While there is a business side of running a conference this is a community conference first and foremost. We want your involvement, we want your feedback, we want your validation, we want your help! We do not, and will not work in a box. For me, one of the best part of a community conferences are all the other activities that happen around the conference itself. For me ( and I think a few others too ) the conference has already started. We're building stuff now, getting together, planning, and of course like good developers adding scope creep.
So, how do you get involved? Let me break down just a few of the major ways.
Email - As simple as it may sound, one of the best ways to provide feedback or just chat with us is via good ole email. You can reach the board members at contact@thatConference.com and we are pretty good at responding within a day or so. Got an idea, want to make a comment, or better yet compliment us; hit us on email.
Google Groups - If you like email but want to collaborate with your peers, there's a group for that. While small at the moment some of the conversation has been really helpful, while others is just informational. Unlike email, it's archived and involves the community around it. I often throw out ideas to help me better understand and shape my own thinking. You will find us here: http://groups.google.com/group/thatconference
Volunteer - You just flat want to help. Great, we need a lot of that too. We have another group setup at thatConferenceStaff.groups.live.com. There is an awesome group of people already signed up but we need more. I coordinate all of the broader planning through that. If your interested in helping, just sign up.
Twitter - Of course we're on Twitter. Follow us, retweet, reach out, I try to watch the stream pretty closely, but after all it's twitter and it gets always from you at times.
WebSite Badges - This is currently in development and should be on our site for download in the next couple of weeks. Our awesome designers at Drifting Creatives are doing whatever bad ass designers do to make awesome pixels. This is a great way to easily show your support.
Sponsorship - Not to be understated our sponsors are very important to our overall success. You can find more about our sponsorship and our thoughts around it here: http://csell.net/2012/02/06/that-conference-call-for-sponsors/.
Lastly, help spread the word - Look we only know who we know. This is a community conference for the entire community. Last week on twitter a few guys said, are PHP guys welcome? HELL YES, and everyone else too. Our only stipulation is, we're wrapping everything around Web, Mobile and Cloud. Pretty hard not to fit something in those buckets.
This is my war cry. Do not hesitate in getting involved. Regardless of the contribution, they're all IMPORTANT. Please don't assume, we all have day jobs too.
a note from the past for the future -
One of the goals of mine as we are planning That Conference is to provide transparency into the process, a peek behind the curtain if you will. Maybe your trying to plan something too, and hopefully this provided you one ounce of help.