There’s a rather sad but true stereotype when dealing with “local” events in our industry: They’re usually a bit small, a bit crap, and a bit safe. Sure they’re enjoyable enough, and you usually manage to find someone who knows that you’re talking about, but for the most part, 3 or 4 of the folks attending appear to be on their time out of the house alone in years.
The Digital Barn was not only different; it was stereotype busting in the most supreme way. I would gladly go as far as to say that it was my favourite topic-agnostic event of the last 18 months, and that’s against many of the huge events and conferences I’ve attended.
To start with the venue was quite exceptional, second only to the venue of WPScotland’s Glasgow gig, and wholly unexpected. If I was a freelancer or a small agency anywhere within 30 minutes of Bansley, I’d be moving to the DMC right now. It is so refreshing to see a building with a modern infrastructure that is promoting and supporting local organisations.
Speak now, or forever hold your peace
And this is where the day really excelled: The quality of the speakers.
Before I went on stage to close out the day I managed to catch:
- Harry Roberts
- Bruce Lawson
- Matt Brailsford
- Craig Burgess
Which was insanely nerve wracking. Bruce Lawson is the most amazingly passionate and articulate fountain of knowledge who strives for a better web, while Harry and Craig are both far too talented.
Given that I missed Johnny and Martin in the morning, this was probably the largest Return on Investment of any un-conference outside of London that I’ve been to in years.