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Last year, I was one of the coorganizers of Frontend United In Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I have organized dozen of events, DrupalCons, DrupalJams, DrupalCamps totaling a dozen of events. The best and most funny to organize of them all however was the Frontend United conference with good friends Jesper, Marek, Morten, Philippe and angel Isabelle. The weekly conference calls quickly became a selfhelp group and the best comedy channel available.
The fun we had organizing the event, clearly payed off and turned the event in to the best event I ever attended. Mostly because Fronten United is different. We have some rules to live by and these rules help us organize it and give the best value possible to the attendees. In fact, we try to be for Drupal what TED is for technology! Our rules are simple
These are simple rules, resulting in a great conference. Outside in means we will look at technology, design. The unimportant stuff and then but only then Drupal. We look at speakers who are architects, painters, people whose actions or ideas are completely irrelevant for Drupals community in the narrow sense but if mapped on our community, code or license of great influence. We value attendees above sponsors. We do *heart* our sponsors, they are the best. But in the end the sponsors and the organizers work for the attendees, not the other way around. We will never do a sponsored talk, an opening by a sponsor or a case-study, mixing content and sponsors is the best way to kill a brand in our opinion. We believe in growth, but not that a number like “attendees” has anything to do with growth. We aim at 250 people max per conference and grow in quality from there. We will never have 2.000 attendees but will have the best sessions available. As for the nerds part, the group photo was taken at 13:37 time.
We succeed in all of these rules last year. All but one. Despite the fact that one sponsor went belly up and did not pay our fiscal agency, the Drupal Association (thanks!), we still made money. And thereby did not give the maximum value for our attendees.
Or did we? If you look at this blog by friend Baris Frontend-United was awesome or at the blog of the king it looks we succeeed in givin the attendees the best con ever! It was great to hear jan Willem Tulp talk about data visualization and the story of how Jeroen Wijering sold his a license for his video player to YouTube for $25 is still great to hear. No matter what your question was (“$25 per server? Client? Month?”) his answer would be $25.
Here are some snapshots of the money we made with sales and the hat-round, the venue “Pakhuis de Zwijger”, the banner with the sponsors, the excellent t-shirt with the infamous astronaut and the drinking venue with the Druplicon as a logo.
So far for 2012. On with 2013. With the help of a great all-female team in the UK, we are pulling the best Drupal conference of once again, backed by the Drupal Association (thanks), in London, 13 and 14 of April, in Cargo. Ticket sales will start shortly, great keynote speakers are already lined up but we need you as a speaker and as a sponsor! So please earmark the date in your agenda, think about an inspiring talk Frontend related and download the attached sponsor brochure. And mail we if you are interested in sponsoring, bert AT boerland DOT com.
Now lets rock London!
A geek that cant throw, a 3D printer, some code, some batteries, a kinect and a trashcan.. Make a great combination, watch this: