For several weeks I’ve been working with members of Support Driven European communities to find a city, venue, and dates for our very first European conference. I’m giddy that last Thursday, after almost three weeks of contract negotiations, we have a signed contract with a venue: SD Expo Europe 2019 will be in Belgrade, Serbia April 1-2, 2019 🎉.
Now the real planning begins. As I began working on the website, it was important to keep in mind the Why? Why do folks from European Support Driven communities want to come to this conference? What is everyone hoping to gain from it? I have plenty of assumptions, and after several SD conferences in the US, I have a good feel for what Americas-based Support Driven community members are looking for. But are my assumptions and US-based experiences in line with what folks in Europe want?
I knew we had concrete answers for what topics SD folks eager for a European conference want to learn about: we have 126 survey entries that generated more than 200 topics in response to the question, What topics would you like to see the most at a European Support Driven conference?
To make sense of all of those responses, I decided to use a word cloud. A word cloud would give me a quick visual of what the highest frequency interests are for our European friends in Support Driven.
Via Google, I found two generators I liked:
The Jason Davies generator created the rectangular shaped word cloud at the top of this post. I was able to select how many words to include in the image, which I liked — it helped me narrow the display to fewer words.
I preferred WordClouds.com, however, because it allowed me to dig into the data and actually look at the frequency with which certain words appeared. That frequency data is helping me as I put together the call for proposals: I will be able to share with potential speakers which topics are most wanted by the community. Here’s the cloud from that generator:
I’m drafting the call for speakers post this week and am excited to give potential speakers a fun and useful visual to help spark ideas for their proposals.