I attended the Seattle Interactive Conference the last two days. It was my first conference. I’ve been to a few unconferences, (InfoCamp Seattle and Mobile UX Camp Seattle) but this was the first time I shelled out the big bucks for a conference at Seattle’s Downtown Conference Center.
The sessions were neatly packed onto their website in a way that I picked out the sessions that I wanted to go to like a child trying out some new candies based on their packaging. Some of the sessions left a bitter taste in my mouth. The typos on the slides and the lack of enthusiasm from the speaker. I won’t sugar coat this summary/review blog post. It was a rough time for me. I went to the conference alone and though I had fellow alumni from Seattle Central Creative Academy around somewhere, I didn’t really reach out as much as I could have.
Being a withdrawn artist-designer, I’ve found some of these networking functions to ring false. I feel like Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club where anyone I would talk to, it would be a single-use friend. I’d say hello, try to explain what a self-employed multimedia designer is and then ask them what they do. They’d say “marketing” of some kind and I would shudder a little.
This conference, by the way, was themed “Spotlighting Makers” which spoiled half of the talks for me because the way the speaker handled it was “You deal with a product in some way, congratulations, you’re a maker.” If you have to be told you’re a maker, bug off. You don’t deserve to be in the same movement. Not that I have any right to be exclusionary, or that language should be a way to help people reaffirm their identities or something, but really. A conference where people talk about “Makers” is pretty absurd. It’d be different if there were some making going on at the conference, but half the talks weren’t even about that so let’s not conflate the already bloated term.
Anyways, I had a good time listening to Steve “Espo” Powers talk about his graffiti/sign painting work and Mel Carson about Personal Branding. Mel Carson was great not just because of his elegant and articulate British accent, though it was marvelous, but because he wielded it with the right amount of confidence and humor. And, you’ll see in the upcoming post exactly what I think about Espo. I’ll start by saying that he was the first speaker on the second day and I knew that it was all worth it when I saw him talk.
In the upcoming posts, I’m going to summarize, review and link to some stuff talked about at Seattle Interactive Conference. And to be clear, I’d probably go again next year. I’d love to be asked to attend as a speaker. One day. I have to keep my head clear and get more industry experience.