Jeff Carouth

Web and mobile developer. Agile apprentice.

HTML5.tx: Pre-conference Thoughts

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The inaugural HTML5.tx conference is in ten days (well, nine if you count the pre-event shindig.) Time has gone by rapidly over the past few months of planning, and I thought now would be a great time to discuss some observations and the experience I’ve had being a part of the team putting on the conference.

Disclaimer: this is my first time being a conference “organizer,” so do forgive me if my observations elicit a hearty “okay, noob, everyone knows that!” from you.

That idea you share can be an event

One of my absolute favorite things about HTML5.tx is it truly sprang from a simple comment, but it took off and we are really doing this. After a presentation about the current state of HTML5, Brandon Satrom mentioned on Twitter that he was “actually toying with putting on a full-day HTML5 event in Austin (w/ svrl speakers).” He went on to ask if my fellow B/CS community organizer Robert Stackhouse and I thought that folks from B/CS would make the trip out to Austin. We did. From that, the public Google Group for HTML5.tx was born.

Over the next few months, people stepped up and owned tasks. We shared our talents, ideas, and time, and we have a great lineup of speakers to share their knowledge. It all started with a Tweet. To me that’s amazing.

Just step up. You can do it!

Originally, I was a bit reserved about taking part in organizing this event. I’ve never done this sort of thing before, and I wasn’t sure I had the contacts or abilities to make a difference in the event. I learned that it doesn’t matter. I have skills and so do you. You are a valuable part of your community and whatever you are able to contribute will be welcomed. Just step up and get it done.

For my part, I volunteered to wrangle speakers. I did not do it alone by any means, but I like to think that my contributions to the lineup haven’t gone unnoticed. In the process I learned that there are some really smart people who are very passionate about what they do who are willing to share it with complete strangers just because. Okay, I didn’t really learn that, per say, but it was reinforced. If I hadn’t stepped in to work on the speakers team, I would have missed this insight.

Twitter marketing works.

(Well, at least for the type of audience that will attend HTML5.tx.)

As far as I know, our primary method of marketing was and is Twitter. We have a Twitter account for the conference itself, and it is heavily retweeted by my fellow organizers and, in turn, their thoughts on the conference are retweeted by the conference account. How do I know it works? We got some awesome proposals in our call for papers, which we announced on Twitter. The conference sold out last week. Yep, marketed on Twitter. It was the perfect outlet for this type of event.


If you’re coming to HTML5.tx, I can’t wait to meet you. Say hi! If you didn’t get a chance to pick up a ticket before we sold out, we are recording the sessions. I’m proud to be a part of this conference!