Northeast PHP Conference 2012
This weekend had to be one of the most enjoyable weekends that did not include close friends or family. I was finally able to attend my first PHP Conference after working with PHP since 1997 which was the Northeast PHP Conference. You might be asking why this was the first conference I have attended? Well if you are familiar with conferences then you know that the tickets are generally over a thousand dollars. It has not an easy task to get any of my past employers to pay for your conference ticket never-mind your airline and hotel. I personally could not afford to do things like that myself as it would cost as much as a small vacation.
This year however things were a bit different. Michael Bourque (@mpbourque) the organizer of Boston PHP took command with some colleagues/friends to put on the new Northeast PHP Conference. What did they do differently from other conferences? I am not entirely sure about everything they did different but the one thing that enabled me to attend was the AMAZINGLY low ticket prices. The tickets for the event were priced at $99 per person for a 2-day event where they provided breakfast, snacks, lunch. On Saturday one of the gold sponsors Wayfair held an after-party where you could have drinks and food and socialize.
The best part about the conference for me was not all the knowledge I picked up (and trust me I learned way more than I thought I would) but rather networking with so many people who are deeply involved with the PHP community. Some of the great people I meant are Ben Ramsey (@ramsey), Elizabeth Naramore (@ElizabethN), Michaelangelo van Dam (@DragonBe), Ilia Alshanetsky (@iliaa). I met too many other people at the conference to name them all but these are the main people whom I wanted to introduce myself to.
After I went to the first few talks I was amazed by the quality speakers they had secured for the event. They had speakers come from all over the world to give their talks and I was just blown away. For the cost of the ticket I thought there would be one or two speakers from the community that would be great, but ALL of the speakers that I listened to were amazing.
Northeast PHP is talking about taking the conference on the road to Canada and Vermont. My only hope is that they put on more than one event per year and go to different parts of the Northeast. I know I would personally attend each event as long as they are reasonably priced, I love the fact that the tickets were only $99 and this was solely due to the sponsors and speakers. I am not sure how many are aware of this but every speaker was donating their time AND they also paid for their own travel expenses. This is one of the large factors that made it possible to price the tickets at $99. If you attended the conference and have not yet done so please go to the Joind.in page for the conference and leave a nice thank you comment for the sponsors, speakers and organizers. Without all of the hard work and time they “donated” to this event it would not have been possible.
The ONLY thing I could suggest to Northeast PHP Conference is that they figure out a way to organize the talks a bit better. I was hearing from a lot of speakers that the 45 minute time-slot they are given is not enough time to actually present their talk properly. Some speakers were having to trim down their talks to be an abstract
Finally last but FAR FROM LEAST I have to thank Dailybreak for sending our developers to this conference.
I am already looking forward to the next Northeast PHP event it’s just sad that I might have to wait another year
ONE LAST HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL SPONSORS, SPEAKERS AND ORGANIZERS!