So, a couple of weeks after DDD 10 and a bunch of questions have arisen from the feedback. Not enough, since there isn’t much feedback; if you missed the link, it’s at the DDD Feedback Page, so go fill it out now. We realise we can’t please everybody and we do know about some of the issues people have raised; even if they’ve been raised before, we know and can’t always do anything about it. So what are the main ones?
Space, not enough of it. This is a simple equation: more space = more money. We’re lucky at the Reading event because Microsoft host it for us, but that still costs; someone has to pay, for the hire, the staff, security, the food, etc. In this case it’s another Microsoft business unit that covered most of the costs, and for that we are extremely grateful (and to the other sponsors, whose generosity was very welcome). But the fact is that Microsoft’s campus isn’t designed as a conference venue, especially not for 300+ people; even adding the fourth room costs extra because of additional security concerns, the room being in a different building. More rooms just aren’t available. So we have two options; we keep as we are, or we move venues, which brings additional problems, such as sourcing somewhere suitable. We investigated this i earlier in the year and the figures that came back were well outside any budget we could find. The organisers of other DDDs know this only too well. As yet we don’t have a solution, but we’ll continue to look at this.
Next up is registration and the waitlist. Registration fills up quickly and missing the opening time by 10 minutes or so means you’re on the waitlist; we can’t help it if you lot are keen, but the waitlist system works. Yes, it may be the night before the event that you get the email letting you know you’ve a place, but that’s the system. We’ve discussed releasing places in batches, but we’d still have the same problem – more people want to attend than we have places for. A suggestion that was raised in the feedback is one of fees and it’s an option we’ve discussed many times: charge an upfront fee to dissuade those who register but don’t turn up (we know who you are). But how much? Too low and it’s disposable and doesn’t help, too high and we put people off. The middle ground is a hard place to find. Plus DDD has always been free and open; money changes what we’re trying to do with DDD.
Now to AV. Yes we had some issues, it happens. We weren’t on the ball enough to check every presenter into their room early enough. Our bad, well sort it next time. Recordings? I’ve been told that Chicagoe 1 & 2 were recorded, but I’m not 100% sure; I was away last week and have been too busy to chase this week. If those sessions were recorded, we’ll make them available when we can.
There are other minor issues, some are website issues (yeah, let’s not talk about that), but overall the event was a success and the feedback mostly positive. If you’ve not filled in feedback, then go do so now, or just contact us via twitter, or comment here.
[update: minor correction from "100% sure" to "not 100% sure". It looks like one of the rooms was recorded, but we've yet to get that confirmed]