With SD Expo 2018 behind us, we are turning our sights to 2019 and potentially to something new: a Support Driven event in Europe. We asked in January, Should There Be a Support Driven EU Conference?, and the resounding answer was Yes!

We would like to bring a Support Driven conference to Europe for the European support communities. We’re planning on a one-day, multi-track conference similar in format to the recent SD Expo. The event will include talks and workshops, and we’re we’re guesstimating attendance at 200-250 people.  We hope for SD Expo Europe to take place in April or early May of 2019. We have narrowed the city choices to Athens, Belgrade, Berlin, and Lisbon. We looked at two factors in our search for a city — accessibility from the mainland and active local Support Driven communities.

As Scott and I begin researching other European conferences and potential cities for a Support Driven event, and as we begin taking first steps in organizing, we realize something that’s probably pretty obvious to most Europeans: we’re American.

I’m going to let that sink in for a minute. Scott and I, the two folks who are currently driving the European event, are not European. We have not worked or provided customer support in Europe. We have not lived the support, or the Support Driven, experience from Europe. With our US-based perspective, we can only make assumptions when organizing a European conference, and we don’t want to make assumptions.

We want this to truly be your event, for the European community and by the European community, not an American event dropped on top of you. We want you to connect with a Support Driven conference and feel like it’s yours. We want this event to work for you, to serve you, on your home continent, and address the needs of your unique communities.

We will need European representation to help us figure this out, to make sure we’re going in the right direction. Will you help us?

Let’s work together

In order for this conference to work, it will need a lot of on-the-ground volunteer help:

  • Venue research and outreach
  • Local language support in the event city
  • Help with finding places to stay and eat
  • Help with communicating how to get around
  • Event, presenter, and volunteer coordination
  • Presenters
  • Presenter mentors
  • On-site volunteers
  • Sponsors

Right now, the event needs assistance with venue selection. From now until December, we will need help shaping Expo Europe: figuring out details of housing and transportation options, finding sponsors, determining the program structure, and recruiting coordinators and mentors for presenters. Speaker selection, and the associated organizing and mentoring that goes along with the speaker program, will likely ramp up in January and run all the way through the event. Coordination of day-of volunteers will likely begin in March, depending on the date of the event.

Are you ready to do this? We can’t wait to work with you. In addition to getting the chance to have an impact in building the first SD Europe event, organizers and volunteers will receive a complementary conference ticket (you will be responsible for your travel and accommodation costs). Please fill out this form and let us know how you’d like to help. We will contact you by Friday, August 3 to chat about next steps:

We’ve set up an #event-sd-expo-europe Slack channel for the event, so please join us there. We also welcome you to contact myself (@andreabadgley) or Scott (@scott) in the Support Driven Slack with any thoughts you’d like to share or any questions you have (especially if you fill out the form after August 3). We can’t wait to do this, and we hope to see you at a Support Driven Europe event in 2019!

Not in the Support Driven Slack yet? Join here.

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