WDANZ Wellington Conference

I spoke this week at the Wellington Web Developers Association of New Zealand (WDANZ). This was the first WDANZ conference I have been to, and I have to say, the event was rather enjoyable.

It was good to hear from the 14 different speakers about all those other aspects of web development that I don't actually specialize in.


  • Hearing about streaming video from Richard Naylor of R2. I would hate to be his credit card come end of the month when the bandwidth statement arrives.
  • Some interesting notes from Bruce Clement about his massive stockpile of New Zealand domain names.
  • and a reinforcement of what makes good web copy from Helen Wise of Write Group. Apparently, links within sentences aren't great for users, but I'll break the rules this time so that these great speakers can have some extra link juice.

For next time...

The conference was certainly light on numbers, and it's a bit of a shame really given how good the speakers and event was. I can think of a few reasons why this might have been...
  • Price. Flying to Wellington, booking a room, and paying the conference fees does add up. I'm guessing this isn't much different to other conferences, but it's always a factor. Everyone I spoke with certainly seemed pretty happy with the value for money they were getting, and I got a couple of nice unsolicited testimonials too.
  • Don't like WDANZ. There has been a lot of negativity about WDANZ (in certain circles) since they started, for a number of different reasons, and not all without merit. A lot of people, myself included, took issue with the ugly website. But the new website is fine - Labyrinth Solutions in Auckland have put a swanky new site online, based on their Contegro CMS.
    A lot of people have complained about WDANZ's "aggressive marketing", and that's a fair statement too. I'm not a fan of fax spam either.
  • Would like to go, but too busy. I'm sure there were a few Wellington members in this category. Was interesting to see most of the attendees were from outside Wellington, so definitely room for improvement there.

If you are skeptical of the whole thing, maybe send one of the speakers an email and see how they enjoyed the conference.

Overall thoughts

I'm really pleased I went, and enjoyed speaking about something I enjoy - CSS background positioning, printable stylesheets, round corners using images and (briefly) some Google-friendly AJAX. I hope the attendees liked what I had to say, and I certainly enjoyed listening to the other speakers. Dennis Smith had the event organized well, and that can't have been easy to manage.

I'd like to see more talk on graphic design next time - not covered strongly this time, but I'm sure this feedback will be taken onboard.

Post a comment if you have anything to add to this.
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Tags: wdanz