Christian Heilmann

Coldfrontconf is one to watch

Friday, September 5th, 2014 at 12:40 pm

I’ve said it before and I stick by it: conferences stand and fall with the enthusiasm of the organisers. And it is a joy for someone like me who does spend a lot of time at conferences to see a new one be a massive success from the get-go.

Yesterday was the Coldfront conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. A one day conference organised by Kenneth Auchenberg, @Danielovich (and of course a well-chosen team of people). It was very rewarding to work with him to give the closing keynote of the inaugural edition of this event.

The slides of my closing keynotes are available on Slideshare.

And, amazingly enough, the video is out, too:

Chris alt Coldfrontconf
(Notice the fan behind me giving me that wind-swept look that so fitted my physical state going directly from the plane to the venue)

I am sad that because of other commitments I had to miss the first talks, but here are my main impressions of the event:

  • I love the pragmatism of it – one track, good break times, a very simple and straight-forward web site and no push to “download the app of this event”.
  • The location – a program cinema – had great seating, working WiFi (with a few hickups but the hotel next door also had available WiFi that worked in the first rows) and very adequate facilities.
  • The projector and audio set up was great and the switch from speaker to speaker worked flawlessly.
  • All talks were streamed on the web
  • Even a last minute speaker cancellation didn’t quite disturb the event (thanks for the reminder Steen H. Rasmussen)
  • Instead of keeping people perched up inside, the breaks had coffee available for self-service and the food and branded ice cream was served outside the building in the street. This was also the spot for the beers and cupcakes after the event and the final venue was just down the road.
  • The after party was in a beer place that has over 40 beers on tab and the open bar lasted well till after midnight. Nobody got blindly drunk or misbehaved – it actually felt more like a beer tasting experience than a drink-up. There was a lot of seating and no loud music to discourage or hinder communication after party
  • All the videos of the talks were already available on the day or the day after. I managed to see myself whilst my head was still hurting from the party (and my lack of sleep) the night before.
  • Elisabeth Irgens did a great job doing live sketch notes of each talk and uploading them immediately to Twitter.
  • The audience was very well behaved and it was a very inviting and inspiring environment to share information in. Good mix of people with various backgrounds.
  • Whilst there was a bit of sponsorship being shown on the big screen and there were sponsor booths in the foyer all of it was very low-key and appeared utterly in context. No sales weasels or booth babes there. The sponsors sent their geeks to talk to geeks.
  • I felt very well looked after – the organisers paid my flights and hotel and the communication with the speakers as to where to be when was only a handful of emails. Things just fell in place and there was no hesitance to make sure everybody gets there in time.
  • It is very worth while to watch the recordings of the talk. All of them were very high quality. Personally, I was most impressed with Guillermo Rauch“’s How to build the modern, optimistic and reactive user interface, we all want.

All in all, this was a conference that was as pragmatic and spot-on as Kenneth is when you talk to him. It felt very good and I was very much reminded of the first Fronteers event. This is one to watch, let’s see what happens next.

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