I’ve been to tons of conferences and often left disapointed. They’re often so similiar and despite the high prices, make it hard to have a good, interesting time. Design or experience related events are often more disapointing: they fail to make the conference itself a well designed experience for attendies.
With that in mind I strongly recommend GEL 2006. It’s a small two day conference focused on good experiences and how to make them. The speakers are diverse and the day is paced well and highly interactive. I attended in 2003, the first year, and have been trying to get back ever since.
You can read all about last year’s conference and see how diverse and interesting the pool of speakers and sessions are.
GEL 2006: Thu & Fri May 4-5th 2006. 2006 Speaker list.
The conference rates are heavily discounted until Dec: 12th. For both days it’s $900 now, $1200 after Dec. 13, and $1500 on April 1st 2006.
In related news: I’ve been lobbying Mark Hurst, the conference organizer, to let me speak there for years – and have failed every time :) But this year I finally got somewhere – Day one of the event is a set of tours of user experiences in NYC. I’ll be running one called The experience of sacred places. We’ll be roaming around Manhattan breaking down how churches, temples, parks and other special places are designed to have the effects they do.