DDD 4 – only UK speakers?

I was just going to start submitting sessions for DDD 4 and I found a new restriction in place: DDD 4 speaker submission is only open to UK residents. As you may or may not know, I do live in the UK, so this doesn’t shut me out or anything – I just happen to find it a pretty rude decision, considering that speakers from other countries have been allowed to take part in previous DDD events, and they did so on their own expense.

What do you think? I can come up with a few ideas about the reasoning for this decision, but none of them seems really convincing. Do we need such a restriction for DDD day?

2 Comments on DDD 4 – only UK speakers?

  1. Hi Oliver,Sorry that you think it’s a rude decision that we’re limiting submission from DDD4 to UK-only speakers. You are right that we have had international speakers at the previous events.We have had incidents at previous events where overseas speakers did not show up on the day, or arrived after their scheduled sessions. The result was that we had to reshuffle the agenda at very late notice. Each time we made changes to the agenda we received negative feedback from attendees in their evaluations. Also, for the last two events we’ve also had roughly twice the number of speaker submissions as we have slots on the day and we have had to turn down submissions from many highly-rated local speakers.DDD4 is run by a group of volunteers from the community, supported by Microsoft. For DDD4 we decided to limit speakers to the UK for three main reasons. First, we believed it took too much of our time to manage international speakers. Second, we wanted to limit the risk of late changes to agenda due to travel issues. Third, we wanted to ensure that we gave local UK speakers the greatest opportunity to talk to a wider audience.We realise that this means that we may miss the opportunity to hear from international speakers (many of whom have been great in the past), but we think it is the best way to ensure a great experience for all attendees. We will review this decision after DDD4 as part of our regular reviews and would be happy to hear more feedback.Thanks for your continued support of DDD and good luck with your session in the voting!

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  2. I agree with Oliver – it feels distasteful to me. IMHO all conferences have an obligation (yes, that strong) to attempt to cross national boundaries. Going the other way seems… protectionistic. Although I sympathize with the motive of laziness, I still feel it diminishes the value of the event.

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