Bye to #bebettr

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.



  1. I thought it was a good day on the whole. Well done Matt. I also really enjoyed it. Having events like this is essential. I am impressed you took it on as a 1 person thing – and you pulled it off. Some great things will happen as a result of the networking, which is never easy to quantify. So, again, well done. And a massive Thank You.

  2. Well done Matt! You pulled off a great event while not having much time to organise it. I really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere. Do try to keep that for the next one.

  3. Hi Matt,

    It was a really good event. I’m just sorry I missed the afternoon sessions.

    I think you’re right about the hall. It was a bit too big and impersonal. I would have also liked a little less presentation and more time for conversation. But that’s just what I’m banging on about at the moment. 😉

    The Collaborate for Change event on the Thursday night was a brilliant example of how to get over a hundred people talking about stuff. There were a couple of really short presentations, and then lots of table-top conversations, led by people who wanted to talk about a range of pre-published topics.

    Thanks again for organising this. It was good to see people there that I’d never have come across otherwise.


  4. Hi Matt – great event… sorry to only make it to the afternoon but that’s fgw for you.

    I think the format was pretty well spot on, to be honest. Really refreshing just to have interesting provocative people speaking rather than constantly being asked for my rubbish opinions!

    Have blogged a bit about the event, Anna’s presentation and then went off one one.

  5. Enjoyed your blogpost mate – entirely agreed with it. It reminded me of the (only) useful bit of advice my old man ever gave me – “It doesn’t matter what you study at uni – it is about learning to learn..”

    Despite my pushing of the ‘amplified’ conference stuff over the years I do think there is a place for the lo-fi and less wired event – just not sure I quite cracked it on this one. Going to write up what my ‘dream’ version of the event might have been..

  6. Thanks Suzanne – I am not sure you should be impressed by stupidity mixed with stubborness! Glad you enjoyed it and made some interested contacts – that was the plan..

  7. Sorry for the late posting – I’m still mulling over the day and looking up links etc It was brilliant, I thought, with good speakers and interesting people to talk to – yes, could have been more built in group stuff, but maybe it made you more keen on finding someone to blether to in the breaks. Also it’s what happens after – the inspiration that a day like that gives you. Organising events is entirely stressful and thankless – but thanks – it was great.

  8. Hey Matt,
    I thought the day was fantastic, however I agree it was a little too structured. I didn’t get a chance to speak to as many people as I had hoped and although I have connected with quite a few attendees, it would be great if anyone else who was there that day adds me on their linked in.. simonwalsh72

    I would be happy to help out on any future event! Just let me know.

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