Wrapping up Now What? Conference 2016

We created an event that focuses on how to care for our websites, how to write great content, and how to track effectiveness.

  • May. 04 2016

The 2016 Now What? Conference is all wrapped up. And while many attendees have already put their Sharpies and notebooks away, here at Blend we are in clean-up mode.

On one hand, it’s a relief. When you put on a conference you are always in go-mode. Always planning. Always coordinating. Always thinking ahead. On the other hand, there’s just as much to work on after we’ve said goodbye to our speakers and attendees. Not only tidying everything up in a nice little bow, but also looking hard at our goals - and whether or not we hit them.

This is our fourth year producing the Now What? Conference, and we’ve been through this enough that it has become a part of who we are as a company. But do we keep doing it just because it works? Are we getting out of it everything that we put into it? Why did Blend Interactive get into the conference-producing game to begin with?

At Blend we build websites. Specifically, we build complex, content-focused websites. These project take months (and, often, years) to complete, but even after site launch we’d watch as our clients asked an age-old question: “Now What?” From those words, a conference was born. We wanted to create an event that focuses on how to care for our websites, how to write great content, and how to track effectiveness. We realized it would be beneficial not only for us, but for the industry as a whole.

We produce the Now What? Conference because it represents our core values. We believe that our desire to do great things on the web is rooted in an inner drive to move our disciplines and industry forward. It is our duty to share our knowledge with the industry. And let’s be honest, bringing together others to share knowledge is pretty darn thrilling, too.

It’s a labor of love. We see that during our speaker dinner, where we bring all of our presenters together around one table, the buzz and energy of idea-sharing passing beyond the table into the next day. We see that during workshops, where attendees are submerged not only in thoughtful activities but into the vast spectrum of their shared experience. We see that during the conference itself: smiles, thoughtful nods, laughs, a flying squirrel or two.

Sure, you can watch the talks on Vimeo (2016 attendees watch for your talks, soon!) But nothing beats being in the theater, feeling the excitement, and having the chance to bend the ear of an attendee or speaker who has dealt with the same types of situations you have.

One of the best parts of the event is watching people make connections. And while, at the end of the day, we are left with slides, tweets and photos, it’s the feeling of camaraderie with our fellow web workers that drives us to keep working at Now What? Conference. It’s then that we realize the problems we face our not ours alone, but rather an opportunity for all of us to move forward.

Whether you are part of a large department or are a one-human team, there is no perfect way to do things. There’s not one simple task that we can complete that will make our jobs more efficient. But to know that we have a community of people who understand what we face? That’s the true gift of Now What? Conference.

Thank you for for being a part of our event, for your support, and for giving us the opportunity to share our knowledge with the larger community.