Richard Rutter
Richard Rutter
3rd November 2013

I’m writing this on a Boing 747 headed back to Heathrow, having spent four splendid days in New York.

I was in Manhattan with Kate, Tessa and James to run our very first conference in the US, Ampersand NYC.

Earlier in the year we (well, Kate) scoured Manhattan for a suitable venue - one with the right seated capacity, but also plenty of room for sponsors and mingling in the copious breaks we like to include in our conference. In the end we went for the TimesCenter, just off Times Square. An expensive choice, but well worth it.

The Ampersand stage

Thanks to Kate’s immaculate planning, great support from the venue and our wonderful volunteers, the whole event went without a hitch. It just left me the job to introduce each of the speakers and get off the stage as quickly as possible, which I was very happy to do.

Like all of Clearleft’s conferences, Ampersand is carefully curated, with all the speakers there by invitation. They did not betray our trust. From Michael Johnson setting everything up perfectly to Christian Schwartz closing the conference with a series of gentle reminders, each speaker was erudite, entertaining and utterly professional, for which I will be forever grateful.

Sometimes it’s hard to enjoy your own conference, but with Ampersand NYC it couldn’t be further from the truth. And it seems the attendees, who paid good money to spend their Saturday listening to day of type nerdery, enjoyed themselves too. Here’s a selection of tweets:

Response

There was no video or audio recording this year, but we’ll try to get as many of the slides online as we can. In the meantime, these splendid folk have posted write-ups, collated links and taken photos:

What next for Ampersand?

Contrary to popular belief (if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere, etc.), we’re not taking Ampersand on a world tour. In fact we’re going to do the opposite. For what was initially a one-off conference, we’ve now run four Ampersands in three years, so it’s time for a break. There will be no Ampersand in 2014. What happens after that, we’ll have to wait and see. If you want to know as soon as we do, follow us @ampersandconf or sign up using this handy form:

So thanks again to everyone who has made Ampersand the wonderful conference I think it has become. And thanks again to New York for a splendid final hurrah (for now).