Community isn’t a dirty word …

Type of session: talk Track: 1 (HENDERSON THEATRE)
Start Time: 10.15

At Agile on the Beach we see a community form every year - in just two short days. For an event that includes people from all over the country, as well as all over the world, how does that happen? Why is it so important? And how can it be applied to more than just events?

In event management, in business, in software development, (and in fact, almost every other job role you can think of) we have a tendency to fixate on a specific detail that may not be as important as you think. As a conference, Agile on the Beach welcomes almost 500 people to the beautiful Falmouth University campus for two days of relaxed talks that focus on methodologies - not technologies. So you would think that the quality of the speakers and the content of their talks is the most important thing, right?

Wrong… Based on over 10 years worth of feedback, from over 7000 attendees and almost 300 speakers - turns out speakers and content are way down their list of what really grinds their gears.

Our community may only interact in person once-a-year but they consistently: invest in a product, interact with that product and (most importantly) tell their friends all about it. So once you’ve identified “your community” - why shouldn’t they do the same for your business? By the end of this talk you’ll be convinced to abandon all your preconceived thoughts of what you think is important to your business and your product (and maybe even your life) by putting “your community” at the heart of everything you do.

Session takeaways

  • Confidence... to take a step back and look at the "bigger picture"
  • Confirmation... that (sometimes) what you think is the "most important" really isn't
  • A reminder... that even though you might not understand "why" - the much maligned "social media influencer" has totally nailed the idea of marketing to their community


Garry is a handsome, capable, (and exceedingly humble) dad of two feral children and husband to an ever exasperated wife. To help contribute to theirs (and his own) continued survival he has been forced to gain almost two decades worth of experience in digital design, marketing, event management and community building. Throughout this time he’s had the opportunity to work with a number of fantastic local organisations, community groups, national companies and even a hopeful member of parliament.

Describing himself as a ‘high functioning nerd’, Garry’s passion for technology has been lifelong and throughout his working life he has championed the South West as a hub for innovation and expertise in the Technology and Digital sectors. His ability to design kick-ass digital content, search out digital tools to improve business processes and manage the crap out of your event is unparalleled by anyone within a 10 yard radius. Most importantly, other than being an unashamed Taylor Swift fan, he understands the value of finding (and working with) people that are better than him.

Note: Speaker information is subject to change

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