The first Vue.js London Conference was held at the former Olympic Press centre (Here East). Over 650 attendees got to experience a new standard for community conferences, with five new releases presented live on stage including the live release of Nuxt 2.0. Attendees gathered in huge break out areas to network, browse sponsor stands and indulge in fantastic food prepared by the official caterers for the 2012 Olympic Games IOC.
Vue.js London was all about giving something back to the community, hopefully being a conference experience to remember. We had many highly regarded community members participate in making the 2018 edition an event to remember, with the likes of Sarah Drasner creating our landing page animation. We formed a huge brand presence that we wish to carry forward into our future events, with an iconic branding message code, create, communicate at the forefront.
This conference was organised and delivered by a small team within an incredibly short period (3 months). We have a massive amount of thanks to anyone who volunteered or helped support the conference.
Vue.js London is all about discovery and learning. We had new talks and workshop content, delivered by leading experts in the industry. We delivered a new type of conference learning aid, the Advice Lounge, where experts offered their expertise in a relaxed and open environment. We had Dan Abramov, a hugely fundamental community member in the web ecosystem particularly within the React space, attend and share his knowledge. The highly regarded Remy Sharp also participated in the advice lounge along with all the speakers and three highly regarded community members from the Vue.js community; Chris Fritz, Thorsten Lünborg and Damian Dulisz.
We had over 26 leading experts from the Vue.js and surrounding communities. Sharing there expertise on the following topics: Vue, Nuxt, Vuex and State Management, React, Static Site Generators, TypeScript, Machine Learning (ML Kit), Native Rendering, GraphQL, Apollo, Cypress, Jest, Unit Testing, Integration Testing, E2E Testing, Accessability (A11Y), Reactivity, Vue CLI, Server Side Rendering, Application Architecture, Component Patterns, PWAs, Web Sockets, Service Workers, and much more.
Vue.js London had a vast international presence with some attendees travelling from over 17,000km away. At Vue.js London 2018 there was some very well known companies attending including: SamKnows, Progress, Algolia, Netlify, Gitlab, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Ubisoft, Telegraph, Teamwork, Vodafone, AND Digital, YLD, JD Sports, UK TV, VSWare, The Hut Group, ProdPad, Fly Frontier, Jet2, Experian, Money Supermarket, Wikimedia, NantHealth and loads more enterprises, small companies and startups.
We adopted a diversity first approach, launching tickets and sponsorship deals to ensure that we could support the communities diversity. Our efforts didn't go unnoticed, with a large number of underrepresented individuals participating in the lineup or as an attendee.
We had over 150 diversity applications, of those we managed to provide over 20% of the applicant's free tickets and provided all applicants a significant discount on tickets, with a further 20% taking the offer.
From those that answered our after conference survey, 80.8% of those identifying they were from an underrepresented group felt like they had been fairly represented at our conference. With 7.7% believed they had at least been partially fairly represented. Although this is not perfect, we think that the efforts made for our first conference paid off, and we look forward to doing an even better job next year.
We acquired the hugely popular Vue.js London meetup group where we will continue to invest in the community. We even spontaneously ran a last-minute pre-conference meetup at the Microsoft Reactor, which had one of the largest turnouts to date.
Overall, the conference successfully brought together the Vue.js and surrounding communities. We provided them with a new and fresh conference experience.
As with every conference, there are some key takeaways on what we can do better. We learnt many things from running our first conference, some of which will help us improve our future events and plan better.
In the spirit of being transparent here are our takeaways from running the event and our actions.
Budgets and overspending, we spent a significant amount on making Vue.js London an event to remember. However, there was an oversight in the budgets. As such we can do better to plan and budget, furthermore spending in the right areas to ensure that we get more out of our expenditure to give even more value to attendees.
Timing, we came into the conference space last minute and launched one of the biggest UK developer conferences within only three months. This year we are giving ourselves much more time to plan and prepare.
Video Recording. Unfortunately, we were unaware that we weren't quoted to have the talks recorded, only audio was recorded. This was a huge oversight on our behalf. Next year we will be sure to video record all the talks so that attendees have future material to reference.
We will be running the conference in 2019, and look forward to seeing some familiar faces. We will be applying any feedback received to the upcoming conference and all the great learnings from running the first year conference to make the future editions even better. With Vue 3.0 round the corner, Vue.js London 2019 will look to be one of the most crucial conferences to attend this year.