I’m back home and I still can’t believe how amazing An Event Apart Boston was for me and everyone with whom I talked. I knew going in it was a great lineup of speakers covering great topics. I knew that we had a completely kick-ass staff in place, and amazing volunteers to help us out. I knew that we’d have great support from the venue.
I knew all that, and I was still overwhelmed and ecstatic at how things went. At least on one level. On another, thanks to the aforementioned kick-ass staff, things went so smoothly that I almost felt like I was a speaker at someone else’s conference. I had so little to worry about that it was sometimes hard to remember that this was all happening because Jeffrey and I, over breakfast at Las Manitas in Austin, decided to take a chance and put on a show. In a way, I had to prod myself just a little to remember to feel pride in what we’d accomplished.
What required no effort to feel was a deep sense of humility and awe that so many people had come to support what we did. Over five hundred folks gathered in Boston, drawn by the same love of the web and pride in Doing Things Right that drives us. I see the attendees at AEA as the craftsmen and women of the web. Sure, there are shops mass-producing sites, the way a factory churns out cheap clocks. That’s fine if you just want something to put on your nightstand. But if you want an elegant, finely tuned work of art that you’d hang in a prominent place, a clock that is as much a point of pride as a timepiece—you find a craftsman. And that’s who came to Boston. That’s who comes to An Event Apart.
What amazed me even more was the overwhelming wave of positive feedback that we got. Marci, our event manager, told me that in 25 years of event planning, she’s never seen attendees so happy. So many people came up to me and Jeffrey and Marci just to say, “Thank you so much for doing this”. They were thanking us, which seems entirely backwards. I did thank each of them for coming to the event, but let me state it here for anyone I didn’t get to thank in person. Thank you so much for coming to AEA and showing that you know creating the web is much more than churning out code, and that you take pride in being a craftsman. Thank you for making the show so amazing. Without you, it couldn’t have happened at all.
Now I’m looking forward to AEA Seattle twice as much as before, and I thought I was already maxed out on anticipation.
Again: wow. Thank you, one and all.