Already two weeks ago, NSConference 2011  closed after three full days of joy. Three days of meeting lots of interesting people. Three days of listening to insanely great talks that both widened your view as well as broadened your horizon.
One point that was mentioned throughout the conference in almost all of the talks: Pay attention to the details! Go that extra mile, it’s totally worth it!
And NSConf payed a lot of attention to the details. Here’re some details that I’d like to point out:
– the talks were always 30 minutes long with a 30 minute pause to the next talk. In this 30 minute pause there was a 15 minute Blitz-Talk. The Blitz-Talk was in a room 50m to walk from the main room. So every 30 minutes people were getting up and had a little bit of an exercise. Or they were getting up for some coffee and food 🙂
– 30 minute talks were extremely good to follow. Even if you were not interested in the subject at all, you didn’t even have time to do something else, cause 30 minutes later the talk was already over. So you could as well just stay and listen.
– there was only one track of talks to follow, no multiple tracks.
– The Wifi was free, but it was slow. ICQ et al didn’t work, only Skype. Twitter worked very good and for mail it was enough too, so people typically followed the talks instead of surfing the webs.
– I cannot remember how many talks exceeded the 30 minutes time limit, but it must have been only very few, so thanks again to the speakers for not talking too long.
– the people from the US were happy to have one hour less of a jet-lag due to the conference falling in the two-week gap between US summertime and european summertime.
– not only were the days scheduled for the talks, but the evenings were also taken care of. So you basically only needed to book the hotel for bed and breakfast!
– the first night was a dinner with fantastic food. I really didn’t expect that great food in the UK (no offense, but the UK is not famous for their food as France or Italy are). But not only was the food extraordinarily delicious, the wine was excellent, too !
– the food also proved to be a great foundation for the party after the dinner 😉
– the second night was a party with rodeo riding, sumo wrestling and playstation… and an iPad2 lottery
– they even had a magician at the party! how cool is that?
– did I already mention that there was drinks and food served every break? During lunch we could even sit outside in the sun eating our food.
– the sun was shining! (when I visited London in July that was not the case, so I’m a bit surprised here)
– the bar had Staropramen  beer (lovely czech beer) this year!
– the hotel replaced their public pc’s with some shiny iMacs.
– probably the most important part: in the lobby was the conference help desk! Whenever you thought you had a problem, you could go there and you would see that there is no problem that could not be solved. These guys not only managed the checkin, they were there the whole conference and they even helped with checking out and getting to the airport in time!
I only needed to tell these guys when my flight went and they figured the trip out for me. They even got me to the mortimer train station. Thanks a lot, that was amazing!
I’m already looking forward to next years NSConf!