Meet The New JSConf US
As previously mentioned, the 2013 edition of JSConf US will feature a whole new event organization and style. We have been working through many of the details in order to provide you with what we believe will be a tremendously inspirational, educational, and social event unlike any other. Before we get much further, we want to make abundantly clear that while we have changed our conference model, it was not changed because we lacked confidence in the model or think any less of it. We are doing this to push ourselves and our audience to constantly experiement with new ideas and modes of what a "technical conference" could be. With that said, let us talk family reunion!
A Three Day Event
The most obvious difference is that we are scheduling the JSConf event over three days (May 29th, 30th, and 31st). While JSConfs have historically spanned a range from 3-7 days in terms of all the associated auxilliary events (Relax.js, NodeCopter, RejectConf, Trainings, etc.), the core was always locked at 2 days. If you have attended a JSConf, you know well that by the end of the second day, your mind is full and you are ready for a break to process everything, so why add another day?
Well, what if that day focused less on the passive, lecture style session-based learning that can be both mentally and physically draining? What if that extra day can be a lightly organized (or not if you prefer) day to process, question, and discuss the previous day's events? This concept took root with us and so we have added a middle day completely devoted to breakout activities. These activities are focused on creating smaller, more intimate social groups within the overall conference experience. Where previously we would expect social interactions to happen in the Hacker Lounge (HallConf) or during the evening events, this model offers a whole day of small, quiet, targeted (if you want) opportunities to socialize. Due to the nature of some of the events (see below), we will have a pre-registration process for them that will be made available on a first-come, first served basis. Also, please note that will we are curating these options during the middle day, you are not required - only encouraged - to take part of them. If you opt to just work on your own personal/professional projects all day or go on your own adventure, that is perfectly fine as well.
On the activity day (May 30th), we will be offering the following events (at no additional fee, thanks to our sponsors!):
- The NodeCopter "Summer of Drones" Kick-off Hackathon Limit: 100 Attendees
- The NodeBots Build a Robot with JS Hackathon Limit: 100 Attendees
- The Great JS Coder Golf Tournament
- Kayaking down the Amelia Island River
- Segway tour of the Amelia Island resort
- Group trip to St. Augustine, FL
- Poolside relax, refresh, and hack
- Beach side entertainment and refreshments
- JSConf Arcade
- Open Hackathon
More details about each event will follow shortly, but for now just plan on an incredible combination of lectures, learning, hacking, and socializing over three amazing days in the warm Florida weather.
Encouraging social activity is at the core of JSConf, always has been, always will be. Over the last year, we have become aware of a group that desires a new form of social gathering and while others might opt to ignore them, we are happy to embrace and experiment with new ideas. To expand the experience of the evening events, we have decided to add family dinners which fits well with our overall theme of "family reunion". On the evenings of May 28th, 29th, and 31st, we will invite all of the JSConf attendees and their significant others (children included) to join us for a massive family dinner. We will be feasting on amazingly prepared local food specialties (naturally honoring pre-specified food restrictions) as the focus of each of the evening. Everything will be located on the resort and within walking distance. The resort provides a local bus for transportation as well, you are free to use it as you see fit. On the evening of May 30th, we will not have a specific party, but will have sponsored smaller events that will provide the perfect relaxing finish to a wonderful day getting to know each other.
On the evenings of May 29th, 30th, and 31st, we will have campfires on the beach available for all who want to come out, see the stars, chase after the evening beachlife, and chat with one another. Campfires are amazing centerpoints in the JSConf family of events and this year we are going to have one each night because of the incredible level of social interaction it offers. Also for most of us, enjoying an evening around a campfire is not something that happens regularly - making it extra special.
As with every JSConf, all of these social events will be sponsored so all that is required is a ticket of admission, a respectful attitude, and willingness to make new friends. Come out and enjoy.
Growing from previous years, JSConf US 2013 will have four discrete tracks over two days (Wednesday and Friday) with the aforementioned intermission day in-between (Thursday). The tracks are broken down as follows:
- Track A - An organizer curated track with competing alumni versus new speakers, selected in the standard manner. If you want a speaker slot, we strongly suggest you submit to the open call for speakers.
- Track B - A "first-come, first-served" track similar to an un-conference style where attendees are provided the chance to speak on any topic of their choice. Talking slots will be similar in length to the Track A (roughly 30 minutes). These speaking slots will open up right before the event.
- Training Track - A dedicated track to educational aspects of JS in all facets.
- Significant Others Track - A planned event track for significant others of attendees that are interested in something other than JS. We are strongly encouraging attendees to bring their close family because people are more than just islands and we want that well represented.
We hope you like all of the new, innovative changes we are experimenting with this year. If you have anything you want to know more about OR something you would like to suggest, please email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you in Florida!