In praise of small conferences

I’m just back from XPDay Manhattan, one of those small conferences that Matt Heusser and I have praised before. This conference was a mix of prepared talks and open space. I think this is an excellent format. It provides material for those who haven’t yet identified a topic they want to discuss, and it also draws in active participation from the attendees. The participation was enthusiastic! Some people traveled a considerable distance to attend.

Coming up very shortly is the Simple Design and Testing Conference. This is an open space conference in York, PA starting Friday evening, November 30, at 5:00 PM and running through Sunday lunch, December 2. Last year’s was my first experience with the open space format. This year, Naresh Jain, the organizer, is asking people to submit a position paper with their registration application. This doesn’t have to be a big thing, and I don’t think anyone will be denied based on the content or position taken. The point of this exercise is to encourage participants to think ahead about the issues that are important to them.  It’s a small price to pay for a free conference. I hope this helps fan the flames of passion for the craft and career that you’ve chosen.

P.S. The slides from my prepared talk are available.

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