Thanks for your question Louise!
How do you decide which topics to include at TestBash events?
Mostly we ask the community. We also have data from the platform, what terms are being searched for. But also we observe and digest what the community is talking about. What have the popular threads on The Club, Chat, LinkedIn, Twitter all been about, and try to make mental notes about them.
How do you come up with these different format ideas for conferences and how do you assess the success of these new and unique ideas?
Mostly I put myself in the attendees shoes. For UK I felt that given the abundance of online conferences/talks now, why would I go to a conference and sit in silence for two days listening to talks? How can we take advantage of having all these people in the same room, and maximise that. That led us to thinking about more hands on things, we led us to think about what we’d done at past TestBashes. 1/2 workshops came to mind, TestBash Circus at Philly, The UnExpo, and we tried to take all the learning from those and create something even better. Or a better version of those things than the previous year.
We are also blessed to have a lot of experience in MoT. Testers who have been to many events. Sarah, our LearningBoss has lots of experience and knowledge on teaching. Including classroom style activities and techniques. Diana has seen many events from her experience and observed what has gone well and not.
For their success, we attend a few ourselves, then the majority comes from the attendees. Surverys. But also what we over hear during the event. ‘I’ve just been to this great workshop’, ‘have you tried the accessibility activity?’
How do you decide if you should continue with the idea or try something else?
Feedback. Gut feel. Attendance. But sometimes we have a new idea and something has to go for us to try it.
Overall, we are always looking to experiment and push the boundaries, while focusing on the core ideas of a conference, such as; connections, conferring, sharing and education.