Bad organization and organizers, great people.
Codemotion Madrid 2013 has been my first conference as a speaker, so I had a lot of expectations from this experience. In addition, since the talk I proposed had to be given in English and in a foreign country, I was quietly excited to live this experience in depth. Unfortunately for me, many of the expectations have been disappointed. You know,
expectation is the root of all disappointment.
Codemotion Madrid 2013 seemed to me the right place to advertise a bit my first book Instant jQuery Selectors, giving away some copies for free. So, I sent an email to Laura Vignali, the event manager, asking her
if the organizers planned a giveaway for the attendees of the event so I could add my book as one of the prizes. She replied
We won’t organize giveaways, only a small contest but we already have the prizes and added
You can make your own giveaway if you want. Therefore, I thought it would have been nice to create such a giveaway asking her if
it would be possible to tweet about the giveaway posted on my website. The last email I received asserted
We can retweet if you announce that you’re doing a giveaway. Just send me and e-mail when your tweet is online.
Guess what! The tweet has never been published and the giveaway was never mentioned at the conference. Besides, once the first day of the conference I saw that the announce wasn’t published yet, I dropped her an email asking for updates. I’m still waiting the reply (nor an apologize email for the missed announce has arrived so far).
Few days before the conference, I received from Chiara Russo, the co-founder of the event, the invite to the speakers dinner. Of course, I accepted because it was an amazing occasion to meet other speakers and discuss with them about technologies and not only. Since that day I haven’t received another email, so I was a little bit worried something happened. Because the place where the meeting had been arranged was quite far from my hotel, on the same day the dinner had been scheduled, I sent an email asking for confirmation. In this case too, I haven’t received an answer.
Organizers have not announced conference speakers via social media. Neither me or others have never been mentioned in a single tweet before the event. During the conference, only the live streamed conference had a single mention. Not too much considering that a tweet, or a post on Facebook, is completely free.
If you organize a conference you have to take care of your speakers, because they are what will make the difference between a great event or an “emh” one. At least this is my take on this matter (but it seems I’m not the only one ).
As soon as I arrived at the conference at day 1, I understood that it won’t be the case. I didn’t expect extraordinary acts, just to be accommodated in a decent way considering that I travelled for 1500Km to be there. Something like “How was the trip?”, “Do you need anything or is there any way we can help you?”, “Thank you for helping us in delivering a great conference” would have been enough. Nothing else. The only moment where I had some attentions was just before my talk and soon after. On this regard, I want to thank you the guy who was very gentle with me offering all the help I needed. Unfortunately I can’t remember his name but he was a volunteer who was a native of Venezuela (if you’ll ever read this article, send me an email with your name and I’ll update it!).
As the conference went through, I also discovered another interesting point. It seems that there was a kind of subdivision among speakers, not real and deliberate, but in the fact. Some have been live streamed (I knew this because they announced it via twitter), some had the photographer, and some nothing. If you’re wondering what League I was in, it’s C. What really surprised me was that apart for the live stream, all the other talks were not even recorded. I expected so because they sent a recording authorization to everyone, including me, that I signed.
This is the only good point I’ll remember from my experience as a speaker. I was located in a room with 150 sits and there were about 130 people in the room; more than I expected. During my talk only a couple of people decided to left the room, so I’m quite confident the topic was interesting and the presentation was good and entertaining. I was very happy because I felt people were focused on what I was saying. In addition, I received several compliments from people who attended my talk, both personally and via Twitter, as shown below.
— Rodrigo Ludgero (@rodrigoludgero) October 19, 2013
— David Rey (@dreyacosta) October 19, 2013
— Jose Villalobos (@josevillalobos) October 19, 2013
In case you’re interested in my presentation, you can find the slides on SpeakerDeck.
My experience as an attendee has been quite good but what I’ll really remember for the rest of my life is the people I met there.
My experience as an attendee has been limited because most of the talks were in Spanish, so I didn’t follow many of them. Another important reason is that Codemotion is an event open to all the languages, so I hadn’t interest in some of them. Nonetheless, I had the pleasure to assist to some good talks and, for your information, I want to highlight the best of them:
- Media APIs for the multi-platform Web by Sam Dutton
- What’s wrong with php? by Ole Michaelis
- Implementing responsive web apps with HTML5 and CSS3 by Marco Casario
- Experimenting with WebRCT by Sandro Paganotti
The best point in my experience has been the people I met. During the conference I had the pleasure to meet and talk with other speakers, like Sam Dutton, Marco Casario and Sandro Paganotti, and attendees. In particular, a group of Spanish guys (shown in the picture below), allowed me to feel like home and for this I’m very grateful. They stayed with me for most part of the day 2 of the conference, attended my talk and invited me to get out with them. They have been very gentle with me as if we were friends from a long time. I had also the chance to have great chats with them and if I had great days in Madrid was because of them. I owe you guys!
My experience as a Codemotion Madrid 2013 speaker hasn’t been good and it’s a shame because having paid for everything and having made more than 1500Km, I expected at least a sufficient accommodation or care of my (eventual) needs. I don’t know if other people had a better experience, but honestly I hope so.
As an attendee I had the pleasure to meet good developers, to discuss about technologies and to meet great people who allowed me to feel like home. Thank you again guys!