Simon Willison’s Weblog


What do convention goers want most from an convention location?

1st February 2013

My answer to What do convention goers want most from an convention location? on Quora

I’m sure this varies wildly for different people, so I’ll give you my personal opinions here:

1. City. If I’m travelling to attend a conference I always try to get a weekend on one or other side of the event to explore the place I’ve travelled to. I’ll be much more excited about a conference if it’s in an interesting city (even better if it is one I haven’t been to).

2. Venue location: I generally dislike airport hotels or venues that are out of town. I don’t drive, so good public transport or (ideally) walkability are important to me.

3. Great food nearby. Socialising over lunch or dinner is always one of the highlights of a conference for me, and I like eating interesting things. This is one of the reasons I love going to conferences in Portland or Austin.

4. Personality. I care about location and food much more, but given the choice between a historically or architecturally interesting building and a characterless convention center I’ll take the interesting building every time.

If I’m speaking there are a few other things I care about: proximity to the speaker hotel, availability of a private room, rock-solid A/V.