Shropgeek Rebellion #6 Featuring… ME! (and other more awesome people)

I rarely step up to actually speak at Shropgeek events, simply because there are always so many awesome people I could ask, why should I fill a spot?

But, I’m also always trying to encourage people to use these events as a “safe space”, perfect for anyone new to public speaking or wanting a practice run of their talk in front of a friendly audience.

So, with A Responsive Day Out only a month after, I thought it was time I put my money where my mouth is and do a practice run of the talk I’m preparing for that. This will be the first run through so likely to be very rough around the edges but I would really appreciate feedback on it.

As well as me, there will also be the VERY [awesome]awesome[/awesome] Ashley Nolan and Tim Millwood providing 30 minute talks and Shropgeek Regulars, Pete White and Rob May doing 5 minute lightning talks. It is set to be a most excellent evening!

Full details can be found on the Shropgeek website. Hopefully see you all there! 🙂

Introducing the 2014 (R)Evolution

If you have been following me or Shropgeek over the last year, there is no way you could have missed the fact that we held our first ever full day web conference, right here in the picturesque town of Shrewsbury, on September 26th 2013.

There is also no way you could have missed that it went fantastically well (If its possible, I think I did actually over use the word [awesome]awesome[/awesome] when describing it! ~ grin!). It went so well in fact, that we are doing it all over again this year and I can now announce the lineup and the launch of our shiny new website! Woohoo!

Here is the lowdown:

  • Its on Friday September 26th 2014 – So save the date
  • It will be held at The Shropshire Conference Centre again as the venue was [awesome]awesome[/awesome] last year!
  • The lineup is once again [awesome]awesome[/awesome].
  • There is a limited number of early bird tickets available at £69
  • And our shiny new website can be found at: Go check it out!

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Martin Wright for designing the new site for us again this year. I’m sure you will all agree that he did an amazing job again. And also Stina Jones for the illustrations and icons that are fast becoming a staple of the entire Shropgeek brand!.

Shropgeek (R)Evolution 2014 Lineup

This years lineup

Starting a (R)EVOLUTION

Along the way there were some harsh lessons learnt and I couldn’t have done this at all without the help of PeteZach and also quite a few of the Shropgeek regulars.

There are things I will definitely want to do differently next year, but now that the dust has settled I can look back and say…

“Wow! that was soooo awesome!” ~ grin!

Every conference is only as good as its speakers though. After all, content is king. I don’t want to turn this into a gushing “oscars-like” thank you post, but I do really want to say thank you again to Chris, Dafydd, Rob, Laura, James, Snook, Joel and Elliot for coming along and inspiring us all.

Organising this conference put me in a very privileged position. I was the one that got to choose who the speakers would be. I asked, expected each of them to say no, was really excited when they all said yes and then got to watch the hype grow as the lineup was announced.

It was a bit like being a kid in sweet shop, everyone I approached to be in the lineup was either someone whose work I have always admired, I have always wanted to see speak or I have seen before and really wanted to see again. And, as the excitement around the conference grew, we all realised that we were doing something really very special and unique for Shropshire.

Laura Kalbag delivering her talk

Laura Kalbag delivering her talk

Each of the speakers did an absolutely fantastic job on the day. They delivered informative and often funny presentations about a diverse range of topics. They were also the ultimate professionals when it came to their timings (something that often isn’t thought about until things run over schedule).

The feedback since has been utterly amazing. Everyone seemed to have a great time and enjoyed each of the talks as much as I did.

I think what I am most chuffed about though is the comments about how friendly the conference was and the welcoming, community vibe the whole day had. That is in no part down to me.

That is what Shropgeek is. It is a community of geeky people in Shropshire. Many of them were helping on the day and many more were in attendance. The fact that so many people who had travelled to Shrewsbury picked up on that is so many kinds of awesome.

Adam, Jamie and Zach - all Involved in Shropgeek from early on

Adam, Jamie and Zach – all an active part of the Shropgeek community

And then of course, there was the after party… I don’t think I need to say too much about that, I think this tweet sums up how much fun everyone had:

and cemented Shropgeek’s place in the conference after party “hall of fame” (I really hope this actually exists).

And if you don’t want to take my word for it here are some of blog posts, radio coverage and podcasts about the conference that I am aware of.

Overall, the whole (R)Evolution experience was so much fun, and one we definitely plan to do again next year!

Thank you again to everybody that helped in some way to make this such a huge success. 🙂

Zach, myself and Pete - The organisers of this years conference

Zach, myself and Pete – The organisers of this years conference