ACE! is the largest regional conference of its kind in Central Europe, attracting people from all over the region.
The innovative ACE! format, premiered in 2011, and successfully copied by other events since, allows every attendee to be exposed to a broad range of ideas from foreign and regional thought leaders and then to explore those ideas and practices that most interest you in more detail.
ACE! brings together some of the best-known agile and lean practitioners in Europe and abroad, so you're sure to have a great networking experience and come away with new ideas and enthusiasm.
In past years, ACE! has moved to a club for beer after the first day. This year, we're doing things a bit differently.
Our venue has a large garden and hopefully in mid-June we'll have good weather and warm evenings. The ACE! venue is also a brewpub, making it's own beers. They've recently installed an outdoor grill. Can you see where I'm going with this?
If you've read Paweł's post below, you already know that the plan for Monday is different from past years and it's going to be a lot of fun as we slide smoothly from open spaces into the party, with micro-brewed beers easing the trasition.
Just one more reason to register now.
For conference organizers balancing planned sessions with the emergent elements of an event is always a challenge. On one hand the program is what helps people to decide whether they wants to attend the event. Simply put, it sells the conference. On the other hand, a popular sentiment is that coffee breaks, open spaces and parties are the best parts of events we attend.
As if that wasn’t enough, people learn in different ways and feel comfortable in different situations. So far at ACE! we’ve tried different mixes of planned and emergent content. For the past couple of years open spaces were scheduled after lunch. It is a tricky slot for speakers anyway as they have to overcome a natural sleepiness after a good meal and informal heated discussions seem to do a great job bringing life back to the room.
At the same time having fixed slots for open spaces means that discussions tend to follow the schedule too much. I mean, what happens when we’re having a great conversation but our time’s up and someone else wants to use the same space? And then, even if we could move somewhere else, there are afternoon sessions scheduled so everyone’s gone anyway.
So here’s an idea. Let’s completely rearrange the first day of the conference. Let’s make the open space part of ACE! as flexible as possible. It means it doesn’t have the time limit, thus there are no sessions after open spaces. We’ll start after all the planned sessions of that day will have been delivered. There will be retention problem, you say? People will start leaving. Well, maybe…
If someone doesn’t feel like contributing they’d feel better knowing that they didn’t miss any presentations and used their time effectively. At the same time we can assume that people who stay are genuinely interested in networking and conversations. I say it’s a win-win.
There’s more. Given that open space session will smoothly transition into a conference party, why not make open spaces even more informal and friendly and start partying a bit earlier? And of course if we need more time to cover everything we want to cover why not keep the discussion going once the party officially starts?
Oh, and by the way, if you needed just a little bit of incentive to stay at open spaces free drinks at the party would work, wouldn’t they?
For those who need to take a break there’s plenty of options when to do that. The law of two feet says that you can use those things attached to your butt to move yourself to a place you want to be at. If it means a nearby garden that serves food and beer, good for you. And then you can be back for more open spaces and / or the party.
Have I mentioned that we are thinking of some crazy stuff to run during the party as well, so you can learn even more in a joyful way? Oh well…
The bottom line is that we want to offer a very intensive experience throughout the whole day, from early morning 'till late night, and leave the latter part of the day very flexible so everyone can choose when they take a break, given that they’re taking it at all.
Of course it is an experiment. At the same it is the experiment that, in my opinion, maximizes learning options for attendees. And we offer plenty of ways of learning so everyone can choose from the menu whatever they like most. Or everything.
For those who prefer more conservative program we do have the second day too, which will be a pretty classic conference day.
Located in the historic area of Kazimerz, the ACE! 2014 venue is a converted tram depot dating from the days of horse-drawn trams in Kraków. It's now a resaurant, brewery, and conference center, and for two days, it's all ours!
Stara Zajezdnia Kraków by DeSilva
ul. Św. Wawrzyńca 12