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

UX Poland - looked after personally by conference hosts. Taken to dinner each night and shown the city. All ancillary expenses covered.

Having a volunteer in the room to help with AV, room set up, other issues is awesome. Most conferences have this, so it stands out when this doesn’t happen.

Lone Star PHP is really well organized in general, especially when it comes to transportation. One of the organizers picked me up at the airport and drove me to the hotel, and they chartered a bus for the speaker dinner. They also had a good venue, good hotel, good food, and fun after-parties.

I dislike being told late that slides are 16:9 resolution/ must be CC-licensed, as I write my decks early.

RubyConf AU 2014 offered to pick up all speakers from the airport (or from their homes if they were locals) - something we continued in future years (I was part of the 2015 team).

I run workshops, and give conference folk a list of needed materials. There have been a couple of occasions where things would have fouled up completely without the emergency stash of post-it notes and sharpies I always have with me.