Simon Willison’s Weblog


183 items tagged “conferences”


Which web startup conferences are there nowadays?

We have a pretty comprehensive list on Lanyrd—the site works like wikipedia, so if there are any we are missing you can sign in and add them to our Startups topic: Startup conferences and events

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What are some programming conferences and events being held near Detroit, MI?

We have a crowdsourced listing of conferences and events in Michigan here: Conferences in Michigan | Lanyrd—two that might be relevant to you are Agile and Beyond 2013, 9th March 2013 and Kalamazoo X Conference 2013, 13th April 2013

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Where can I find videos of talks from big tech/science/startup conventions?

Our site encourages people to add links to videos from events all around the world—we have nearly 9,000 videos indexed now (with detailed metadata about speakers, topics and locations). Take a look at our collection here:

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What are the top Apps/Mobile conferences & events for 2013?

The biggest is still Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February—tens of thousands of attendees and representatives from pretty much every mobile company.

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Events (leisure): What would you think of a conference that had longer hours?

I agree with Lenny Martin, for most events this would just be too long. There’s one exception: events that provide a sit-down dinner and have a talk during that dinner. PyCon UK in Birmingham have done this in the past and it was great—the conference itself ended around 6pm, you have an hour and a half to yourself, then you sit down for a banquet-style meal at 7:30pm with the other attendees. Their dinner speaker was a local historian talking about the science history of the local area, which was a really nice complement to the rest of the conference.

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What conferences has Mark Zuckerberg attended in the past?

It’s by no means comprehensive, but we have a list of 15 events Mark has spoken at on Lanyrd (with videos from 10 of them)

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What are some major tech conferences that offer student fellowships/discounts?

Many conferences will give you a %100 discount if you offer to help out on the day of the event—it’s always worth asking, especially if you have built up a reputation as a reliable event volunteer.

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What recommendations are there for conference venues in London for between 50-100 people?

The Magic Circle offer a small, intimate venue with some great history. They are just behind Euston Station. They can seat 150 people.

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How do you convince your employer to pay your way to a conference and justify the cost without being able to show something tangible in return?

There are a few ways to approach this.

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What does attending academic talks give you that you can’t get out of skimming the latest articles in all of your field’s journals?

Conferences are all about the people. Sure, you can stay at home and read the journals or even watch videos of talks—but you’ll be missing out on the opportunity to get to know the other attendees. You can often learn more from conversations with other attendees than you can from listening to the speakers!

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Seattle, what is a great prize to give away at a conference?

The LEGO Architecture model of the Space Needle. Everyone loves lego, and the architecture series is clearly not intended as a children’s toy so it’s ideal for a conference giveaway.

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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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SXSW Interactive or An Event Apart?

I’ve been to both, and they are very different kinds of event.

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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:

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What are good ways to make a conference for which people are willing to pay?

First, find the right topic, location and date. There’s not much point in running a three day Big Data conference in San Francisco on the same days as O’Reilly’s Strata conference down in San Jose!

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How do I keep service providers and consultants out of my meetup or conference?

If it’s that important to you, make the conference apply-to-attend and get people to submit linkedin / github profiles or whatever to demonstrate that they are a founder/builder. Then only send invitations to the people you are sure aren’t service providers or consultants.

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I was wondering if anyone can recommend any organizations/conferences or seminars that provide sessions on Writing for the Web?

The term “Content Strategy” has emerged over the past few years to encompass quality web writing as well as a host of other related topics. It sounds to me like you would benefit from one of the increasing number of content strategy conferences. We have a list of upcoming content strategy events on our site, Lanyrd:

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Which is a better site to archive conferences- Conferize or Lanyrd?

We’re very proud of our tools for archiving information from conferences—we support attaching slides, videos, audio clips and other links directly to pages about sessions for conferences. These are then aggregated for the entire conference and are also linked to from our profile pages for individual speakers. If the session has topics attached to it, we also show thumbnails of the coverage elsewhere on the site.

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Should I attend the Build 2012 conference?

It’s got a great reputation from previous years, and the speakers look really good (definitely more of a design focus, but it’s never a bad idea to get some exposure to people from disciplines related to your own). I’m going, so that’s clearly a vote in favour :)

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Is there a single list of all tech conferences around the world?

We’re trying to compile such a list with our startup, Lanyrd:

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Is there a site which aggregates CFPs (calls for papers/speakers) for tech conferences?

We have a crowdsourced collection of CFPs on Lanyrd:

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How to prepare for and what (gadgets) to take to Wikimania?

As general conference advice, carrying as little as possible is a very good idea. These days I take an 11 inch MacBook Air, an iPhone and an external battery for the iPhone (thus making it run out at the end of the day as opposed to half way through the afternoon). I only have the MacBook Air in case I’m on support duty and need to fix something—I’d prefer to just have the phone.

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What is the best design conference in the midwest?

If you’re looking for a general UX/web design event, the An Event Apart series are excellent—they tour various American cities including Chicago from August 27-29.

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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:—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:

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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:—it’s very popular amongst friends of mine who speak frequently as well.

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What conferences held in the Southeastern US cater to those in dot-com and startup roles?

Here are a few:

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What are some good conference directories or calendars other than Lanyrd?


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What conferences do business leaders attend to learn about digital strategy?

Unfortunately you’ve just missed one—the iStrategy summit in San Francisco was last week:

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