Maybe Marco’s on to something. Maybe the era of conferences like Webstock is coming to close.
We can tell you this, though – Webstock 2018, our 12th edition, is the end of something for us. In a few months, the St James theatre – home to Webstock – will be out of action while it receives earthquake strengthening treatment. We don’t know how long it will be closed for – a year at least – but if you’ve ever watched Grand Designs then you’ll know most projects run over some. Considering our previous home, the Town Hall, was meant to have taken two years to complete, and now some seven years on, it’s still uninhabitable, we just can’t be certain!
So this will be the last Webstock at the St James. For now, or forever, we don’t know. The space in which we hold our event – how it flows, how it feels, where it’s located – is paramount to the experience we’re trying to create. The experience is everything! This has always, always been a guiding principle for us. And it means, given the absence of suitable venues here, that this Webstock may be the last in Wellington. Or indeed anywhere.
So, while we feel a great sadness at the thought of something we love coming to an end, we do feel it’s a time to celebrate everything we’ve had the chance to do, and see, and hear, and those we’ve had the chance to meet. We want to celebrate the shared experience that being together with a group of peers and friends and strangers can bring. And we want to celebrate the opportunity to learn from, and be delighted and excited and empowered by this group of people.
While we don’t know right now what next year will bring, we do know that this Webstock is one you shouldn’t miss out on. We’ve 22 speakers, leaders in their fields all of them, talking on a variety of need-to-know topics – everything from AI and algorithms to accessibility, information architecture to inclusive content, performance to privacy, design systems to data collection to digital transformation. We’ve three excellent new speakers*. Webstock ‘18 will be a feast of ideas, illumination and practical application to help us do our best, most impactful work. It’ll be an event to leave us feeling greater optimism for the future and how we can contribute in a meaningful way.
We’d love to see you there. Why not register now.
*They are Haley van Dyck, co-founder of the US Digital Service; Phillip Hunter, Head of UX for Alexa Skills at Amazon, and Dr Nishant Shah, co-founder of the Centre for Internet & Society in India, Dean of Graduate School at ArtEZ University of the Arts, The Netherlands and a Visiting Professor at Leuphana University, Germany.