Why stop reflecting…I recently attended and spoke at Agile Denver Mile High 2016. Short summary – fantastic event! I highly recommend you checking out next year!
What I enjoyed the most:
- There is something to be said about a one day conference. I was the last speaking slot and whenever that happens, I’m always nervous about how many people are going to show up. You know what I’m talking about if you have ever been the last speaker on the four or fifth day of a conference! Not only did people show up yesterday, the room was basically full and people were engaged and ready to participate. I absolutely feed off that type of energy so it was a wonderful close to a wonderful day.
- Great representation of quality speakers local and across the world (Jurgen Appelo was a keynote). This is quite a feat for a conference with only 16 speaker slots.
- Not having any conference responsibilities – I went to a few sessions!!!
- Examples of Agile Leaders within the Agile Denver community. I think I remember someone saying this is the 7th year for this conference, which really is not that long of a time. Yet, as I chatted with one of the original organizers about how it felt to step back – everything I would expect of a strong Agile leader, he expressed.
- People everywhere – attendees, volunteers, sponsors, oh my. I believe the attendance was 850, I’m not sure if this included volunteers/sponsors but regardless I couldn’t fit in time with everyone that I was hoping I would have time to chat with. There were so many great conversations every where you turned.
- Little touches (I’m trying to consider if Agile2016 could do either of these – scale is so tricky):
- There was a speaker dinner the evening before put on by Solutions IQ. Not all of the speakers showed up but a good percentage did. It was really nice to be able to explore topics/intents with no other distractions. Plus the food rocked 🙂
- Speaker/Sponsor storing room. No tables but a place to set your flip charts, etc during the day.
What could be improved for next year:
- Room preparation for next session. Agile conferences are super messy (we love our post-its). Even though there was 30 minutes in between the last session and mine, with a room of ~200, we just barely got setup in time. I had two great volunteers and luckily a couple of teammates and friends help but beefing up the clean up post the previous session would be really helpful.
- I know most people love this but I’m not a fan of the sit-down lunch. I’m an extremely picky eater and I end up feeling very wasteful when plate after plate is put in front of me and I barely eat. I almost didn’t sit at a table but I wanted to engage in table discussions. Note: I’m not complaining about the food – my issues are my issues, just don’t want to be wasteful.
- I realize a good portion of the sit down lunch decision is for the lunchtime keynote but sitting from 12:30 – 2ish during lunch with no bathroom breaks. This is the worst for a speaker when people just can’t hold it anymore and walk out to use the restroom towards the end of a session. Maybe make that keynote shorter?
Seriously, well run…well done! I look forward to attending MHA 2017!!!