WebExpo Prague

Sebastian Bergmann |

Last weekend I attended the WebExpo conference in Prague, CZ. I enjoyed this trip for many reasons: the city is beautiful, the people are friendly (I really enjoyed the discussions I had at the conference), and the local cuisine is delicious. Here are three things the organizers did that really impressed me:

When I submitted my presentation, I was asked to provide a tagline that describes myself. The allowed length for this tagline was very limited. It took me a while until I came up with "I help PHP teams build better software". This sentence expresses in very few words what I do and, more importantly, what I am passionate about. When I arrived at the conference venue I was pleasantly surprised to see this tagline printed on the attendee badges. When meeting new people at a conference, such a badge can help a lot with starting conversations in the hallway track.

Over the years I have been to a lot of conferences around the world. One problem that commonly comes up when talking to people at a conference is that somebody wants to share his contact details with another person but cannot do so because he or she has no business card. The reasons for this range from "I am out of business cards" over "I have no personal business card and do not want to hand out a business card from my employer" to "My employer does not think I should have business cards / hand out business cards at this event". WebExpo Prague solves these problems by providing each attendee with a stack of business cards. How cool is that?

When a speaker concludes a session, he or she is usually quickly surrounded by attendees who want to further discuss the topic or have very specific questions. Unless the session was in the last slot of the day (or before the lunch break), though, there is neither the space nor the time in the room to have this kind of interaction between the speaker and his or her audience. WebExpo Prague addresses this problem by providing a Speaker's Corner. This is a designated (and dedicated) place where the attendees know they can find the speaker after the presentation. After my session, for instance, I spent almost an hour in the Speaker's Corner discussing PHPUnit in general and specific problems in particular with various attendees.

I explained how to make unit testing with PHPUnit more efficient in my "PHPUnit Best Practices" session:

Sebastian Bergmann: PHPUnit Best Practices

This session, which I will also give at the International PHP Conference and at ZendCon in October, provides the audience with tips and tricks to leverage PHPUnit more effectively. My goal is to expand this catalogue of best practices over time and select different ones for each iteration of the presentation.