As I was flying back from the Smashing Conference in New York, I wondered whether it was a success. This wasn’t an original thought. We are always wondering what makes a conference good and what elements will make industry workers stay away.
Good and bad are such subjective terms, though, with almost as many expectations as there are attendees. We decided that just looking at the numbers instead might be a good idea. This article will not present best practices for planning a conference, but rather will look at how it’s actually done most of the time. While this is not a guide to putting together the perfect conference, it gives a good overview of what seems to work and which elements are so unpredictable that they do not serve as reliable guidelines.
Ah, these mysteryriddlesnever stop, do they? To celebrate the launch of the SmashingConf Whistler, our very first conference in Canada, we’ve prepared a yet another riddle, and of course this time it's not going to be any easier!
Tip: Watch out for a hint in one of the frames in each of the GIFs. Large view.
So, how does it work this time? Well, below you'll find the first of a few hidden animated GIFs that contain a secret Twitter hashtag. Your job is to deconstruct that hashtag as fast as possible. To do that, you have to pay attention to the file name and count objects within the GIF (for example, "3 chairs") and search for them on Twitter (i.e. #3chairs).
What happens when you combine a practical front-end conference with a spectacular resort experience? Guess what: that's exactly what we are going to find out with our very first SmashingConf in Canada— taking place on December 9–12th 2014 in a ski resort paradise Whistler, right next to Vancouver! Ah, right — and tickets are now on sale.
At Smashing Conferences, we take good care of the value that the event delivers to attendees. No speaker is selected randomly, no networking activity is an afterthought, and every single talk is thoroughly curated and reviewed. SmashingConf Whistler isn't going to be an exception: with 2 days of heavily practical front-end talks and 7 front-end + RWD workshops, you'll leave the conference with a treasure of useful tips and tricks applicable to your work right away.
We’ve all been there, haven’t we? You find yourself in a coffee shop abroad, sipping cappuccino and chomping a muffin as you realize that your laptop’s battery charge is just about to crush your creative session to dust. Well, perhaps you’ve got your power adapter with you but, of course, it isn’t the right one for foreign power sockets.
So you end up looking around and chatting up with strangers asking for help. Some are more responsive than others, and before you know it, you don’t just have a full battery, but you've made a couple of new, surprisingly interesting acquaintances.
By now, you might actually know how it works. The good ol' Smashing Mysteries: the door that would never open and the rain that would never stop. Well, the Mystery continues! To celebrate the launch of Paul Boag's Digital Adaptation book, we’ve prepared a new riddle, and this time it's a bit different and a bit easier.
How does it work? Below you'll find three animated GIFs that contain a hidden message. Each GIF contains a few scattered letters (all uppercase) that you can use to build words. Once you put the words from all the GIFs together, you will be able to create a sentence. Please notice that no letters should be left unused. Once you've resolved the mystery, please tweet the full sentence using the hashtag #smashing.
Nothing is more frustrating than stubborn management entangled in dated workflows and inefficient processes. That's why we created Digital Adaptation, a new practical book on how to help senior management understand the Web and adapt the business, culture and workflows accordingly. No fluff, no theory — just techniques and strategies that worked in practice, and showed results. Get the book.
The book will help traditional businesses and organizations to overcome their legacy, and help you plant the seeds of change with very little power. If you do want to finally see changes happening, this is the book to grab. Written by Paul Boag. Designed and illustrated by Veerle Pieters. 176 pages. The books are shipping now.
Everybody loves a good riddle, but when you design one, you never know how it will be perceived until you try it out. The new Smashing Mystery Riddle didn’t emerge over night, and after weeks of fine adjustments and many — many — test runs, we prepared some coffee, pressed that shiny "Publish" button and, you know, started waiting for tweets.
And now, exactly two days later, it’s time to reveal the mystery and announce the winners. Oh, you want to figure it out first? Well, then please close this tab since there are (obviously) spoilers in this post. Admittedly, the new riddle turned out a bit harder than the previous one. Again, we didn’t want it to make it easy and we also didn’t want to make it too hard since most people would just drop it at some point. We did want to challenge you to be creative and think hard though, and finding this sweet spot of complexity took time and patience.
SmashingConf NYC 2014 won’t solve all complex problems, but once it’s over you’ll know how to conquer yours. Our new conference in New York has 1 track, 2 conference days, 7 workshops, 18 excellent speakers and just 350 available tickets. With a heavy focus on networking and practical takeaways from real-life projects, you really don’t want to miss out on this one.
Update (29.01.2014): After 22h the conference tickets are now sold out. We only have a few workshop tickets with a conference pass left. If you didn't get your ticket in time, please reserve your spot on the waiting list by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your patience and support! — Ed.
When we organize a conference, we make sure that it provides a lot of value for everybody involved. We don’t care about volatile trends and we don’t believe in overnight success stories. Every success requires hard work and many failures along the way.
There are lessons learned, takeaways, and problems solved, but also many sketches and designs and ideas and prototypes thrown away because they didn’t work. We are interested in how problems are solved—ideas that failed, and why exactly they failed and what decisions were chosen instead.
With so much going on in the industry, there is probably that one topic that you'd love to finally understand but never had time for. Or your company has a problem, and you aren't sure how to address it? Well, we've got your back with a line-up of hands-on full-day workshops in London and Berlin — just for you.
This isn't the final list, though. Even more Smashing full-day workshops are underway — please stay tuned! It would be our great pleasure to personally meet you at one of the workshops. If you, your colleague, boss, relative, neighbor or anyone else has a question, feel free to drop us an email. We aren't going anywhere, you know.