Post conference write up

Please take a look at our post conference write up to see how things went on conference day!

Cheers, Simon

24 Apr 2012 11:09 am less than 2 weeks to go

At JSinSA central, we're a few notches short of mass panic!

We're planning the packing strategy for the welcome packs and waiting on a few sponsor packages to arrive.
The venue check went well over the weekend and all things look good for a brilliant day on 5th May.
The menu has changed a bit (see agenda) for the better. For all those that requested vegetarian, no gluten, etc... we've got that covered. Unfortunately the request for "lobster" went ignored, but other than that I'm sure everyone will get what they want. There's always one ...
Even the wifi seems pretty decent - although it mostly does when there is only 1 user.... :-|

I've got this morbid fear that the Sheldon Cooper look-a-like contest is going to backfire and the winner wouldn't have been aware of the contest. But,

There is still tons to do and our checklist only seems to get bigger at this point, but that's a good thing.

Cheers, Simon

16 Apr 2012 4:29 pm FAQs

We've been fielding a few questions which may be useful to the attendee list at large, so here goes:

What time should I get there?

Registration starts at 7:30am and the conference kicks off at 8:30am. Suggest you get there closer to 7:30am to give you time to mingle with some of the rockstars that will be in attendance.

Should I bring my notebook/iPad?

Definitely! It's not a code-along type of conference, but it will be a great opportunity to get some of your questions answered and perhaps demo some of the cool things you've been busy with.

Will there be WiFi?

Yes there will be, but as always, please don't rely on it. We've told our speakers the same thing ... :-)

Will the presentations be available afterwards?

All speaker's presentations and demos will be maade available on this site after the conference. We'll email all attendees after the conference and include the URL to this.

What kind of catering is there going to be?

Snacks over registration; mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Lunch at midday and water during the sessions.

So, yes, we've got that one covered pretty well!

I need a ride to/from the Midrand Gautrain station, how can you help?

Please email us and we'll add you to the list of pickups.
Pick up time: 7:30am
Drop off time: 6pm

What's happening immediately after the conference?

There is a sponsored drink/cooldrink available and a cash bar. This is a perfect opportunity to exchange info and solidify the contacts from the day.

What's in the welcome pack this year?

We've been pretty quiet on this for the 2012 conference and with good reason. We have awesomeness planned and are busy compiling all the bits and pieces.
And, no, we're not putting in the surplus "2011" coffee mugs. But, if you do want one, let me know.

What's the best way to exchange info with other attendees?

There'll be something in your welcome pack to help you out with this. :-)

What kind of prizes will there be on the day?

At the end of the conference, we are having several lucky draws and are giving away a bunch of items. All actual physical items which we think you'll enjoy.

What's the stuff about lightening talks?

This year, we are running several short talks during the lunch break. All are a max of 5 minutes and are on a variety of topics all related (somewhat) to web development.
Any attendee can sign up to give a talk. All you need to do is email us with your topic.

Why would I want to give a lightening talks?

A couple reasons: great exposure for your skills; stand in line with the other speakers win an awesome prize; get a special early invite to the 2013 event and a request for topic (presuming you want to talk at JSinSA 2013) and *seriously* great exposure for your skills

Cheers, Simon

22 Mar 2012 12:29 pm tickets ... are ... gone

The response to our early bird special has been fantastic to such an extent that we are now fully, fully booked. We'll be having more than 60 people at the JSinSA conference this year.

For those that are registered but haven't paid, please let us know that you're still coming and when you'll be settling the account.
If anyone has registered, but hasn't received their welcome email and invoice, please let me know so I can rectify the problem.

If you'd like to be on the waiting list, please email us and we'll let you know if a place opens up.

Huge thank you to everyone that has registered and to our fantastic list of speakers. I've also been blown away about the generosity of the sponsors this year.

Now it's time to order collateral for the attendee (and speaker) welcome packs and to start picking up prizes, etc... from our various sponsors around town. Here's hoping that the SA postal service doesn't *lose* certain packages from our overseas sponsors ...

Who ever said you had to be a big corporate to put on a kick @@s IT conference? :-)

We haven't had many volunteers for the lightening talks, which is a good thing for those that have volunteered, because there is an awesome prize up for grabs for the top rated talk!

Lastly, if you wish to transfer your booking to someone else, please let us know as we have some personalised goodies in store.

Cheers, Simon

7 Mar 2012 1:17 pm build it and they will come ... thank goodness

Huge thank you to everyone that has registered so far.
Numbers are looking good, and we are well on track to reach +-60 attendees.
Once we get to 50 confirmed attendees we'll look at remaining space available at the venue and make a judgement call regarding remaining seats.

Once we hit +-45 or so, I'll set up a "seats remaining" (to 60) countdown on the site.

Cheers, Simon

27 Feb 2012 9:09 am the train has left the station

Registrations are now open!
There is still some cleanup of the agenda, but all in all it's about done.

I'm busy waiting for some info from some of our sponsors and will continue updating the site.
We have some wonderful sponsors this year, and I'm extremely grateful at how companies have come forward to be part of this conference.

Cheers, Simon

26 Feb 2012 2:15 pm Attendee welcome pack

There was such a great response to the "call for speakers", that I couldn't rightfully hang onto a speaker position for myself. Which is a good thing, because it means that I can put more time into things like the all important welcome pack.

We're doing things a bit different to last year, but aren't going the usual "conference bag" route. Why? Because if you're anything like me, they either get tossed in the cupboard or given to the kid.
I hope you will all like what we have in store.

Cheers, Simon

23 Feb 2012 4:01 pm Vendor agnostic prizes, sponsors

Yeaah, so much for having enough time to keep this blog going.

Several fantastic sponsors have come forward to be involved in the JSinSA2012 conference, which is brilliant!

We're putting a lot of work into both the content as well as the prizes/sponsorships this year (not that last year was any different).
One big change is trying to be as vendor agnostic with the prizes. No point having a great gift if it's not applicable to the attendee.

Everyone still likes coffee, right?

Early bird registrations are opening this weekend!

Cheers, Simon

8 Feb 2012 4:50 am Date and venue are confirmed!

Now I know what made me have a sleepless night...

The date will be 5 May 2012 and we're having JSinSA2012 at Ambrosia Hall in Midrand, Johannesburg.

Went out there again last week to double check facilities and it should make for an awesome spot!
We'll have the entire place for ourselves and there's enough place to chill after/during the conference.

Exciting times ahead for the JSinSA team, thanks again for everyone's support so far.

Cheers, Simon

6 Feb 2012 9:55 am Where the comments?

So much for making this transparent...

I'll be adding Disqus comments to this page as soon as the web site is up and running.

Cheers, Simon

2 Feb 2012 3:30 pm Venue feature matrix

The venue is really key to any conference, and can make a break the event - regardless of how well prepared the agenda is.
I spent the day looking at several venues around Johannesburg and ended up using the following matrix:
* parking
* reception (entrance area)
* signage outside the venue
* lunch area
* conference room
* common area (i.e. break area)
* does it look like the venue is professionally run
* food
* bathrooms
* any construction going on/planned
* sound equipment
* is there space for vendors
* how many other events will take place at the same time
* open to external vendors/sponsors
* is the venue licensed
* desks in the conference room
* what is the surrounding area (neighbourhood) like
* is the room an easy fit for 50+ people
* parking
* decent coffee

Cheers, Simon

1 Feb 2012 11 am The beginning

I really enjoyed the 2011 JSinSA conference and it was always the plan to make it a yearly event.
I'm doing the planning a lot more in the open this year, so let's start the process of how this year's conference is being created.

Cheers, Simon