Indie Conference: Jan 2018

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The Makers Summit, GDC, UIKonf & Rob Walling

We're back for 2018! This month we've got updates from GDC, The Makers Summit, and DjangoCon. There's also a video from Rob Walling on the tactics he used when launching and promoting his SaaS service, HitTail.

Conference Updates

GDC: Game Developers Conference is on 19 - 23 March, once again at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. GDC is mostly for bigger game developers, but it also includes the Indie Games Festival (IGF) and is attended by lots of indie game developers.

New to the list, The Makers Summit is a conference for indie makers in the art, craft & design communities. The conference includes 3 workshops, an Indie Craft Parade, and free consultations with legal, accounting & marketing experts. The Makers Summit will be in Greenville, SC on 16 - 17 March.

UIKonf is on 13 - 16 May in Berlin, Germany. UIKonf is for iOS app developers, with a focus on design, development and the business side of selling an iOS app.

DjangoCon Europe will be on 23 - 27 May this year in Heidelberg, Germany. DjangoCon features five days of coding talks & workshops on Django and Python, and is attended by around 350 Django developers.

And it's the last chance to get tickets for Business Of Software USA at the "Before The Speakers Are Announced" rate (apparently a $1000 discount on the at-the-door price). Business of Software USA will be held on 1-3 October in Boston.

Know a conference that other indies, digital nomads, makers & bootstrappers would like? Let me know at:

Conference Video Of The Month

Rob Walling: Finding Your Flywheel

Rob Walling presents the Finding Your Flywheel conference talk at MicroConf 2012

Rob Walling's excellent presentation from MicroConf 2012, on how he got the flywheel moving when launching HitTail. He covers all the mistakes he made along the way, what he did to find a market faster, and raw numbers on the costs of each marketing channel he used to promote his business. (He also lists the order he used each marketing channel as he got off the ground.)

Rob also describes his Customer Happiness Index - he tracks whether his customers / fans are satisfied based on how they interact with his products & website & newsletters, rather than relying on surveys or waiting for people to email him.

Are Apple & iOS Conferences Disappearing?

There's controversy this week after Chris Adamson wrote The Final Conf-Down, noticing that conferences for Apple developers (iPhone, iPad, macOS etc) are disappearing at an alarming rate. Marco Arment followed up with End Of The Conference Era, claiming that conferences in general are going away.

I don't think conferences are going away. Sure, you can watch YouTube & Vimeo videos from home and save the cost of a hotel and airfare. But regular conference attendees know the real value is not in the presentations. The speakers are just the excuse to bring like-minded people together. The real value is the candid conversations in the hallway with other attendees. It's the new clients you you meet by debating the advice of a particular talk. It's the friendships you make by signing up for that post-conference skydiving event, and discovering your shared love of kitschy European dance music. Sometimes it's eavesdropping on the "internet famous" at the bar while they describe the real tactics they used to take their blog from zero to mid-six figures income.

The web developer conferences & travel blogger conferences & writer conferences aren't going away. MicroConf and Business Of Software and World Domination Summit are still going strong. Even obscure programming languages like Xojo still have annual conferences.

It's just the Apple conferences that have started disappearing. For indies in the Apple ecosystem, maybe that's worth noting.

(See the full discussion over at Hacker News)

What's On Next Month

Ludicious: Zürich Game Festival
Switzerland's biggest game event, with a focus on indie games.
(18 - 21 January 2018, Zürich, Switzerland)

World class speakers on design, accessibility, usability, & web standards and online culture.
(12 - 16 February 2018, Wellington City, New Zealand

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