After several months of mild stress, occasional panic and large doses of doubt #bebettr is now done and dusted.
So how did it go? Well all in all I think it was a (qualified) success. On the down side I think the format was wrong – it needed to be more collaborative and less traditional but that is hard unless you have alot of time to plan and some of the kind of real facilitation and planning skills – I’m not that guy. Also I probably needed a couple of more radical speakers to offer some edge cases to fire people up.
Logistically the venue was lovely but I wouldn’t use it again – somewhere a little smaller with better connectivity would be a must at any subsequent events I feel.
Most importantly it is too hard without sponsorship to do an event this size (unless you charge quite a bit more for tickets). I’d have liked to have offered tea and coffee at a minimum but that just wasn’t possible this time.
Now to the positives. I thought the speakers did a great job – not all of them were to everyones taste but they were all passionate and engaging. I don’t want to single any individuals out but I’d like thank them all – I massively appreciated the effort and time that they gave freely and cheerfully.
75 laid back, engaged and clever people came along despite the rain, the slightly obscure location and the lack of caffeine! It was a turn out that really made me think it was worthwhile despite the occasional dark moments. Conversations were had, connections were made and despite the lack of connectivity the Twitter stream was pretty active.
It was a different crowd than maybe I expected but that was good and it shows there is an audience for something like this.
Kevin acting as the MC/host seemed to work well – allowed me to hide in the reception for much of the day (I famously find the day of events I’ve organised painful – I spend the day waiting for a disaster and it takes a while for me to uncoil!).
If I was to do it again (which I won’t!) I think I’d try to align it more closely with the Learning Without Frontiers event – maybe the day after that and nearer to that venue and I would also work harder to get Mozilla Drumbeat and the Learning, Freedom and the Web element involved.
Anyway that is it. Thanks again to the speakers, attendees and everyone who has been bored senseless by my constant online whining about things.