HybridConf is not like any other industry conference I have either attended or heard about before. It’s a conference for creatives of all kinds that focuses on inspiring.

Whatever words I choose to try and describe it will not be as good as their own:

We’re the conference for people who create of every kind. We’re the conference that inspires and empowers. We’re the conference that defies conventions. We’re the conference for you.

What they achieve, above and beyond the quality of talks and speakers they get every year, is the theme they get to run through the whole event. It’s the mindset of acceptance, of equality, of paying it forward. It’s the feeling that you get every year that you can achieve, you can help others, you are good enough. It’s the feeling of instead of signing up to attend a conference you have signed up to a lifetime of membership to a community of like minded, talented people you always hoped existed. It’s the feeling you’ve known them all for years.

The venues aren’t chosen for number of seats, they are chosen for comfort and accessibility. Pay it forward tickets are available for those who are deserving that aren’t able to otherwise attend. Pre and post conference events are designed to get people to meet, make sure everyone is invited, welcomed, involved and happy. The effort that Zach and Laura go to every year on all of these fine details is phenomenal.

What I get back from hybrid every year is that my productivity soars, my ideas flow, my side projects get finished. I now focus as much on my membership of the wider creative community than I do on my own work. I know I can do more with this, I will do more with this, but every year I get pushed further along this path. The communication and support we give each other on our team at work has been heavily and positively influenced by the hybrid experience.

Highlights from 2016

It isn’t easy to pick talks to highlight, but here are the three talks that have given me the most this year:

Doc Waller – all up in the feels – keynote
Doc Waller spoke to us about emotions. How important they are. How we are conditioned to suppress them, but instead we should embrace feelings while learning to control them.

As creatives, as people, our work becomes better if we can attach emotion to it. Our lives become better. The lives of people around us becomes better. We should keeps our emotions closer to our work, our feelings matter, and they are what make you who you are.

This talk gave me goosebumps at the time and I’m still processing it in my head now. Just as he predicts I imagine there will be future event which will make me return to his points.

Fortunately you don’t have to take my word for it, this is absolutely worth 30 minutes of your time:
Doc Waller’s talk
(see me at 3:43 rocking the one handed knee-clap as I’m holding my cup of awesome brewbox berlin coffee – true story)

Alex Jegtnes – losing bad habits

HybridConf stalwart Alex Jegtnes pocket talk on breaking bad habits was slotted in at the beginning of day one as they had a few technical difficulties. His talk is something that I’ve taken a lot from. He described how habits are formed, how they are based on a cue, and how they are rewarded. He had some advice on how to break them:

* Work out the cue (time/location/people/environment)
* Work out the reward
* Swap out the action to what you want to become a habit to achieve the same reward

He stressed how difficult this was to achieve, but nothing worth doing is ever easy.

Trent Kusters – league of geeks
This was the talk I was looking forward to the most on this years lineup and it did not disappoint.

Trent described how after he was made redundant when the global economic crash took down most of the game development industry in Australia he was faced with moving to Europe or the US for work. He instead decided to form The League Of Geeks with his friends to create their idea for a digital board game.

It was a unique story of how they got funded and managed to hire some of the top design/animation and development talent in the world based on a ‘points based’ future payment concept. The entire 3 year project relied solely on everyone’s belief that the game was going to be a success, and users would buy into the concept as much as they did.

Of course, the game that they developed this way was the award winning Armello.


I’ll leave you with these two –
Jojo Hedaya from this years conference in his excellent talk about the creation of Unroll Me:
Jojo Hedaya’s talk

And finally, this keynote from Aaron Draplin last year, which remains the best talk I have ever seen. Everyone should see this:
Tall Tales From A Large Man

Thanks again to Laura and Zach for once again hosting this amazing conference. Your efforts are not lost on us 🙂