ACE conference revisited

Last week I attended the Agile Central Europe conference in Krakow, Poland.

This is a new conference, being organized for the second time.

I was happy to get my session proposal accepted and be part of the program and it already became clear to me that the organizing team was different than other conferences I attended as a speaker.

For instance:
They used crowdsourcing to pick the design of the conference t-shirt and arranged each speaker to be picked up at the airport.  All my questions about the event were answered instantly and friendly.  Very professional!

There was a lot of open communication and dialogue about the conference format which resulted in 2 days with 1 track of sessions.  This meant that each presenter got to speak for a room of 200 people!  To compensate, an Open Space was scheduled in the middle of each day.  A chance to propose your own topics or go deeper in detail on the earlier sessions.

The program consisted of blocks of 3 sessions of 30 minutes, the maximum attention span of an average conference attendant.  Along the line of TED conferences, a format I really enjoy.

I had never visited Krakow or Poland before. It turned out to be an amazing place, with a lot of history, great bars, restaurants and beautiful architecture.

My hotel room had a nice view on the Wawel Royal Castle:

The group of speakers was really close during this conference.  We hung out together during most of the day and evenings.  Paul Klipp arranged dinner each and every evening in the city center!  He even organized a conference party at a local club where I had some interesting conversations with other conference attendants over tall glasses of Polish beer.

Take a look at the Rynek, the largest market place in Europe:

I’m not going to elaborate on the sessions.  The videos will be uploaded in a couple of weeks, so you’ll be able to take a look yourself.  Here are some pictures I took during the sessions and the open space.

Corey Haines getting ready for the opening keynote:

Pawel Brodzinski giving a lightning talk:

Andrea Provaglio facilitating an exercise during the open space:

The Open Space agenda:

Marc Löffler attacking an innocent watermelon…

… a fight he won, by the way:

Congratulations to Paul and his team! They couldn’t have organized it better. I hope I can return some day…

About Nick Oostvogels

Hi, I'm an independent management consultant. My biggest strengths are located in the fields of teamwork, motivation, leadership and continuous improvement. In the IT industry you find a lot of these values in the agile movement, in which I often act as a project leader, product owner or coach. My interests go a lot further, into other industries where we find these values in lean production. Besides that, I try to broaden my horizon as much as possible, always looking for better ways of doing business.

One comment

  1. Pingback: ACE! Conference 2011 – A retrospection

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