For the last few years, Russell Davies has organised a conference called Interesting. I went to the first one in 2007 and I also went to the one last year (I missed the 2008 one because I was on holiday). I was looking forward to this year’s Interesting, but then, on Friday, I saw this:
For various reasons, (none of them involving personal tragedy, so don’t worry) we’re going to have to cancel Interesting this year. Very sorry about that. I’m writing to all the potential speakers right now, but if you see it here first, huge thanks for volunteering and many apologies for the late notice. We’ll do another one next summer.
Sad news. I mentioned this on Twitter, and said maybe I should organise a Boring conference instead. I’d actually mentioned this before, just as a joke (I think the idea was to hold it on the same day, maybe in the phone box outside Conway Hall). This time, however, I was a bit more serious, and quite a few people said they’d be interested in Boring. So now, I’m tempted to actually do it.
I’m not really sure what I’m getting myself into. I’ve never organised anything like this. Stationery Club has always been fairly shambolic, with planning kept to an absolute minimum (the one time that we had a proper venue and a projector and stuff only happened because some grown ups offered to help).
So now I am having to think about numbers and venues and things. Interesting is held in the lovely Conway Hall. The first year they limited the tickets to 200 (which sold out immediately – I was lucky to get one) and I think they increased that to 350 for the later ones (which also sold out immediately – I was lucky again). The tickets were £20 each. Boring will be smaller, much smaller. I doubt we’ll sell more than fifty tickets, and I don’t think we could charge more than a fiver. That doesn’t give us (I keep saying “we” and “us”, at the moment it’s just me, I’m sure other people will help though, right? Guys? You’ll help, won’t you? Guys?) much money to play with. We’ll need a small-ish venue, preferably with some sort of projector to connect to a laptop. I can’t really think of anywhere suitable off the top of my head. I had considered The Mission Room in Exmouth Market as I once went to a thing called Crispival 08 (“the world’s first ever crisp festival”) held there and it was quite a nice place. Unfortunately, their website seems to have died and the place might not exist any more. Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club is probably too expensive. There must be other places. I don’t think it should be a pub though. This is a conference, after all. If you know any good venues, let me know.
I also need to think about who is going to talk, and what they are going to talk about. I have a few ideas, and might start emailing people soon, but if you want to talk about something boring, email me here.
It might be nice if we could get someone to film it, or record it in some way. Maybe even stream it live on the internet. I am not sure how complicated that would be.
If any grown ups want to get in touch with sponsorship ideas, or financial backing or whatever, I would be very grateful. Of course, it does mean your brand will be associated with the word “Boring”, which might not be ideal. Also, if any journalists or media type people want to get involved, please do.
Basically, I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. If you can help in any way whatsoever, please do. I’m an idiot and this whole thing might be an awful idea, but let’s try and make something good.