I go to a number of conferences throughout the year and have come to the conclusion that the majority are an over-priced waste of time. I find myself looking for smaller, local or semi-local, more intimate conferences where you get a chance to actually meet people and have meaningful conversations. It’s hard to do that with some of the large 800-1000 behemoth conferences.
In the south east there are a number of conferences that fit that need. LessConf, ConvergeSE, Front-End Conf and Greenville Grok come to mind. All of them are quite lovely, have their own nuances and give you a chance to have some pretty fantastic conversations with your fellow attendees and speakers.
A Conference of Conversations
Greenville Grok is definitely one of my favorite conferences. There are no official speakers. You don’t have a speaker talking at you for 60 minutes while clicking through a Keynote presentation. Greenville Grok takes the very best of the web/design community, all of the things I love, and rolls it into an all-inclusive conference of conversations.
What I like about the conference is the simplicity. Everything is done in batches of something called a 10/20. In a nutshell a 10/20 is a conversation based on a 10 or 20 minutes time frame. Anybody can come up and lead a discussion, present an idea, ask a question or demo something. In most cases the person leading the conversation shares 5 minutes to lay the groundwork and the rest is a nothing but glorious conversations with your peers.
I love this format. Unlike typical conferences where you can just sit back and consume information, you can become part of some very lively conversations. Because the discussions are limited to 10 or 20 minutes, rambling is kept at a minimum and the conversation doesn’t have a chance to get stale. The format leaves conversations unfinished intentionally so you can carry them on at lunch, in the evening, or via email or chat long after the conference is over.
See what the other attendees of Greenville Grok had to say about it.
We also have a Grok in Charlotte every quarter. The next one will be Saturday, May 12, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, at Packard Place. You can RSVP at charlottegrok.com.
AIGA Charlotte would like to thank Bermon Painter
for being our guest blogger this week, and Ismael Burciaga
for allowing us to use his pictures from Grok. Check out the rest of his photos, including his day in Ashville
, and be sure to visit charlottegrok.com
. Charlotte has a lot to offer—take advantage of it.