Convince your boss
Let’s face it, some conferences suck. There's little value for money; they take you out of the office for a day or more when you’ve got work to do; the presentations are like canned sales pitches, poorly communicated and/or irrelevant; and the other folks attending are disinterested and distracted, making real networking opportunities difficult.
Your boss may have been to conferences like this.
Webstock is different.
Ask those who’ve attended Webstock in previous years and you’ll find that they’ve returned to their workplaces more energised, more knowledgeable and more connected.
In order to help you get sign off from the powers that be, here’s 6 reasons to tell your boss why you should attend Webstock ‘12.
1. You'll be even better at your job
Involved in the trenches of web and mobile design and development? Get the inside thinking at workshops from folks like:
- Jennifer Brook (Interaction designer of New York Times’ web, mobile, and tablet products)
- Ethan Marcotte (author of Responsive Web Design, co-author of Jeffrey Zeldman's Designing With Web Standards (3rd Edition), and a contributing writer to Dan Cederholm's Handcrafted CSS)
- Jeremy Keith (veteran web dev; author of DOM Scripting; Bulletproof Ajax and HTML5 for web designers)
Anyone on the team will benefit from time thinking about the user experience: it ain’t just for the nominated UX guru. Dana Chisnell, Kathy Sierra and Jared Spool are like the holy trinity of user & customer experience. Honestly — there are not three better or more respected people you could learn from.
Still having trouble convincing your client about the need for a content strategy? Erin Kissane (author of The Elements of Content Strategy; former editor of A List Apart magazine and editorial director at web agency Happy Cog Studios in New York) will give the ammunition you need.
You’ve spent ages working on your online presence, and the organisation has made a large financial investment in it over the years. So is it worth it? Could you confidently explain using hard data why they should continue to pay you? Google Analytics is extraordinarily powerful and generally under-utilised. Get the lowdown from someone that even THE Analytics guru, Avinash, asks advice from. Nick Mihailovski (Senior Developer Programs Engineer at Google, overseeing Developer Relations for Google Analytics) is the best guide there is for Google Analytics — whether you're a beginner or advanced user.
Apparently most people are more afraid of public speaking than dying(!) While we may not be able to fix that in one day, you’ll get a competitive edge in being able to present well. Garr Reynolds, author of the internationally best-selling books, Presentation Zen, Presentation Zen Design, and The Naked Presenter, is one of the world's leading teachers of presentation skills.
2. You can't afford to fall behind
The web is ever changing, but right now, it's changing faster than for many years. HTML5, CSS3, content strategy, building for mobile and tablet and responsive web design — these are not topics that were talked widely about even 2 years ago. Today, if you're not starting to incorporate them into everyday practice or your path forward, you're at risk from falling into terrible technical debt. By going to Webstock, you’ll bring potentially vital knowledge back to your organisation and help share an understanding of what’s around the corner and its implications.
Webstock provides unparalleled opportunities to meet and talk with the people who are shaping the future of the web. Right here in little old NZ.
3. Webstock is wonderful value for money
Webstock brings over 20 of the best international speakers from around the web world to New Zealand; each speaker an expert, highly renowned and respected, in their field. Few conferences anywhere in the world get a speaking lineup of this quality.
Webstock’s intimate nature means you’ll get to meet and chat with these luminaries; you’ll get to ask them questions and hear them speak on what's most important and exciting to them right now. These are not canned done-it-a-thousand-times-presentations; you get the freshest, latest and greatest thinking from those who are actively shaping the web; who’re creatings sites and apps and tools for its development, and who’re thinking about the web’s future.
Sure, you could attend similar events in the US or the UK to see some of these folks, but by keeping it local you have no overseas hotels, insurance, expensive flights, nor do you have consider the exchange rate.
Webstock offers a greater access to a greater number of kickass keynote speakers than any other conference in New Zealand, and few other conferences worldwide. That's value. That's worthwhile.
4. Dear Boss, if you think I’m good — send me to Webstock (it will help retain good staff)
Fact: the cost of hiring and training new people to replace those who leave more than outweighs the investment in keeping them motivated, happy and inspired.
Fact: if you want the best out of your staff, you need to invest in them and the further development of their skills and knowledge.
Fact: supporting your staff to attend Webstock sends a message that you value them, and their contribution to your organisation.
5. Let’s start the year the right way
Timed in those lovely final weeks of summer as everyone settles back into the work year, attendees will return to work inspired and genuinely excited about building websites and applications. While there is plenty of immediately practical knowledge, Webstock is also an opportunity to the take time think more strategically about the big picture.
6. Webstock brings the best in the world to NZ, and the best in NZ together
Working in a silo is rarely a good thing. While we’re interacting on the web all the time, there’s no substitute for face to face human interaction outside of what can become the echo chamber of our own organisations and peers.
Many of the most valuable moments at Webstock don't happen on the stage. They come from experiences like that deep discussion with a fellow Webstocker of the morning's sessions over lunch. Or during the second drink at the after-party when a speaker explains precisely what you need to know.
Seeing incredible talks is a huge part of Webstock, but so much of its value comes from engaging with other attendees and sharing their experiences.