I was only slightly disappointed to discover that Style & Class has nothing to do with helping me become a true lady. Instead, this meetup in Vancouver brings together designers and developers who love to make the web look and function better. I talked myself into going because I only dabble in these topics, but I am perpetually curious about how to get better.
Their first conference took place on Saturday and, if you didn’t know better, you would could never had guessed that this was their first event larger than a meetup. It was head and shoulders above many of the events I have attended in the past couple of years. Here are a few details from that conference that I want to remember, and that everyone else should be aware of.
What Made the Style & Class Conference So Good?
- More than 50% women speakers. It can and should always be done at every conference. Here’s why I feel this way: I can very clearly see when it’s a women on stage and I will identify with that speaker. It’s very important to represent as wide a perspective as possible. Next time, I would love to see how representation of different races of designers and developers.
- It started at noon on a Saturday. Not 8am after a party that went into the wee hours the night before. I think it’s a part of that bullshit macho culture to party hard all night and then make it a point to show up in the morning. I found it very thoughtful and showed that the organizers respected everyone’s time.
- Every speaker presentation was interesting, rehearsed and had beautiful slides. Designers sure know how to give a presentation!
- The chosen venue was appropriate – comfortable seats for everyone, darkened theatre room and yet you could still use your phone, or even laptop, if you wanted to capture notes or tweet.
- All the profits from the event are going toward Ladies Learning Code! It’s a perfect partnership that is surprising, but shouldn’t be. When will it become normal for everyone to care about little girls having the same opportunities as little boys?
- Fantastic flow to the day – just enough time to chat with other attendees before and after the event, with a solid 45-minute intermission in the middle. I also enjoyed being able to grab dinner before the after-party started 2 hours after the end of the conference.
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In terms of inclusion, gender balance, and accessibility (also curation) just set a gold standard for conferences to follow.
— Todd Smith (@toddsmithdesign)
I think we should all clap for these unreal sign language folks keeping pace with the speakers.
— Scott Baldwin (@benry)
"What if Lady Gaga designed Excel?" @chelscore asking the tough questions at.
— Style & Class (@Style_n_Class)
Here is the @learningcode video I showed during my talk. I can't stop watching it!
— Meredith Underell (@MeredithU)