A few months ago I got an im from my old colleague and good friend, Joe Dyer. He asked me if I was going to go see him speak at the 2nd Annual Big Design conference in Dallas. My response? “I love ya Joe, but why would I go all the way to Dallas to attend a conference I’ve never heard of?” “Because”, he said, “it’s $100 for the full two days.” That made it a horse of a different color.
So I preceded to consider my friend’s idea, and eventually realized there was no reason for me skip Big D, especially considering the cost. I booked my trip, but remained skeptical. I mean even though there were some big names, I just couldn’t see how a conference with such low cost could be interesting and informative. Boy was I wrong!
When I arrived at SMU the first day of the conference I was seriously impressed with the setup. It was just right. Plenty of free coffee, food and swag to boot. The best part? The conference attend list was small and intimate. People were networking but it wasn’t as forced. The speakers were found amongst the crowd and it was not unusual to see them around just being a part of things. Everyone was the same, and it felt awesome.
Then came the events themselves. The first day started with a keynote by Susan Weinschenk on Psychology of Online Behavior. Then, the talks were split by Social Media, Code Development and Workshops. You could go to any track at any time. Oh and who could forget the free t-shirt you got when you answered a question?! Nathan Shedroff rounded out the day with another awesome keynote. Day 2 kicked off with a talk by Chris Bernard who spoke about John Hughes and the inspiration he provides us. Then they day split into Design, Strategy and more Workshops. Jared Spool closed out the conference with his talk on the anatomy of design decisions. And that was it: two jam packed days, no more no less. They scheduled it perfectly, I was burnt out but not completely dead. Basically there was content for all and it was very well put together. The speakers were great, and were talking about things that I don’t think I would’ve heard at other events. I’ll definitely be writing more about these in the coming weeks, but this post is dedicated to my love for Big D 10.
So I’ll end with this. Big D, I didn’t have faith, however seeing is believing. Please forgive me for my wrongs. I’ll be sure to visit you each and every year, if you’ll have me, so that I can be endowed with even more knowledge to enhance my career. You too, dear reader, should considering attending this event in the future. It was totally worth every penny, yes, all 10,000 of them.
See you next year Dallas. Can’t wait to see what 2011 holds for Big D!