Speakers & Program
The conference has a nice balance between keynotes, workshops and networking activities. Let’s discuss all three:
First, have a look at the program of The Things Conference to get some inspiration.
Nicolas Sornin, presenting at The Things Conference
Your speakers are the most important component of the conference. Selecting, inviting, and preparing them for the big day will be one of your most important tasks. You may find speakers in different ways:
- Call for Speakers – The moment you announce the conference, include in your communication (social media, newsletter, etc.) a call for speakers, indicating that you are actively looking for speakers.
- The Things Network community – You can find an (almost) unlimited number of experts in The Things Network community. Look around at the Forum, Slack and LABS to find the experts and don’t hesitate to reach out and invite them to your conference. Difficulties with finding the right person? Reach out to the community managers Rish (email@example.com) or Laurens (firstname.lastname@example.org) as they can help you selecting the right people and initiating the first contact.
- Through sponsors – sponsorship agreements may include a workshop or a talk. Try to keep the sponsored keynotes to a minimum as it is preferred to have independent content.
- Through companies (other than sponsors) – reach out to the representatives of companies that are important in the LoRaWAN and IoT ecosystem.
Some of the sponsors/partners might want to host sessions to engage with customers and allow customers to interact with their products. If this is the case, you can offer them workshop opportunities. If you do, it will be up to you to organize the workshop for the partners and it will be their job to host it. Prior to the conference, a form was sent to the partners used for clarifying the content and outlines of the workshop. The ideal duration of the workshop is 45 minutes and should be no longer than 1.5 hours. Examples of workshops are:
- Integrate The Things Network with an IoT cloud platform (like AWS, IBM Cloud, SAP, Azure)
- Getting started with a development device (Pycom, STM LoRa Discovery Kit, xDot)
- Creating a node from scratch (soldering everything together)
- Gateway monitoring and remote management (for example through Resio.io)
- Design for ultra-low power usage
- Antenna design
- Localization using WiFi / Geolocation
- Building a secure workflow (asymmetric cryptography using a secure element)
- Dual-band commissioning using Bluetooth
Remember, prior to the conference, a form was sent to the partners used for clarifying the content and outlines of the workshop. Have a look at the file here.
Make sure to schedule enough time for coffee and lunch breaks, as well as a drink to allow people to interact and expand their professional network. You might also decide that you want to host a special networking event for larger companies. If so, make sure you organize it in time and communicate all details well in advance so that individuals you want to see at the event don’t commit their time elsewhere.