This coming June, Balanced Team is back in Grand Rapids, Michigan for a conference about collaboration. On Saturday and Sunday, June 13 and 14, great minds from the software industry and beyond will be gathering at The Factory to discuss collaboration, teamwork, design thinking, user research, and much, much more.
Our conference theme for this year is Balanced Teams Everywhere. At the 2015 Balanced Team Summit, we will explore and share the latest techniques and innovations of Balanced Teams in different sized organizations in the software industry and beyond. Throughout the weekend, we’ll be considering the question, “What does it mean to be a balanced team?”
We would love to have you join us. Not convinced yet? Well here are 5 reasons why you should consider attending this conference.
1. Balanced Team is for Everyone
The balanced team movement started in 2009 when a grassroots group of professionals in the software industry, mostly designers and developers who were frustrated with broken models of collaboration, gathered to discuss how to blend agile software methods and UX and how to encourage different disciplines to communicate better with one another.
Since then, the movement has grown to include more and more diverse participants within the software industry (researchers, testers, product managers and more) but also, beyond it. This year’s event features stories of collaboration within consultancies, art museums, enterprise organizations, and elsewhere. If you work in a role where collaboration is essential to the mission, this conference welcomes you.
2. Balanced Team is Relevant
Have you ever been to a conference where you saw some talks, met some people, and then came back to your office and said, “Now what??” Sometimes conferences can be heavy on theory but light on practical application.
Balanced Team events strive to balance inspirational discussion with practical strategies you can begin using the day you return to your work (whatever and wherever it may be.) Speakers share experience reports and case studies of the techniques they use in their day-to-day work, and the conference program is designed to provide natural breakpoints for discussion and sharing. Part of the conference is audience-driven, giving the attendees the chance to surface topics and questions that are important to them and their work, or to contribute to the conversation with techniques that have worked for them.
3. Balanced Team is a Bargain
At $150 per ticket, this conference is a steal for what it provides. The ticket cost provides admission to all conference events, a reception on Friday Night, all of your meals on Saturday, and breakfast and lunch on Sunday. You’ll hear from speakers from across the world who are leaders in their industry, as are the conference attendees. I’ve been to 3 Balanced Team events, as well as many other much more expensive conferences and seminars, and no other event I’ve been to has provided as much value as this one does for the ticket price.
4. Balanced Team is Participative
As a rule, Balanced Team events are highly participative, meant to provide opportunities for attendees to meet one another, share their experiences, ask for advice, and make connections. Balanced Team relationships tend to transcend disciplines, industries, and geography. There is an active mailing list where the conversation continues after the conference, and smaller Balanced Team meetups happen in cities around the world (sometimes in conjunction with other conferences.) If you’re looking for a conference where you can meet others in your field and make lasting connections, this event is for you.
5. Grand Rapids is Fabulous
Furniture City. Beer City, USA. Birthplace of the world’s largest public art competition. These are just a few ways to describe Grand Rapids, the second largest city in Michigan. Home to five of the world’s leading office furniture companies as well as being a center for automotive and aviation manufacturing, Grand Rapids is a city with a rich heritage in and respect for the disciplines of engineering and design—the perfect place for a summit about creating things, together.
If you’re a local, than you should already be buying your ticket to Balanced Team 2015, for the reasons listed above. If you’re not local, then come for the conference, and come experience one of the best cities in the Midwest.