Its now been just over a week since the first ever CommCon finished and boy was it everything I ever wanted it to be. I ran CommCon because I believed there was space for a new kind of conference in the RTC world, especially in the UK where we had no conferences in this arena. CommCon was a complete gamble; a conference with one price that included accommodation, food, activities and the conference content itself. People thought I was bonkers; they were probably right but at the end of it all, I’m so glad I took the risk.
CommCon was organised by the community for the community and it always will be. Ever since I started taking the idea seriously, I said to myself that I didn’t want to make a profit from the event. As soon as you make a profit it becomes a job, a means to an income. I already have a job that I love and Nimble Ape (my business) does very well by working for businesses in this community — so why would I want to make CommCon a profit making business too? CommCon will always be run by the community for the community and will always aim to cover costs and make enough money so that a deposit can be put down on a venue for the following year. This year the conference made a loss and that’s OK. Hopefully if I run CommCon again next year I’ll hit the targets that I missed this year. Why am I telling you about financials? Conferences don’t just run themselves and I hope now that just short of 100 attendees and speakers had an amazing time at CommCon more of you will come and join us next time and more businesses who build their companies around this industry will sponsor what turned out to be an absolutely brilliant event. CommCon could not have happened without the sponsors who decided to back my crazy idea this year; and it’ll be the same next time.
I sent round a post conference survey last week which has had over a 40% response rate — in my book that’s absolutely amazing. Reading the responses as they filtered in, as well as what attendees told me during the event and comments on social media made the whole thing worthwhile. Reading feedback like “It was the best conference I ever attended” and “CommCon is everything a conference should be” are inspiring and make the past year completely worthwhile.
Of course there are always things to improve; the most notable were some AV issues with some recordings as well as microphone interference in one of the tracks at certain times. There are always things AV teams can do better and will do better next time, but I’m hugely proud that a first year conference streamed the vast majority of the talks live to YouTube and the videos were available immediately after a talk finished. The other notable issue was workshops that weren’t interactive workshops and ended up being 2.5 hour talks — both instances had explanations as to why this had happened at the last minute but this won’t happen again I assure you.
Absolutely no-one complained about the wifi; we had a couple of blips here and there but it was pretty much rock solid for the whole week. Absolutely incredible — hotel wifi that works!
But enough of the things that we could improve next time. I wanted to share some photos with you from “one of the most motivating RTC conferences I’ve ever been to”. You can check them out at https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZmFvtDLVovo2By2C9
You can also check out all of the session videos at https://youtube.com/c/CommCon
If you think you or the business you work for can help support another CommCon in 2019, please get in touch at [email protected]
Finally, thank you to everyone who came and attended something I’ve been thinking about for over 5 years. Hopefully we’ll do it again next year!