This year's php|tek conference is less than a week away and all of the hard work and planning has paid off. The conference, the most recent in a series Marco Tabini & Associates have held in Chicago, Illinois, is bringing together speakers from all over the world to talk on subjects ranging from version control, to rapid application development to development frameworks. Marco Tabini, CEO of MTA has this to say about this year's event, "Preparations are down to the wire and, like every year, we have some great surprises in store for our attendees. php|tek is a unique mix of community happenings and great learning opportunities and, for me as for many other people, a great opportunity to meet up with old friends and new acquaintances."
The week will also include a few other events outside of the normal daily sessions, one of which is the Unconference happening just after the last session each day. Keith Casey of Blue Parabola organized this year's event. With the help of the Joind.in site and some community involvement, he's set up some great sessions to compliment each of the day's normal sessions. I asked Keith what he felt was the real goal behind the Unconference and how to make it really work.
"The vital - and therefore most difficult - part of an unconference is getting the word out. First, people need to know it's happening. Then they need to know how to participate both in the pitching and voting of sessions [and] they need to know which session is happening where." In his opinion, though, the real key to a successful unconfernece is to make the connection between the people with something to say and the ones that want to hear it.
None of this would come together without the hard work of others "behind the scenes" handling things like reservations at the hotel, setting up special need for the speakers and coordinating with the staff to make sure things run smoothly during the week. One member of this team is Elizabeth Naramore. She's spent the last few months coordinating things to to make the week flow as smooth as possible. Elizabeth noted that, despite still working out the last minute details, they're "really excited about hosting this year's conference. We have brilliant speakers and some great social events planned, along with a few surprises, just to keep everyone on their toes."
If you're haven't registered yet, there's still time! The conference begins next Tuesday with the Tutorials day and goes through Friday at lunch with regular and Unconference sessions. You can still register on the php|tek website if you'd like to attend but you have to be fast - since the conference is next week, you have to sign up before the end of this week!