I helped organize a local tech conference called boco last week. Held at the Boulder Public Library with an attendance cap of 175, it wasn't as large as other tech conferences to be sure. However, I think our focus on tech, music and food set us apart from the rest and ensured a variety of subject matter that gave boco a distinctive flava. (Big ups to my towering comrade Andrew Hyde for dreaming it all up and to Ryan Cook for simply existing.)
Here are a few observations that I, um, observed:
Technically, boco stands for "Beyond Our Creative Origins"
From my experience, a similarly good representation would be "Befriending Others Creates Opportunity." I'm a big fan of online social networking. I'll give any network a try (see my foray into Coathangr, which I have been sadly absent from lately). I love seeing people with disparate interests connect over something that had been unknown before - especially in real life. I saw that all over the place at boco, and it warmed all four chambers of my cold, wintry heart.
People love free t-shirts
The lovely lads over at VC Wear provided free apparel (of the t-shirt variety) for all attendees. Furthermore, official boco shirts were handed out at the conclusion of the conference. I have seldom seen so many smiles. It was like that "The Candyman can!" scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - except far less creepy.
Everything can be improved, fortified and strengthened
I'd be the silliest of geese to think that boco was absolutely perfect. I learned barrels of stuff about how conferences are put together, the expectations of attendees, scheduling dynamics and how a bulleted list of offerings equates to ticket price.
We will host boco again next year, and it will be just as amazing as its inaugural outing. If it runs better, if we are slightly more organized, if my hair is a little shinier, if you notice these things at all - then it's a testament to all the great feedback I received.
If you attended, thanks for being there. If you didn't, I hope to see you next year. I'll be the one doing "the electric slide" next to the check-in table.