Putting on PrimeConf – Neil’s wrap up

Blog post by Neil Robertson

On 13th June Team Prime hosted its first conference – PrimeConf. In keeping with firsts, this is my first blog post for Team Prime!

The manner in which PrimeConf came about was very in keeping with the industry we work in; we saw some events we weren’t happy with in our industry, and thought it could be done better. Cue a number of months of researching, costing, speaking to people in the industry, then announcing and promoting.

What were our principles?

Anyone who knows Team Prime knows that our principles are a vital part of what we do and who we are. Firstly, we were only going to put on a conference if it was going to be a great event (just putting on any event was not enough). Secondly, we wanted as diverse a conference as we could manage. Thirdly, the speakers and attendees should be looked after – they were vital to our day and had to be treated well. Finally, we wanted everyone to have a great day so we chose an awesome venue, gave out free chocolate, provided a high tea for lunch and put a load of money behind the bar so everyone could drink whatever they wanted. We also put a Code of Conduct in place from the get go to set the tone for a safe environment.

What did we learn?

Well, sometimes, if you have an idea, you just need to do it and work as hard as you can towards a positive outcome. There is no substitute for planning and hard work and, if you do something you truly believe in, then others will generally follow. Also, budget, budget and then budget some more. If you are going to run an event like this you need to know where all of your expenses are going so you know exactly how much you can cut if/when you need to.

What went wrong?

Trying to fund via Kickstarter didn’t go so well but this failure enabled us to use Eventbrite and didn’t affect the sponsorship we received (in fact, the way Kickstarter is set up risked our sponsorship, we found ourselves much freer once Kickstarter were out of the way).

Although running around in the morning, I was very lucky to have the chance to listen to all the speakers in the afternoon and I found myself totally enthralled in the atmosphere and at one point caught myself thinking “wow, what a damn good conference!”.

The most sincerest of thanks to the wonderful speakers, all the fantastic people who turned up, listen, laughed, asked questions and gave such fantastic feedback on the day and thank you to the other members of Team Prime – especially Thayer for putting her reputation on the line to put on a conference based on the (slightly) drunk putting-the-world-to-rights ramblings of her newest member of staff (and then allowing him to write a blog about it!).

Will there be a PrimeConf sequel? Maybe…