Connecting with the organisers: Ruth Yarnit & White October Events
What's your role within the team?
I’m the Managing Director of White October Events, a London-based team who design and deliver tech conferences and practical developer training. Me and my three colleagues, Megan, June and Vicky, are responsible for the logistical side of running AngularConnect conference: everything to do with the venue, catering, tech/AV, sponsorship, customer service, entertainment and lots more. Every week we have an hour-long hangout with our co-organisers Josh, Ed and Pete, to discuss and decide on ways to make the conference as awesome as possible!
What do you do when you're not organising AngularConnect?
As a team, we keep ourselves very busy! In addition to AngularConnect, we’re the folks behind Render front-end conference, The Lead Developer conference for tech leads in London and New York, SeleniumConf UK, and our new conference for digital project managers, Ground Control. Outside of work, we’re all big foodies and we love cooking and baking. We’re currently planning a little summer party to celebrate White October Events' 3rd anniversary, so food will definitely feature in some way…
What are you most looking forward to at AngularConnect 2016?
What I loved most about the first AngularConnect last year was how it brought together the Angular community from Europe and beyond. In addition to 2 main tracks, we had a range of breakout spaces, which we’re bringing back this year. I’ve loved putting thought into how we can make our games room even more fun than last time, and our chill out room even more relaxing. We’re introducing topic-specific Q&A panel sessions this year, plus Office Hours sessions, where attendees can interact with our experts in a more informal setting and ask questions, do code reviews and so on. As a team, we’re dedicated to making the “connect” in AngularConnect a meaningful reflection of the conference experience.
What's your top tip for people looking to run their own conference or meetup?
Speak to and learn from your audience. They’re the reason you’re putting on the event, so find out what they want. Ahead of launching any new event, we hold interviews with our target audience to find out what problems they’re facing and how our new event could help solve them. Following each conference, we encourage all attendees to send us their feedback, good and bad. We read every single comment, and we have thorough retrospective sessions as a team to figure out what went well and what we could improve next time. We learn something every time we run a new event – and we’ve run over 50 events in the last 3 years, including conferences and workshops!
If you could only eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Can I pick a whole food-group? If so, carbs. Pasta, noodles, chips and beige foods of all description. If I had to pick only one sweet food, it’d be sour fizzy laces – they are my weakness!