Simon Willison’s Weblog

Items tagged conferences, speaking

Filters: conferences × speaking ×


How do you get invited to speak at high profile events?

SXSW has an open call for proposals—you’ll need to submit a suggestion to the panel picker and encourage people to vote for you.

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Events (leisure): How can I get into presentations, mixers and meetups without paying the entry fee?

Speak to the organisers and volunteer to help out at the event. This works for all different sizes of events and is a very effective way of getting in to an event for free. As a volunteer you also get a great excuse to interact more with the attendees and speakers.

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What are some tips for giving a lightning talk at a conference?

Tips for general public speaking still hold for lightning talks. Here are some tips that might help:

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Product Demonstrations: What’s the best way to view/demo a website offline at an event?

If this is a static website (just HTML, images, CSS and a bit of JavaScript) you might be able to get it running on your laptop using a web server. OS X prior to Mountain Lion had a built in Apache which could be turned on using the “Web Sharing” option in the Sharing preference page, but it looks like they’ve now removed that option—a way of turning it back on again is described here: http://clickontyler.com/blog/201...

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Is there a feed or otherwise centralized list of calls for proposals for technical conferences?

We have a crowdsourced index of calls for proposals from (mostly technical) conferences here: http://lanyrd.com/calls/—you can also subscribe to the RSS feed for individual topics, e.g. if you want to hear about PHP conference CFPs you can subscribe to the feed linked to from this page: http://lanyrd.com/topics/php/calls/

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Who is the best conference panel moderator?

Two of the best moderators I’ve seen are Jeffrey Veen and Jeremy Keith, both of whom are regular contributors at SXSW.

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What are the ideal laser pointers for conference presentations?

I’ll swear by the Logitech Cordless Presenter: http://www.gadgetgrid.com/2008/1...—it’s very popular amongst friends of mine who speak frequently as well.

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Does Google (company) have their own Audio Visual department for their large conferences, or do they contract another company?

I believe it’s their own in-house team—when we ran the first DjangoCon at Google’s Mountain View HQ a few years ago I understood that the video team were their own (the same team that records their internal Google Tech Talks). It might be an external company that they contract in, but it felt like they were permanent staff.

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Who are the best female speakers on the topic of social media who are equal parts knowledgeable and engaging?

Meg Pickard from the Guardian
Suw Charman-Anderson

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What are some tips for moderating a panel?

It’s a very hard thing to do well.

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DjangoCon and PyCon UK

September is a big month for conferences. DjangoCon was a weekend ago in Mountain View (forcing me to miss both d.Construct and BarCamp Brighton), PyCon UK was this weekend in Birmingham, I’m writing this from @media Ajax and BarCamp London 5 is coming up over another weekend at the end of this month. As always, I’ve been posting details of upcoming talks and notes and materials from previous ones on my talks page.

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Things I learned at EuroOSCON

Last week was the first ever O’Reilly European Open Source Convention, held in the magnificent NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam. It was the first big budget conference I’d been too (previously I’ve stuck to less expensive affairs such as SxSW Interactive and PyCon) but the money seems to have been well spent. The venue was fantastic and there was a great line-up of speakers, keynotes and panels.

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LUG Radio Live

I’ve been very busy for the last three days. My last two exams (HCI and Marketing) were on Thursday evening and Friday morning respectively, followed by a celebratory barbecue. I was up at 7am on Saturday to get up to Wolverhampton for LUG Radio Live, then back to Bath again by 5.30pm for our graduation summer ball. Finally, I’m heading off to Denmark in the early hours of Monday morning for a week and a bit of camping and Roskilde Let’s hope it’s a bit drier than Glastonbury was.

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