Hundreds of thousands of people attend professional conferences every year. Do you? If not, you should consider doing so. Not only are you exposed to the latest and greatest information in your chosen career, but you’ll also be inspired by others who are doing amazing things.
Allovus Developer Liz Ashley recently attended the eyeo festival in Minneapolis. Marking its fifth year, eyeo assembles an incredible set of creative coders, data lovers, artists, and attendees. The conference advertises enthralling talks, one-of-a-kind workshops, plus interactions with open source instigators and fascinating practitioners.
Liz commented, “This conference was unlike any other I’ve attended. It’s very different. The talks are like TED Talks. You’re not there to learn how to do things, you’re there to be inspired.”
When asked to describe what the conference was like, Liz found it hard to put into words. “Some of the attendees and I were talking about this. We couldn’t figure out how to explain our experience when we got home.” Because the conference was meant to be inspirational, the speakers weren’t what you’d normally expect at a professional conference.
“The talks varied,” Liz explained. “Speakers ranged from very young college kids just out of school who are doing phenomenally creative open source things to professors, some from different countries, who have been innovating in the arts or in data for many, many years.”
A typical day at the eyeo festival begins at 10:30 a.m. and goes until 5:00 p.m. Then a dinner break and more talks until 10:30 p.m. “Initially, I thought I was going to a data visualization conference. But the fascinating thing was that it wasn’t just about that. It was about the interpretation of data,” Liz said. How the data was used was sometimes more fascinating than just capturing it. “One gal, Rachel Binx, took data from a 5 mile radius around people’s homes or place of work—their neighborhood. She then turned that data into personalized jewelry and clothing.”
Another company Liz mentioned creates special interactive installations for kids called Connected Worlds. Check out the video. So fun!
“If you have a chance to sign up for this conference next year, do it,” Liz remarked. “There are a limited number of tickets available, and they sell out immediately. Once you go, you’ll want to go every year.”
As an attendee, she received a beautiful eyeo festival book which has pictures and articles about the speakers and the creative work they do. The book itself, is a thing of beauty.
Take a peek at this year’s line-up of speakers and topics. Of course, it’ll be different next year, but you’ll get an idea of what will be offered.