On running the first DotNetos Conference

It was November 5 2018. ~ 5:30PM when we closed the first DotNetos Conference. Within 1 year, we did the first .NET Performance Tour and run a full blown 1 day .NET Performance conference. What a year it’s been. And, still, it’s not over yet!

Long running preparations

The preparations for the conference were done solely by DotNetos, Łukasz Pyrzyk, Konrad Kokosa and me. It was a long running process. We were using a single Kanban board, assigning different tasks to one of us. I can’t get the date for the first task, but it was probably around March or April.

The whole process was mostly async. We were sending some emails, receiving answers and meeting once a week or two weeks (my memory is failing me). The interesting part is that the meetings were virtual. I think that I met Łukasz for the very first time since the tour, in the lobby of the hotel when the conference was taking place. So the process was async and remote and it worked really nice. All the tasks were distributed in time.

Obstacles & victories

Even with a good split of responsibilities we hit some obstacles. For instance the venue, that was selected at the end was not the initial venue we had been thinking about. After exchanging emails for around 6 weeks, the deal was still not signed. And I had started discussing it really early. That’s why we made the change.

On the other hand, this time we were able to order all the Tabasco sauces in one order. That was actually a huge victory! Really! During the tour it took me three orders to gather enough, as all the sellers were providing false numbers on their pages (stating: ‘we have 100’, when they had 20).

Taking care of speakers

We did some nice sight seeing trip with our speakers. It wasn’t a whole day, but we used the good old-fashioned Royal Route has a nice walk (the feedback was positive). We ate some pierogi and/or bigos. If you have never eaten it, it’s a must eat if you visit Poland! To address the transportation, we provided them with an account for taxis. So, once they arrived, they could just click for the taxi. Door to door experience.

The speakers dinner was delivered in a really good restaurant. Again, the feedback we received, was positive.

Taking care of attendees

Attendees were provided with a DotNetos bag that contained a DotNetos T-Shirt and our lovely, DotNetos branded Tabasco sauce. If you were brave enough, and you raised a question, we had some Caroline Reaper DotNetos Special Edition prepared to make you even more happy 😉 Bhut Jolokia DotNetos Nuts was another thing that you could win.

The last but not least, at the end, we run a randomized distribution of 5 copies of Pro .Net Memory Management. The book written by Konrad Kokosa.

Feedback

To learn about attendees’ perspective we run a survey, that was answered by half of the attendees. The average of every single aspect, measured from 1 to 5 (5 – the best, 1 – the worst), was around 4.8. For me, especially with running a conference for the very first time, it’s a really good mark.

It’s worth to mention that we received some constructive feedback as well. A few things that can be improved, were written down and will be addressed during the next event.

So there’s something more?

Definitely the conference was not the last step of DotNetos. We’re really happy to see that people are interested in .NET performance and that there’s a place for delivering a focused, single track conference. And that it brings value to our attendees!

Once we refill our supplies with more DotNetos Sauces and remove the dust from sombreros, we will bring you something new.

Take care,
Szymon Kulec @Scooletz

 

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