Whether you’re new to Clearleft, to UX London, or both, (or neither), I thought I’d share a timely insight into the proceedings as we hurtle towards the end of May. Plus I have a favour to ask you lovely attendees (more on that later on).

The low down (in case you didn’t know)

On 24th - 26th May, we at Clearleft will be running the 9th annual UX London conference. It’s a 3-day immersive and mind-bending affair designed to inspire and educate not only UX designers, but whole digital teams. The event tends to sell out and we only have a handful of tickets left now — jump and grab yours here: http://2017.uxlondon.com/

UX London is curated each year by our Managing Director and co-founder Andy Budd. He’s a dab hand at this stuff—and I’m not just saying that because he’s my boss. Andy’s a seasoned international conference speaker, so he always puts together a fantastic and well-informed line-up of influential speakers and leaders who are pushing our industry forward.

We’re proud of UX London, partly because of the reputation it has gained over the years, but mostly because people seem to have a really good time! We really care about the experience people have with us over the course of those three days. But it doesn’t happen by magic, or overnight. I want to shine a spotlight on the incredible work that goes on behind the scenes to make it all happen.

Crack team

Producing conferences and events—including UX London—is an important part of what we do, but it isn’t our core business of strategic and UX design consultancy. We do the events because Clearleft has been built over the years with the underlying principle of ‘learn, share, learn, share’ informing what we do and how we operate. UX London, we hope, exemplifies that principle. We run the event to make sure we keep learning, and keep sharing, collectively.

Kate has been running the events show for the last six years. Over the last four years, Alis has joined us to support the operation so that we can do even more. Other members of the team jump in and lend their expertise to the proceedings, whether that’s UX, design, dev, or the communications that I do.

Behind the scenes

Running events is an all encompassing experience. Months and months of planning and preparation go into UX London, because we really want to get it right for you. To give an insight into what goes on in the final few weeks leading up to the conference, here’s a bit of a brain dump (deep breath):

Drafting and designing emails, commissioning photography, writing briefs, copywriting, copywriting and more copywriting, designing and proofing the programme, social media-ing, commissioning the stage set, confirming the menu, producing merch, planning comms, scheduling, scheduling and more scheduling, briefing volunteers, reporting expenses, booking entertainment, recce-ing venues, booking hotels and travel, along with meetings and phone calls galore. Oh, and ‘liaising’. That’s my personal favourite. We do a fair bit of that. Keeping the lines of internal communication clear while we’re all spinning so many plates is super important. We have regular catch-ups and boards of sticky notes up on the wall to keep us up to speed with what everyone’s doing.

It’s full on, flat out, exhilarating, exhausting, and totally worth it.

A favour to ask

Anyway, that’s what we do for the conference and, more importantly, it’s what we do for all you folk out there who join us at UX London. And with that in mind, I want to ask you, reader, to give us a bit of feedback.

This is a heads up and a specific request. If you join us at UX London, please say “hi” to one of the team and let us know how you’re finding it. You’ll know us by our mug shots below, and we’ll be running around wearing staff lanyards and making sh*t happen on the days.

I know organisers always ask for feedback, and yes, there’ll be some cards you can fill in when you’re there, and yes, there will be a super short survey in your inbox when it’s all over—please do take a couple of minutes to fill that in! It’s standard stuff, but it does make a difference to us.

We want to keep making UX London as good as it can be. We want you to love it and learn from it, and the only way we’ll know what we get right and what we don’t is if you tell us. So in the true Clearleft spirit of ‘learn, share, learn, share’, come to UX London, get learning and then get sharing. And you can also join the conversation on twitter using the hashtag #UXLondon.

Hope to see you there!