As you might know, I’ve been involved with planning the HOW Interactive Conferences since the first event in 2011. Back then, Mark and I were on the conference advisory board, and both spoke at the event in San Francisco. We reteamed in 2012 and created two HOW Interactive events, in San Francisco and Washington, DC. Then, last year, I rejoined the board and helped plan the event in Chicago. It’s been a lot of fun, and we’ve learned quite a bit from the events and the feedback we’ve received from attendees. Which leads me to this year’s conference. I feel it’s a pretty big leap forward.
In January, I agreed to serve as the Program Director for the HOW Interactive Conferences, which will be held in three cities this fall: Washington, DC in September, Chicago in October, and San Francisco in November. Adding a third city is no joke, and I have to admit, I felt pretty intimidated despite being willing to jump in and just do it.
Well, here we are now, and HOW Interactive is really just around the corner. I’ve been working with the HOW team — specifically, Gary Lynch, HOW’s Publisher, Bridgid Agricola, HOW’s Content Director, and Karen McGrane, Cameron Moll, and David Sherwin on our advisory board — for these past months to assemble a truly unique conference program and a dream-cast of a speaker roster. All of that helped with the intimidation. Now I’m just excited. But there’s another reason for that, too: what’s different about this year’s events.
“I Don’t Need Any More New Ideas. I Need Help Putting Them To Work!”
Sound familiar? Conferences are typically assembled around ideas. You go for the experience of being immersed in new ideas for a few days and return home with a heavy dose of inspiration. But then, after the inspiration starts to wane, you find yourself scratching your head and asking, “now what?” Our goal with this year’s HOW Interactive Conferences is to give you the inspiration you crave and send you home with the tools to put those ideas to work. We’ve been asking “now what?” for you, and have put together a program full of people known for having great answers and the work to prove it.
But don’t worry, none of this is at the expense of inspiration. There will be plenty of that. For example, that speaker roster. We’ve got Maciej Ceglowski, from Pinboard, Jenn Lukas, from Ladies in Tech, Geoff Teehan, from Teehan + Lax, the Dan Hon, Eric Karjaluoto, Catherine Farman, from Happy Cog, Cassie McDaniel, from Mozilla, Sara Wachter-Boettcher, from A List Apart, Ethan Marcotte, of responsive design fame… Honestly there are just too many names to list! But trust me, these are brilliant idea people who also know how to put an idea to work.
The Future of the Web
I’m speaking, too. And personally, I’m inspired by the future. What’s coming next? What does that mean for what I do, and how I do it? My session this year is all about that. And I’m going to challenge you right off the bat: My working title is “We Don’t Build Websites Anymore.” You read that right. And if you’ve been following the blog, you’ve heard Mark and I bang on about that plenty over the past year (here, here, and here, etc.). See, the future of interactive design is about pushing the very definition of websites far beyond the web page, and into unseen and complicated territory. I’m looking forward to sharing with you what I see coming in the near future, and how it’s going to change what we do and how we do it dramatically — and, I promise, for the better.
I hope to see you there!
P.S. If you register now, you’ll save some serious cash. Early-bird registration ends on June 30th.