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

DockerCon – speakers had private wifi in the speakers’ lounge while preparing and rehearsing for talks.

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.

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.

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.

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

A negative experience was when I was keynote speaker at one event. Wasn’t paid, had to arrange own travel and accommodation at own expense.