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It’s only two more months until the webclerks community conference becomes reality. We’re excited and we want to share our excitement with you by telling you about the event, our supporters, and our speakers.

In this first post we will explain why we’ve turned our meet-up into a full-blown conference.

The webclerks Meet-up

Daniel, Claudi, Eva and Manuel founded the webclerks meet-up more than three years ago, because we thought that our city needed a regular event that brings people from all kinds of disciplines of the web together. Also, organizing events is a way of giving back to the community, similar to writing articles or contributing to open source.

Usually there are five events each year but in 2019 we didn’t organize a single event. Running a meet-up is fun but it’s also hard work, especially if you’re working full-time. After organizing 15 events, we were just tired, and so we skipped the events in February and April.

Meeting Jeremy

In May Manuel attended beyond tellerand and a11yclub in Düsseldorf. Some of the attendees of a11yclub went for a Currywurst and beer after the event. This is were he met Jeremy Keith. Manuel told him about our meetup and invited him to Vienna. He said that he loved Vienna and that he would also love to speak at our meetup. Manuel was happy that Jeremy said that but he also knew that in order make it happen he would have to get off his ass.

Two weeks passed and to Manuel’s surprise he received an email from Jeremy asking about the meetup. He was so excited that he immediately switched back to organizer-mode. At some point Manuel thought that it might make sense to invite another guest as well and make the event a little bit bigger. He asked Daniel and Claudi about their thoughts and met with Max.

A Community Conference

Max and Manuel had some drinks, got really enthusiastic about the possibilities and came up with a list of things they’d like to see.

We wanted to deliberately make this a smaller, more comfortable event than most tech conferences today. A community-driven conference that would bring local and international speakers of web development and design together in the city we love. We wanted it to focus on quality content, interesting people and a good atmosphere.

We also talked about how a lot of conferences are quite expensive, which creates a barrier for people who have to pay for the ticket themselves instead of being sponsored by their employer. So early on, keeping the cost low and the ticket affordable was a key point. We decided to cut down on stuff like swag and instead use that money for features like live captioning that would make this a more inclusive event.

Making it happen

The idea was born, but aside from Jeremy, we still didn’t have any speakers. We reached out to a bunch of awesome people we wanted to invite - some of whom we’ve met before at different occasions, and some we just thought would be cool to see.

Overwhelmingly, they all accepted in a heartbeat - leaving us with an absolute dream of a lineup. Suddenly, this thing was real.

Over the next couple of weeks, we set out to work on a myriad of tasks. Daniel came up with a design, Max built this website, Manuel started organizing flights, accommodation, supporters… There was a lot to do. Manuel had some previous experience with Urania (an old Vienna observatory) as an event venue, and it looked like a nice fit.

On July 31st, we announced our conference:

Since then, we’ve been busy taking care of all the little things an event like this needs- and we’re still in the process of figuring everything out.

That’s it about the short history of this conference. Stay tuned for more blog posts about the event, our speakers and our supporters.

See you in Vienna! 😉