Everything you need to know about PubConf.


PubConf is coming to Nottingham straight after DDD East Midlands Conference. Here Dylan answers the many questions you have around this mysterious event.


What’s this PubConf thing everyone’s talking about?


PubConf is a cross between a tech conference, a variety show, a comedy night and a conference party. The inaugural PubConf Nottingham will be held at Monty’s Bar and Social on Saturday 26 October, straight after DDD East Midlands.

Here’s a teaser:



So is it part of DDD East Midlands?


No. We run PubConf straight after big tech events like NDC or DDD East Midlands, because there’s a lot of overlap between our target audiences – but PubConf is a completely separate event, with separate tickets, that’s open to anybody whether they attended the main conference or not. The people who run conferences are always exhausted by the end of the event, so for them, PubConf is when they can finally kick back, have a drink, enjoy themselves and let somebody else do the logistics for a change.


What can I expect? How does it work?


PubConf features ten speakers, who get five minutes of stage time each. The talks are all 20 slides, 15 seconds each, and are a bit more esoteric than a regular conference talk. Some speakers go for straight comedy, some speakers present topics that are quirky, intriguing or just a little too weird for a mainstream event. Some PubConf events are themed - all the slides in a speaker’s deck have to be from a particular movie or TV show, for example. Some events are freestyle - speakers can pick any theme or topic they like.

Three winners are chosen by audience vote, who go through to the PubConf Final - where they have to improvise a talk, accompanied by a slide deck they’ve never seen before. The winner is crowned the PubConf Grand Champion.

PubConf Nottingham will be hosted by Dylan Beattie, who will be opening the show, introducing the speakers, awarding the prizes, and entertaining everybody afterwards with his software-themed parodies of classic rock songs. We’ll wrap up the entertainment around 22:30, and the bar’s open until midnight for folks to stick around, chat, drink and have fun.


Have you done this before?


Lots of times. PubConf launched in London after NDC London, way back in January 2017; since then we’ve run successful PubConf events in Oslo, Sydney, Porto, Minnesota, Kansas City and Amsterdam. We’ve played around with the format a bit to find something that works, and every event is a bit different.


Who’s “we”?


PubConf was created by Todd Gardner, the founder of TrackJS. PubConf Nottingham is being organised by DDD East Midlands keynote speaker and PubConf veteran Dylan Beattie, with a bit of friendly support from the DDD East Midlands team – who are also no strangers to PubConf! – and the lovely folks of Tech Nottingham.



Why can’t I take pictures or put stuff on Twitter?


Many of our speakers have opinions about technology, specific products, or our industry that could get them in trouble with their employers. PubConf talks can also involve profanity and innuendo - the kind of stuff you’ll see on late-night TV but wouldn’t expect to hear during a job interview. If this kind of stuff gets shared out of context, it can cause all sorts of headaches for people, and so we ask that you don’t tweet, video or share anything without our speakers’ express permission.


Is there a code of conduct?


Yes - it’s at https://pubconf.io/code-of-conduct/. You will probably hear language, jokes and opinions at PubConf that wouldn’t be appropriate at a formal tech conference. If you’re uncomfortable with that, PubConf might not be for you. But that doesn’t mean we tolerate hateful, abusive or discriminatory behaviour. Negative and hateful language are not tolerated, and anybody being defamatory or discriminatory will be expelled without refund and could be barred from future events. So don’t be a jerk.


Why is it in a pub?


Because we like pubs! (And because if it wasn’t in a pub, we’d lose a good 60% of our target audience because they’d go to the pub instead…)

Your ticket price includes bar food and one free alcohol or non-alcoholic drink, and water and soft drinks are available as well as the usual pub range of beers, wines and spirits. Plus, pubs are generally quite good at keeping nice people happy and keeping nasty people out – which is a consideration for running an informal event in the middle of a big city, on a Saturday night.

Who’s speaking?


Check out the full speaker lineup at pubconf.io/events/2019/nottingham/


Who’s going to be there?


We’re expecting about 120 software developers, designers, product managers, and various other folks who like tech, laughs and pubs.


Can I sponsor it?


Absolutely! PubConf is being run as a non-profit community event - but if you or your company want to throw a few hundred quid behind the bar on the night, we’ll tell our attendees the drinks are on you, and in exchange we’ll get your logo up on our website, our social media and make sure you get plenty of kudos from our MC on the night.

Email dylan@dylanbeattie.net if you’re interested, and we’ll figure something out.


How much does it cost?


Tickets are £15 + booking fee - that includes admission, buffet food and a complimentary drink on arrival.


So how do I get a ticket?


PubConf Nottingham is happening at Monty’s Bar and Social on Saturday 26 October - straight after DDD East Midlands. Tickets are on sale now: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pubconf-nottingham-tickets-72233483293?aff=dddemblog