Event #1: Sheffield

So last night was our first of these Speak the Web events at the Showroom Workstation in Sheffield.  All of a sudden this idea we had became real!  Our man on the ground Jag (through the GIST Foundation) did a great job of sorting out the venue for us, as did the staff there.

Seeing attendees arriving was a great sight..almost like this was a real conference or something.  With the technical details more or less sorted, we had a room full of really interesting people and I’d guess both Rich and I and the audience didn’t know what to expect!

The Cahoona boys did us proud starting off the night sharing their experiences with getting their agency going some of the things they’d learned along the way, both good and bad.  Jon & Ben held the stage well and worked great double-teaming their talk and entertaining the crowd before them.  The term ‘can you make it shitter’ will no doubt stay with us all for a while…as will the tales of the Manchester Egg ;)

In between the speakers, we gave away some prizes kindly donated by our sponsors For a Beautiful Web & Melbourne IT as well as supporters No Starch and O’Reilly.  As people registered, we’d given them raffle tickets, so the bit of suspense as we called out the numbers was good fun.

Bruce Lawson was on great form despite coming down with his daughter’s cold.  HTML5 demoed by a man that knows is a great experience.  He never preached but showed the possibilities of what this long overdue upgrade to the language might bring and the hurdles we have to deal with to get there.

After a short break, Brendan Dawes took to the stage to talk about Cushions.  There was some great use of metaphors, a rallying cry for more females in tech and mind-expanding examples of what design can and should be in many interpretations of the word.  His delivery was a great as ever and inspiring.

We would love to hear your feedback about the speakers, venue, pricing and anything else you care to mention. We appreciate that a few of you would have liked some more seating. Sorry about that, we didn’t want the event to be too formal which you tend to get when you’ve got rows of chairs. We figured that you’d likely be stood for several hours at a gig and expected it to work in a similar way. It’s something we’ll look at for future events.

Hopefully the attendees our guests, enjoyed this first event.  We certainly enjoyed the variety of the subject matter and we’re really grateful for all of the guys giving up their time to talk to us all!

Rich & I are doing these as a not-for-profit – we’re actually not paying ourselves for doing these.  We want to show that we in the North can make things happen, there’s the demand and there’s some incredibly talented people we can get to speak at events like these.  We can only do these for this low cost because of the sponsors and the fact that we wanted to try something different and to make something happen …

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4 Responses to “Event #1: Sheffield”

  1. Sounds like a great start. Looking forward to Liverpool next Monday :)

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by speaktheweb: Quick write-up of the first #speaktheweb in Sheffield yesterday: http://speaktheweb.org/news/event-1-sheffield/...

  3. [...] Speak the Web peeps have put up a better round-up on their page. I’m off to the event they’re running in Leeds [...]

  4. Mark says:

    Sounds like a great evening.

    I’m going to the Liverpool gig tomorrow. Really looking forward to it.