Best Practices Conference

I received a flier in the mail for a software development conference featuring best practices. The conference was being held in Boston this October. It sounded somewhat interesting. The flier advised me to go online to register. There was only one problem. There was no price listed on the flier. Was this thing free? If so, I am booking my flight to Boston right now. Nothing is free in this world though. And I was unhappy that they did not come straight out and announce the price on their marketing material. Don’t piss off your potential customers man.

Well I decided to go online to get more information. I found that the keynote speaker was an engineer with expertise on “robot swarms”. Now I had never heard of this engineer. And it sounded like a strange keynote topic for best practices. I was excited by a two day super sessions on C++ by Bjarne Stroustrup and Herb Sutter. Those are the heavy hitter names that might attract me to a conference. It was still not easy to figure out how much the darn conference cost.

Finally I dug down into the guts of the web site. There was a whole set of prices for the All Access Pass. The prices ranged from $2295 to $2995 based on how early you registered. However there were also other attendance levels:

  • VIP Pass (starts at $1895)

  • Conference Pass (starts at $1695)

  • Tutorial Pass (starts at $795)

  • Expo Pass (starts at free)

No wonder they did not list their prices on the flier. There was not enough room to list the conundrum of pricing structures. Now they got two dings. They appeared to have hid the price. And they also had an overly complicated pricing structure. They do know that three strikes means you are out right?

I scanned the list of speakers presenting at the conference. There were just a few names that I instantly recognized such as Scott Ambler, Larry Constantine, and Dan Saks. The other people must be filler material. Or perhaps I am not up to speed with the latest players in the Best Practices space.

This conference may have been able to attract me if they listed their pricing up front, and the pricing structure was easy to understand. In a future post I shall review the marketing for another conference. Let’s see if that one does any better.