So you want to go to Webstock but you need to convince your boss that it’s worthwhile. We’ve put together some reasons that will hopefully help make writing your business case a little easier. Good luck!
Hey Boss person, here’s why you won’t regret sending me to Webstock
1) We (and our organisation) can’t afford to fall behind
The web is ever-changing, and the rate and impact of that change and innovation is faster and greater, far exceeding that of just a few years ago. As smart devices have become mainstream and the public engage with companies and government in new ways, there are huge opportunities, along with huge challenges and risks.
Webstock provides unparalleled opportunities to meet and talk with the people who understand these opportunities and challenges: these are people who are shaping the future of the web and the way it’s used to engage citizens and customers alike.
2) I’ll come back even better at my job
Attendance at Webstock will enable staff to do their work better. They’ll learn new techniques, gain insights and methods from those at the forefront of areas such as front-end security and performance, managing people and information, Lean UX, and digital services within Government.
More than that, they will learn things from fields that some may consider “unrelated”, but which will feed into and deepen their understanding and appreciation of the day-to-day work they, and others in their organisation, do. This can only aid in more successful working relationships and project outcomes.
The Webstock workshops will be an unmatched opportunity to learn in a practical, hands-on manner from some of the best of the best! They’ll give you the latest need-to-know info and can help you validate the current direction of your web projects and avoid common pitfalls along the way.
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.
3) Invest in me! I’m worth it.
Finding good staff is always a challenge. Losing a good staff member to someone else – outrageous! Given the competition for good people, the cost of hiring and training them to replace those who leave more than outweighs the investment in keeping your current staff motivated, happy and inspired. Supporting your staff to attend Webstock sends a message that you support them, and value them and their contribution to your organisation.
4) It’s great value
Webstock brings over 20+ renowned international speakers to New Zealand. To see a similar line up, you’d likely have to go overseas – the cost of which is considerably more than entry to Webstock! The value of Webstock and the knowledge gained, far exceeds its really rather reasonable cost.
5) I’ll report back
Organisations can benefit from those team members who attended Webstock, presenting a “trip report” to those who didn’t. The general model is a short (15 – 20 minute) presentation and a 2-3 page summary with lots of links. These help consolidate the learnings of the conference and give others the highlights and insights to assist them in their work too.
6) Diverse & relevant topics, groundbreaking companies
The diverse and extensive range of expertise and experience of the 20+ speakers, over two days brings an eclectic perspective from the worlds of:
- UX of government
- designing for performance
- front-end security
- the social impacts of large-scale data
- democratising cities
- advocating for a more humane, inclusive and ethical technology industry
- crafting high-quality experiences online and offline
- building scalable websites
- leadership and tools and techniques to support creativity and collaboration
The speakers come from, or have worked at (and in some cases founded) organisations including Etsy, Airbnb, Intel, Slack, Basecamp (formerly 37signals), Microsoft Research, NASA, Facebook, Flickr, Apple, Dropbox, US Digital Service within The White House, and MIT.
Your staff have the opportunity to meet them, ask them questions and hear them speak on what’s most important and most exciting to them right there and then. Not some canned done-it-a-thousand-times-presentation; you get their freshest, latest and greatest thinking on issues that are current, and most relevant to our industry.
7) I’ll come back knowing good people
Let’s face it, it’s not always what you know, it’s who you know. And this works at every level – from being able to ask someone about a tricksy code problem you have, to knowing who to talk to when you’re looking for a development partner, to sharing a coffee with someone who could be commissioning the next website you build, or meeting others who work in similar roles and knowledge sharing.
Conferences are about community and networking. People from all levels of the NZ web industry – public and private sector, large and small – will be attending Webstock.
The connections made at Webstock pay off in a myriad of ways – none of which you’ll benefit from if your staff don’t attend.
8) I’ll come back inspired
Remember why you got into this industry? Remember the last time you were genuinely excited about building websites and applications? Congratulations if you do, but like many of us, you may struggle with the day-to-day grind of any job.
Webstock is an opportunity to rediscover your inspiration and to take time thinking about the big picture. And if, the mandate within your organisation is “do more with less“, feeling inspired, up-to-date, and genuinely excited by the work you’re doing is essential for successful outcomes.
Webstock’s not a holiday – you’ll be challenged and stimulated at every step – but the positive effect on you may be the same.
9) Because Webstock is a bit different
We strive to give you an exceptional experience, from the speakers to the programme to the schwag and food – so that you’ll have the best experience you can. It’s a chance to recharge, and to be inspired and excited. If you’re feeling good; if you’re feeling engaged, then your brain will respond – you’ll soak up the knowledge being presented to you like a sponge. You’ll be amongst others who care about the same things you care about. And you’ll be appreciated and valued by the organisers for your support.
10) Because these good people say it’s worth it (and they know about things)
Philip Fierlinger, former Director of Design, Xero
Webstock is easily one of the best design and tech conferences in the world. We’re extraordinarily lucky it happens in our home town.
Ostensibly, the main draw card is the amazing variety of super talented speakers who generously share insights across an impressively wide range of highly relevant subjects. The speakers are carefully curated, with a great mix of high profile names and influencers, along with a bevy of obscure names. And it’s the obscure ones who usually end up being the most interesting and compelling.
It would be nothing without the wonderful camaraderie of all the industry peers who attend. It’s a networking event, for sure, but unlike most networking events it’s really relaxed, pleasant and overflowing with super talented, super friendly people.
The conference experience itself is incredibly well choreographed, so you get a real opportunity to connect with everyone, in a great atmosphere that’s all at once relaxing, stimulating and inspiring.
As a sponsor, it’s a great way to support an important and influential event for our industry. It’s a way for our team to connect with local and international peers. Which also serves to showcase our people and our brand, for both promotional and recruitment purposes.
Ultimately, it’s a way to participate in a high calibre conversation about the future of our industry (and by extension our society) and how we’re going to collectively make the world awesomer.
Simon Young, Trade Me
Webstock is a genuinely amazing event that takes pride of place on the Trade Me calendar. We’ve been attendees, sponsors and crazy fans for years. We send people from all across the business for a variety of reasons: it’s certainly a great source of professional development and an opportunity for some crazy good networking, but there’s something more esoteric about it as well. There’s a vibe that goes with Webstock and a palpable buzz that it creates within the attendees for months afterwards. It’s an opportunity to learn from the best in the business but we also think of it as a mental sorbet – a palate cleanser that gives our teams a better taste for how to do what they do, and challenges them to think about things differently and with a new perspective.
Squirrelled away in our little corner of the world, it can sometime seem that we’re out on a limb and operating in a vacuum. Webstock gives us the chance to come together as a community and to welcome and learn from global pioneers in our craft. It also gives us a chance to impart them with a little of our Kiwi goodness, making them just that little bit more awesome. It’s also a bloody well-run gig, championed by legitimately lovely people who really, really give a damn about it being a great experience.
Luke Pierson, Founder, Heyday
Webstock is an exceptionally well run event that combines world-renowned speakers with great atmosphere and a unique digital focus. A comprehensive, concentrated dose of digital for anyone with a professional interest in the internet.
It’s a chance to hear first hand from globally recognised experts, and an obvious opportunity to help our team grow professionally. Professional growth means a happy, interested team – and a happy, interested team will always deliver better work to our clients.
Rob Holmes, former Head of Online, New Zealand Post
Each year I start looking forward to the next Webstock before the current one has even finished. My expectations have been set extremely high – and I’ve never been disappointed. It is hands-down the best conference I’ve had the privilege to attend anywhere in the world.
You need to go – and you need encourage the people around you to go too. Your eyes will be opened. Your thinking will be challenged. You’ll be surrounded by fantastic, positive, creative people – and you’ll hear first-hand the latest from the greatest. There’s enough inspiration in two Webstock days to last all year. Get amongst it.
Sonja Barneveld, Project Manager, Fujitsu NZ
Webstock is New Zealand’s largest web focused conference . It provides a unique opportunity for over 800+ web professionals in the client and vendor space to share the experience of hearing an eclectic blend of international speakers who are innovators and leaders in their fields. Presenters typically cover online user experience, accessibility, design, development, project management, emerging technologies and ethical information usage. There is always an element of reflecting on the topical including security, performance and marketing solutions.
As well as learning about the topics themselves the conference provides a common ground when working with clients and partner vendors as it provides a shared context for solution discussions. Given the majority of my client work is in the online application space the advantages of attending Webstock are invaluable. One project had significant improvements made in the final delivery from my encouraging the development team to apply some of the design and usability thinking that came from Webstock 2013. Presentations from 2012, 2013 and 2014 were critical in helping meet client project objectives – particularly as both clients and partner vendors also attended.
In the year following Webstock I will usually share a link to a recorded session on average of once a month to support another project manager in an aspect of online project management or dealing with a particular application challenge. The last two years I have done a “key learnings” session for the PM’s. Innovative approaches presented at Webstock are regularly referenced as options in development meetings with developers (some of whom also attend) partner vendors and clients, and it enables me stay current and to maintain credibility in the areas of mobile applications, user experience and accessibility when ensuring high quality project deliverables.
Matthew Oliver, Web Team Manager, Ministry of Culture and Heritage
Webstock is one of the best chances to hear about where web culture is going. It’s broad and diverse, and the speakers are incredible. What’s not to like? It’s a chance to sit back and think about what we’re doing – the opportunity of the web as well as the incredible responsibility we have to use to wisely and with a critical eye.
I often refer to Webstock as my “bus man’s holiday” when people ask me why on Earth I would spend my own cash on a “work related” conference. Let me tell you – I keep Webstock for myself. It is mine. It is my precious. It is by far the most important thing I do for myself all year. There is no way I want to be “on the clock” during that time with the risk that work might call and derail my conference experience.
Webstock fills my whole mind with thoughts and ideas; it connects me with interesting and influential people; it helps me connect dots I didn’t even know existed. It keeps me ahead of the game more than any other industry activity and it recharges me for the entire year ahead.
Where else on Earth could you go to an small workshop by Merlin Mann and have Marco Arment (Instapaper), Doug Bowman (Twitter), John Gruber (Daring Fireball), and Mark Pilgrim (Google) just come to hang out and join in the conversation?
Where else would one of the speakers pull out a guitar and perform a Blue Grass set with a group of attendees while judges deliberate over the winner of Start Up Alley?
How often does conference crowds demand a talk go over time and into afternoon tea slot because it’s so riveting and interesting as it did with Adam Greenfield’s talk about smart cities?
Have you ever seen a speaker throw down their notes, stomp the ground, and bust out a piano accordion with the entire venue on its feet in solidarity?
How many times have you cried at a web conference talk like we did with Wilson Miner or Merlin Mann?
Webstock exceeds my expectations every year and is well worth every penny: you will learn new things; you will meet extraordinary people; you will hear amazing/funny/touching/applicable tales – but also, there will be special magical moments that happen nowhere else.
Josh Kinal, Floate Design Partners
I come to hear experts speak about things I usually don’t encounter in my day-to-day work. Hearing and seeing how other people have solved design and communication problems, or listening to them philosophise about life using the web, helps me develop my own sense of the changes I can make in my workplace and for my clients. Also there’s the ice cream and the making wonderful friends.
Webstock is a community. *My* community. It’s where you find the people who care deeply about the web and want to make it better. For me, this means I learn new things and new ways of looking at problems. For my boss it means I’m better at my job because I’ve learned those things. Though they might use words like “best practices” and “networking” and “knowledge sharing”.
Beyond that, it’s also a place of joy and energy. Two days of Webstock is a more effective recharge than two weeks’ holiday. You come back to work fired up to make a difference.
You’ll make awesome connections, you’ll hear from smart people pushing the boundaries of the web, and you’ll go back to work excited.
So whether you come from the education, government or the corporate environment, if you work with any aspect of web design, development, UX, content strategy, content-editing or project management, this event is just what the doctor ordered. Webstock will be intense, it will be fun, it will inspire you and you should register now!