Growing the Charlotte tech community
The Charlotte tech community has experienced a substantial amount of growth over the past few years. With the rise of community tools like Meetup.com, long standing local events like BarCamp Charlotte and Ignite Charlotte, and supportive companies like Skookum and Packard Place pushing the local city government to recognize our potential, things continue to grow at an accelerated pace.
The idea of hosting a national web conference in Charlotte was originally conceived by a group of local community organizers who recognized the need to provide our community with a little something extra. To test and see if the community would support a paid web conference, Packard Place along with local organizers and the kind folks at AWDG hosted the area's first successful web conference called Web Afternoon in the fall of 2012.
Taking a different approach to web conference
The past 4-5 years of work prepared the way for Charlotte to be able to host a large scale, national, web conference. We decided to take a very generalist and diverse approach to create a conference that focused on human beings, their connections face-to-face, and helping them work together.
- We are bringing together 60+ speakers around the country that are some of top practitioners in user experience, design, and web development.
- No devices are allowed in speaker sessions. We want to provide attendees with a way to disconnect a bit from technology and have conversations in-person without the constant distraction of being always tethered to the internet.
- Instead of a wifi connection and devices we're going analog. We are providing each attendee with a custom hard cover notebook from a local vendor called Bound along a nice pen to write with.
- As an industry we have a diverse culture but if you look at many conference speaker rosters their speaker lists tend to have primarily one group of people. We wanted to focus on creating a truly diverse group of speakers. While our gender diversity is probably the most apparent, our speakers come from various backgrounds, systems of belief, and the list could go on.
Overall, we care about our community. We want people from all walks of life to unite as a community, be inspired, and support each other as fellow human beings.