Over the weekend, I attended Prestige, a conference geared towards freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small agencies looking to grow their businesses. Unlike WordCamps, plugins, themes, and WordPress in general were rarely mentioned. Instead, sessions included high level topics such as, how to land enterprise clients, knowing when to move on to the next big thing, and the benefits of partnerships.
The venue was perfect with plenty of space and the WiFi worked well. Lunch was an hour-long and provided on both days. The lunchroom can easily seat 300 people or more. Only a third of the space was used when attendees ate lunch providing a great environment to network with people.
Nancy Lyons and Technology’s Dirty Little Secret
Since I don’t deal with clients or own an agency, many of the sessions at Prestige are non-applicable to my day job. However, there is one session in particular that resonated with me. Nancy Lyons, founder and CEO of Clockwork, shared her philosophies on hiring and getting employees engaged. Happy employees do good work but what makes them happy?
- Autonomy: Control over time, technique, team, or task.
- Mastery: Make progress and get better.
- Purpose: Be part of something bigger.
A lot of the tips shared by Lyons are geared towards employers but they’re just as applicable to employees. The biggest danger to agencies and freelancers is the inability to have conversations with clients about what is and isn’t possible. According to Lyons, you can love someone and still tell them what they need to hear. One of the best tips she shared is to find and have fun at work as there’s nothing wrong with having fun.
Behind the Scenes of the Livestream
Prestige is known for having a high quality livestream where more than 1,000 people can watch the conference live. The livestream is produced by PixProMedia. The gentleman in charge uses a TriCaster to switch between speakers and slides during sessions. Here are a couple of photographs of his equipment.
According to some viewers, watching the livestream was like being at the conference but is not a substitute for face-to-face interactions.
— Cate DeRosia (@mysweetcate) August 2, 2015
Westwerk Is a Great Venue for After Parties
The after party was held at Westwerk, a WordPress development agency and primary sponsor of the event. Their office was perfect for an after party as it includes, a foosball table, Nintendo Wii, shuffleboard, drinks, pool table, and small offices for private conversations. It’s one of the best after parties for a conference that I’ve attended.
Prestige is Serious Business
It may seem like a WordPress conference on the surface but Prestige is geared towards business minded people. It’s highly focused and filled with information you can apply to companies in and outside of WordPress. If you want to learn how to take your business to the next level, Prestige is an excellent value.