Yes, conference season has started! I recently attended and spoke at my first Scrum Gathering in Orlando. I was aware of this event but between given the other conferences that I already frequently attended, I just never seemed to be able to fit another event in.
What I enjoyed the most:
- Getting to spend time with my Agile For All peeps!
- New faces. Sure there were tons of people I already knew but with the high percentage of first time attendees at the conference, there were so many wonderful people to meet. You never know who you are going to connect with…I even had someone from my high school recognize me (we went to a small school in MI; so this was quite impressive of an encounter).
- Not having any conference organization responsibilities – I went to a few sessions!!!
- The last day being open space for 1100 people, which is no small feat. Ellen Grove rocked!
- My session. I knew I was retiring this content after this session and wanted to put it to rest with a bang. In addition, I found myself a little stressed…which doesn’t typically happen for me before a session. I realized it was because I was the only speaker from Agile For All and I wanted to make my teammates proud. Based on the feedback, I succeeded and couldn’t be happier.
- Open Space sessions (Presentation Karaoke & Improv): seriously, do I even need to explain? Laughter and Learning!
- Sessions – I went to a couple of really engaging and thought provoking sessions. I wish I could have gone to more of them!
- Volunteers – they were on top of things: room setup, clean up, helping presenters, directions to rooms, etc. Great job!
- Food. They had bacon for breakfast. Seriously, do I need to say anything more?!?!?
- Badge Ribbons – Agile For all Style. They had ribbons with each of the Scrum Alliance certifications, we had flare 🙂
What could be improved for next year:
- Opening. 60 minutes of material before the keynote started was just too much. I would rather have a few of the sponsors give their 5 minutes scattered over the days than all at once. In addition, the opening went 20 minutes long, which only gave 10 minutes for everyone to take a break, get setup and start the first round of sessions. That’s just not respectful – timeboxes please!
- This started off in the pros section but was moved down here as the week progressed. The conference app gave notifications. At the start, it was great…opening reception timing and location. Then it started notifying people during sessions about something that didn’t need to be notified then. Too many, bad timing…but there is definitely something there to continue to experiment with!
- CST workshop during the Open Space start. I wanted to do both and couldn’t 🙁
Overall, this was a great experience and I look forward to attending more in the future!