About Paris Apostolopoulos

Paris is a senior software engineer focusing on J2EE development, loves Business process modelling and is keen on software quality challenges. He is passionate about Java and Java communities. He is a co-founder and administrator of the first Java User Group in greece(JHUG.gr) and occasional speaker on meet-ups and seminars and regular blogger.

LeWeb – 2011 – Round up

Just a couple of hours before I head up to the airport, I will write my last post related to LeWeb. This time I will focus on the conference itself.

Having attended a few developer conferences (not much but enough to give you some sort of experience) I have developed my own custom framework of rating a conference. I use the 6 criteria below, so I will provide my own view of things.

  1. Price tag, how much does it cost to enter the conference
  2. Location, a country nearby, the city
  3. The type of conference and the thematic sessions e.g it’s a developer conference, its marketing oriented etc
  4. How much the conference actually delivers the sessions and topics related to its type – and how it relates to me.
  5. The quality of the speakers and their talks
  6. Things like food, venue the conference takes place, the time planning and the supporting stuff

My view

  1. LeWeb can not be considered a cheap conference. Its price tag can start from 1000 euro up to 2300 depending on the time you will book. I was lucky enough to get a full ticket as an official blogger so it was free for me (Thank you LeWeb Team!). Eventually lots of participants were paying on their own or their company and the fee is considered important. So yes there are some money involved.
  2. Paris is a wonderful city, France almost in the middle of Europe I think it is reachable and flexible destination for all europeans. This is the most beautiful city of Europe (if you ask me), you could mix the conference with some site seeing, opportunity to book a cheap hotel (there are too many) and a well organized and functioning Metro system – where you can go almost everywhere. So the location factor is far from perfect especially that time of the year (just before we enter Christmas).
  3. LeWeb is a conference about IT and Internet from the marketing/business perspective. The conference promotes marketing, entrepreneurship, the connection of small firms with venture capitals and emerging connections between new IT professionals. It is not a developer conference, it is not a conference about technical internet technology sessions. Most of the talks were about promoting new ventures, talking about starting a new venture, the internet business activity, promotion of existing large players, advertising & marketing and social media. There was also a large pool of sessions related to startups – with new IT professionals trying to find fund and promote their idea (mostly business wise).
  4. According to my opinion the conference does not fail its thematic target and purpose. Totally delivers sessions and activity related to all the above (see point 3). There crowd was mostly marketing / promoting /advertisement related and many business entities (either plain investors, venture capitals and so on).A large pool of Internet rock stars and web personas from the other side of the Atlantic were here as well- contributing to the buzz of the conference. So visiting LeWeb you will give you the chance of meeting some of your favorite web article authors and opinion makers, or some get to know the faces behind venture capitals and business entities. When it comes on how the conference related to me, eventually that was a bit of an experience. I am hard core software developer – mostly interested on enterprise software (which does not seem to be the buzz of our era) and technical sessions. Le Web is not a conference for hardcore developers willing to learn new things about the actual technlogy and not the business behind. On the other hand, it is a new experience that can contribute some business insights (maybe capturing the vides of the market and social media) and new ideas can emerge.
  5. The conference was featuring lots of different and important people from many companies and ventures. I would say that the quality of the sessions was ok, but then again since I am not marketing/promoting/advertising oriented I could be a bit wrong or misjudge. I had the feeling though that some talks were some sort of pure press release to a wide audience – with few new contributing points (but maybe this is what is marketing about I guess :p). Nevertheless during these 3 days I made a list and blogged about several new apps/ ideas or talks during the conference, so definitely there was content to spice up a..hardcore geek :).
  6. LeWeb is a fantastic conference when it comes the actual implementation of it. The food was one of the best ever tried, the venues were well organized, the supporting crew was more than helpful and very polite (thank you very much girls and guys with the black). The side – projects like the parties and socializing events were very well organized and too cool (this party on the ground floor of the Louvre was something to remember for a long time).The wifi coverage and support was quite cool with small problems here and there (but this is acceptable) – also the fat So yes, excellent job and implementation – of the best ever attended – for real!

Despite the fact that I was not the target audience for a conference like LeWeb it was quite an experience, something different comparing to my previous conference experiences in the most beautiful city of Europe. Than you again LeWeb team for the free blogger’s pass.

Reference: LeWeb – 2011 – Round up from our JCG partner Paris Apostolopoulos at the Papo’s log blog.

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