As a speaker I have sort of love hate relationship with events which are based mainly, or only, on speaker invitation, i.e. there’s no call for papers. On one hand it is usually ennobling to be invited, especially considering other speakers who are too. The problem is that it also feels elitish. I mean one could be a great public speaker and have super-cool session to deliver but they won’t be invited because none of organizers knows them or something.
However, when it comes to attendee’s perspective it’s a bit different. Almost always invited speaker means good and proven content. Pretty often very decent public speaking skills too. I don’t say it is a way to go in each and every case but statistically speaking it’s a safer choice to go to a conference which gets most speakers by invitation.
If you happen to know who chooses speakers and you trust them it’s even safer.
Why am I telling you that? Well, you’ve probably guessed by the title. I’m pretty much writing about Lean Kanban Southern Europe 2012 (#lkse12). Basing on speaker lineup David Anderson brought to this event you can be pretty sure that content is going to be very valuable. You can expect pretty good speakers as well. Ops, have I just said I am a pretty good speaker? Oh well…
And yes, you should be prepared to see a lot of Kanban content. Anything from the very basics to advanced content (go see Mike Burrows for the latter). One of my personal favorites is one of “Kanban sideways” kind of sessions – Kevin Ryan’s presentation on portfolio management.
The event is going to be a journey through a Kanban land which is rather diverse. The least you can expect is to be exposed to a bunch of new ideas.
There’s something more though. There is this vague spirit of small conferences where everyone is close and approachable. Events that, and you have to believe me on this one, are never the same the next year and the following years. It is sort of unique atmosphere of pioneering. The next year it’s going to be bigger, more crowded and you will have harder time approaching all these people who have something to share. Unless you make a very good use of the first event building relations with them that is.
So yes, I know first edition of pretty much any event is risky, but it is a risk which is worth to undertake. You won’t have the same chance next year. It will be different.
In other words: I hope to see you in Madrid in May.