Bamboo Juice at the Eden Project
Last week, I went to the Bamboo Juice web conference which was held at the Eden Project near St Austell in Cornwall. If you have not been there before, the Eden Project is definitely worth a visit and it provided a unique venue and backdrop to the conference itself. Luckily, I have some friends with a hotel in Bude, so it was a no-brainer for me to visit them at the same time. Excellent! Anyway, here’s my quick review of the conference….
The Bamboo Juice conference was organised by Richard Quick Design and I really enjoyed it because there was a more homespun and grassroots feel than most other web conferences I have been to. There were six speakers and a series of short ‘picnics’ given by conference participants.
I have highlighted the presentations that I found most interesting but all speakers were good. Firstly, Relly Annett-Baker gave an excellent presentation about copy writing for the web. In my opinion, this is an area that is heavily underestimated and often ignored by businesses when they create or update their websites. Relly definitely persuaded me that professional copy writing is worth it when trying to get the most out of your website. And who does not want to do that?!
Gareth Rushgrove talked about the importance of self-education for web professionals and described several things you can do to keep yourself as much up-to-date as the rapidly developing web environment allows these days. For example, reading and contributing to blog posts, trying out new things, and generally developing your expertise. This is difficult to do when you have a stackload of client work to do but it’s worth finding the time for this.
Paul Boag gave a confident presentation about winning business in the current economic climate. One of the take home messages here was that everyone is a sales person these days and Paul described some of the processes that Headscape use when pitching to clients. For me, the main theme that came across here was ‘be yourself and stay honest, tell it like it is’. The question and answer session following Paul’s presentation was also good because it gave more of an insight into the Headscape approach. Despite the difference in size between Headscape and many of the freelancers in the room, there were several useful points that came across. For example, Paul explained why they do not do speculative work [spec work]. I tend to agree.
One aspect of the conference that perhaps did not work so well were the ‘picnics’ where conference particpants were encouraged to give short presentations to small groups. I went to a picnic given by David Burton of Redweb who demonstrated their new iPhone application Wheel of Tea. I thought this would be really popular but I was the only one there! For me, this was great because the demo was aimed entirely in my direction. However, this and other picnics seemed to be a bit under-subscribed. Possibly because of the attractions of the Eden Project outside the conference venue?
Would I go again?
Yes! The conference featured some high class presentations and despite a few technical glitches the day went pretty well from my perspective. I talked with a few people that I did not know, had an insight into the development of an iPhone application, and picked up a few things I can use in everyday work.
Acknowledgment: Thanks to Bamboo Juice for use of the speakers’ images.