If you are reading this you are probably aware of what the Handheld Conference is – I have been harping on about it for the past couple of months to anybody who will listen. For those wondering what the hell Handheld is, read this older post.
When I first thought about bringing a mobile conference to Cardiff, I thought that convincing speakers to contribute would be the hardest part of organising the event. The first task for me was to draw up a list of who I would like to see, I figured that if I wanted to see these people speak in Cardiff, others would too. I was surprised & delighted that most on the list agreed to speak. I think this goes to show what a great industry we all work in – an industry with a true sense of community and a willingness to help, teach and inspire others.
I have been overwhelmed by the reaction to Handheld, the initial allocation of 120 tickets sold out in less than 48 hours and I have received messages of support from some of the greatest in our industry.
What I find interesting about looking at the list of those attending is the amount of travelling people will be doing. There are people travelling from the US, Singapore, Finland, Germany & France. The majority of attendees are obviously travelling from UK cities : (in order of numbers attending) London, Bristol, Manchester, Bath.
The biggest surprise for me when analysing this data is that there are more people attending the conference from outside of the UK than there are from Cardiff. This to me is very strange as Cardiff has a thriving web & software development community. I am thinking that maybe the culture is slightly different here in Wales, we have very few conferences round these parts. The bigger creative hubs such as London and Bristol have an established diary of these kind of events and designers and developers are comfortable with the conference model.
I have often wondered why until this year, Cardiff hasn’t had any real major web/mobile conferences. Aside from the fabulous Port80 event earlier this year, South Walians have had to travel over the bridge to attend any industry conference of worth. I can only think of 2 possible reasons for the lack of interest from local web/digital agencies. Maybe experiences of previous local events hasn’t been good, or maybe they would prefer the adventure of travelling across the bridge. Don’t get me wrong, a number of Cardiff agencies have bought tickets, but this number is dwarfed by the number of agencies from over the bridge. I would be interested to hear peoples thoughts on this so have left comments open on this post.
Finally, after speaking with the venue I have managed to convince them to change things around a little (even remove a wall) so that we can fit a few more people into the conference. Therefore, a limited number of tickets have gone back on sale at www.handheldconf.com. The venue have also been very supportive of the conference and have thrown away the health & safety rule book to allow me to add a few surprises to the day…