Malta fireworks

Come to Fireworks Factory

In recent years, Web of Change has been the most important event I attend each year. It’s a gathering of really senior people in the social change space in a wilderness location. Most years, it’s an exceptionally well-run event with a real focus on building a trust network among attendees. I’ve made new friends and colleagues there, and gotten plenty of work through those connections.

For the past couple of years, I’ve wanted to convene a similar event for marketers. It wouldn’t be exactly Web of Change, because marketers wouldn’t share the same sense of common cause, but this new event would share a lot of the same goals.

  • Mid-level and senior marketers would attend.
  • The conversations would be about strategy, not WordPress plug-ins
  • We’d build a trust network amongst peers
  • Most importantly, it would be non-douchey

So, this summer, we’re launching Fireworks Factory. It’s an intimate, invite-only conference for smart web marketers. We’re holding it on Galiano Island, a ferry ride away from Vancouver. It’s going to be very small in this first year–there won’t be more than 50 people in attendance. We made this video to talk about what the conference will offer:

If you’re a marketer, please check out the conference details and consider attending. We’d be delighted to have you.

Why is it called Fireworks Factory?

I wrote about this on Capulet’s blog:

We lived in Malta for a year in 2007, on the small island of Gozo. Each town on Gozo has a week-long religious festival–Malta is the most Catholic nation outside of the Vatican–punctuated by fireworks and pyrotechnics. These explosives were all homegrown, crafted in a community-owned fireworks factory on the edge of town. Men from the village would spend time there building and testing fireworks, in the hopes of outdoing their rival towns. Occasionally, something horrible would happen.

Still, they were communal spaces where something risky and breathtaking gets imagined and created. That seemed like a good metaphor for the kind of conference we want to run.

Why is it invite-only?

I’ve always been conflicted about invitation-only events. Web of Change vets all of its attendees, as does TEDx Vancouver. We’re applying the same logic as Web of Change: because we want to ensure the right level of people are attending. We’re planning quite a conversational, two-way event, and as such we want attendees who have confronted complex, strategic issues. There are, after all, tons of events for a more general marketing audience. Even that makes me a bit leery, but it’s the simple reality of a small, targeted event. I can’t imagine what filter TEDx Vancouver uses.

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