Organizing & Speaking at Tech Conferences

About this site

I’m Rachel Andrew - a web developer, author and frequent speaker. I presented at ConfConf - a conference for conference organizers - in May 2016. I was asked to talk about what speakers needed to help them have a great conference and be their best at the event. As I didn’t want the talk to be all about what I personally like, I opened up a survey.

The results of that survey were enlightening to me as well as for the conference organizers who heard that talk. I felt that the things people had shared deserved a wider audience than the people at that conference so the bulk of the content on this site is quotes taken from that survey. I’ve edited only to anonymize comments, and have chosen to only “name names” when the story is a positive one - giving credit where it is due.

Speakers Said

I spoke at a conference in Moscow, and was told that transport from the airport had been organised , but the organisers took too long to reply, I spent 2 hours in the airport with other speakers trying to figure out what we were supposed to do.

Andy McMillan’s brass bolt left on my hotel room bed for Build always stands out. It was a really lovely gift and made me feel really valued as a speaker.

Whether I ask for a fee depends on where I’m speaking and why. If it’s a for-profit conference I will expect all expenses + a fee — always. If it’s a community event I’m much more willing to pitch in for free. It depends.

If an event has been run before, the imagery of previous events is important to me. If it looks like a sea of white dudes then I don’t want to go and be uncomfortable as a lone woman.

It’s great when an event offers a +1 ticket for a friend, so I can give it to a friend who wouldn’t otherwise see the event.

If the previous lineup is all-men, I probably won’t apply. It’s not a great environment to be in. However, I would consider speaking if invited to that event.