Launching a conference is never easy and doing one by yourself and using your own assets (i.e. money) makes the balancing act even harder. eat:Strategy has been burning in my mind for more then a few years. I knew I wanted to do an event as far back as 5 years, however, I just didn’t know the style and scale I had in mind.
In the last few years I’ve been going to more conferences, both as a speaker and attendee, and seeing the ins and outs of what makes a great conference. Or at least what I thought made a great conference. Venue was important and more so the speakers. Speakers are what encourage us to pay to go to an event (at least me). However, in the last few years Toronto and many urban cities around the world has seen the rise of free events, unconferences or otherwise, and the dismantling of paid of events.
So in what’s a changing and uncertain climate, why would I take the risk to launch eat:Strategy?
Three words: passion & knowledge.
I’ve a passion for the discipline of strategy and a large appetite to share knowledge among my peers and some of the brightest minds in our industry. I wanted a conference you’d walk away knowing you learned something and could walk into work that week and apply it to current and future client work. As posts including The Sexy World of Planning (hat tip: @leshannepretty) make it seem, few know what we do and yet it’s vital to everyone’s success. Knowledge share couldn’t be more important today then it was a decade again during the dot com bubble.
I was sick of going to events & conferences just to be seen and not walking away feeling like I learned anything. I’m by far no expect, however, I’ve worked hard and cut my teeth the last 2+ years as I’ve grown and worked with amazing clients as a freelancer for hire. eat:Strategy won’t appeal to everyone, however, I do hope people feel like they’ve learned something and had a chance to network with likeminded individuals, both on the client and agency side.