What should attendees put up with a software conference? Nothing but the best according to Ian Clifford

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Ian Clifford, Founder of YouRock, attended Business of Software Europe Conference last week and we were delighted to receive this guest blog post. We LOVE the idea of an Attendee Manifesto.

Perhaps we should have it printed on the back of one of these excellent cards from Alex Osterwalder?

I attended the Business of Software Conference Europe event in Cambridge last week. It was a revelatory experience and has changed my view of conferences for good. I have a new life marker now. Everything will be measured as ABoS and PBoS (Ante-Business of Software and Post-Business of Software) and inspired me to write…

My Conference Attendee Manifesto:

  • I will no longer tolerate events that don’t utterly engage me, make me reconsider how I work, plan and think.
  • I will no longer tolerate speakers who don’t captivate me, speaking with deep knowledge, understanding and conviction and who are not selling me anything but a better way of doing things.
  • I will no longer tolerate presentations that are just about how great is this organisation or product, rather then about the learning, insights and mistakes that happened along the way.
  • I will no longer tolerate delegates who only really want to tell you about themselves, rather then listen, challenge and contribute to you.

The Business of Software was the epitome of everything that has been missing in my life of dull conferences. It was about software and business, but also psychology of design, user experience and thought and business reimagining. It was the Business of Everything.

In the few days since the event I have done nothing other than view every previous Business of Software speaker video (each one hour long) in a self indulgent video-binge and quietly ripped up everything I thought I knew about being an entrepreneur. I would urge you to do the same here.

I used to spend my time at conferences tweeting about what I was listening to (if it was interesting). At BoS I found that I had NO time to tweet for fear of missing something valuable. Twitter silence should be what happens at conferences, and so, if in future you see some event ‘trending’ you know that no one is really paying attention.

You have set my expectations of events so high and tolerance levels so low that it will now get me banned from every other event (other than your own) that I may ever now attend. Thanks Mark and your team, for my future blacklist status, and for an utterly brilliant event in every way.

[Thank you so much for your kind words. It is always wonderful to think that we are doing something that makes a difference!]

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