a lot in the hallways, allowing everybody to casually meet others from the industry that are a bit more visible or work for bigger web companies. I also saw basically everyone at all the parties and social events, which by the end gave the whole event a nice homey filling.

I also noticed more people were using backchannel, CrowdVine and Twitter that provided valuable insights at what was happening at other sessions or extra events that I missed for some reason.

My Perfect Plan for Berlin Web 2.0 Expo

The idea of this plan is to take a week off, and fully dive into the “Web 2.0” scene. Taking this much time, should allow to actually meet everyone enough times for initial bonds to start happening (and maybe also some idea sparks).

"Controversy was not the byproduct of the strategy... it WAS the strategy!"
Image by coder.keitaro via Flickr

The whole event starts with Barcamp, unconference that is designed by participants. By now these events were done so many times that people have some great presentations ready. More prominent speakers also often speak at Barcamps to test their material and see how well they actually explain their material.

After weekend, you can take monday morning off, to go see the city, but preferably you’ll meet enough people at Barcamp that are also new in town that you can arrange a meet up and go around together or just hang together for lunch. Doing something topical around your interests (semantic web, python enthusiasts, etc. is often good enough excuse to meet).

Alternative is to go to Facebook Developer garage and meet the people who create one of the main social networks of this age.

Make sure that you don’t miss the Ignite event in the evening, as 5-minute presentations are usually extremely enjoyable and there’s a good excuse to go for a beer with fellow geeks afterwards.

Then the whole conference starts with the workshop day. I’ve attended workshops a couple of times and I can say that they’re usually worth their time. There’s also a lot less people attending so it gives you easier time to meet new faces in less crowded environment.

The conference and expo days are great by itself, but I’m not going into detail about this since it’s well covered in other people’s writing.

Afternoon parties and extra events are also something to keep an eye out. Conference pages usually have a list of unofficial events, that might require separate RSVP, but keep you busy and mingling.

For bonus points, don’t go home the very next morning. If you can stay another day in the city and hang around at post-conference breakfast or arrange another topical meetup. This way you’ll get to meet yet another group of people.

Party, party, party

IMG00085.jpg
Image by Gandalfar via Flickr

Reading above plan assumes a lot of partying and mingling. For me that’s the main thing about the conferences, as you get to meet all these great people that you can then start forging alliances together or just have great time. Since almost everyone will be from the industry, most of the time the talk will be about things that are somehow related to what we all do, as such you’ll get first hand experience and by listening to lots of anecdotes get some new perspectives.

(this post was inspired by sheer greatness of O’Reilly Web 2.0 Expo NY and I don’t get anything in return for writing it)

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Web 2.0 conferences in Europe

SemanticCamp - Day 1 - Tom Morris' LaptopImage by Cristiano Betta via Flickr

Here’s a short list of conferences that are upcoming this fall in Europe, and can present a good excuse for my American friends, to travel abroad.

September 2008

Mozilla add-ons workshop, 20th September, Paris, France – Something for Firefox extension developers between us

October 2008
Widget Web Expo, 6-7 October, London, UK – very specialized widgets event

Future of Web Apps, 8-10 October, London, UK – pretty good general Web 2.0 conference

Web 2.0 Expo Berlin, 21-23 October, Berlin, Germany – classical O’Reilly conference; this time in Europe and in a new venue. There’s also a BarCamp in Berlin preceding weekend

Some general monthly events that can be combined with your trips for extra productivity:
Mini Bar, Friday towards end of the month. About 300 Internet Professionals meet, drink beer and power-network

The London Bloggers Meetup Group, about 50 bloggers from around London meet. Some pretty important people in the crowd.

and as always, there’s a barcamp going on basically every weekend in a few countries.

+ lots of more stuff, to follow as I stumble upon the events

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Social media and Web 2.0 conferences August/September 2008

Here are a couple of Social media and Web 2.0 conferences in August and September 2008. It’s mostly European oriented since that’s my primary continent of work. It’s by no means a definitive list but mostly a list of conferences I plan to visit.

UX Week, 12-15 August, San Francisco – ~$2500
PICNIC, 24-26th September, Amsterdam – ~700-1500€
Blog World Expo, 20-21 September, Las Vegas – $400

RINCONES PARA RECORDARImage by c.fuentes2007 via Flickr

There is also a Seedcamp week, 3-7 September, but I think you have to be a Seedcamp 20 finalist to be invited there (apply now! ;).

While these conferences are There are also lots of Barcamps in UK:

BarCampLeeds, 16-17th August
BarCampLondon5, 27-28th September
SocialMediaCamp, 4-5th October
Check the Barcamp wiki
for a full list of BarCamps.

From the neighboring countries to Slovenia there seems to be one Barcamp in Austria on 24th of September. There is also a big BlogFest in Italy, 12-14 September, but most of the information is in Italian which should make planning for this event interesting.

Some people are also mentioning rumors of possible Slovenian BarCamp in fall. It just might happen, but first the organizers need to figure out the time-slots and energy levels.

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Web related things happening in Slovenia in June/July 2008

Lobster Boats

Image by LollyKnit via Flickr

It seems I’m a bit fanatical about social events related to tech and especially web 2.0 scene. So here are a few in Slovenia and around that you probably want to go to:

11th of June – Spletne urice goodbye party 2008 – http://web.zen.si/archives/2008/06/spletne-urice-88-goodbye-party-2008/

19th of June – CAFE BABE: Search and Findability, a Java developers oriented event, should be announced on http://www.kiberpipa.org a few days before the event

20-21th of June – Blogres, the Slovenian Blogging conference – http://www.blogres.si/

21th of June – Webmaster picnic – http://www.internetmojster.com/piknik/

24th of June – Firefox 3 Release Party – http://www.kiberpipa.org/firefox/

5th of July – PHP conference - http://phpkonferenca.si/

18-20th of July – Slo-Tech NEST, LAN party together with a lot of high quality lectures and workshops – http://slo-tech.com/ostalo/dogodki/nest2008/

Leave a comment if you know/organize any other events.

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