New speakers, devrels, and videos

When selecting speakers for our conferences we always hunt for a video of a prospective speaker, unless we’ve seen them for ourselves in the flesh. If we cannot find a video, we do not invite the speaker, since we cannot guarantee to our audience that they are excellent presenters. Not all conferences do so, but we do.

For some new speakers this is a bit of a hurdle. Not an insurmountable one — some local meet-ups and most conferences record their sessions — but it’s still an extra step. Local meet-up organisers take note: recording the sessions would be a huge service for your speakers — if you have the budget.

That was not what I wanted to talk about today, though. In the past months we conferred with quite a few developer relations departments about CSS Day and performance.now(), and they all proposed a speaker that they didn’t have a video of. So we said No.

For developer relations departments, whose job it is to get their people to speak at conferences, this is a far more serious oversight than for individuals.

So my advice to developer relations departments is to organise a local meet-up, get all their unknown speakers to speak, record all sessions, and put them online. I mean, they must have the budget to do that once, right? It would be a great gift to conference organisers around the world, even to those that do not require videos.

And while you’re at it, hey, also invite that one local speaker that you think should get more conference invitations.

This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, web developer, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter or Mastodon.
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