We at ActionRocket were lucky enough to attend and speak at both Boston & London this year. Both events were superbly structured, with great speakers and a diverse range of topics covered. We couldn’t see every single presentation, but here are just some of the highlights for us:
- Kevin Mandeville’s live code of a small simple responsive email in 2 minutes was a great exercise. I am a fan of live coding in presentations in general, but sometimes they are a bit of a let down. This ‘against the clock’ proof of concept for Litmus Builder got a lot of people shaking their head (me too smh).
- Mark Robbins and his “it was all in an email” presentation was just brilliant. Another proof of concept, and people find it a lot harder to argue with the proof – they can’t handle the proof! I’m pretty sure I spotted at least one email developer breathing into a brown paper bag right afterwards.
- Fabio Carneiro is a man who speaks a lot of email sense. Quietly, he could be rest assured that whereas a lot of people probably wanted to go home and make their own checkout in an email, they would soon enough realise that: establishing a baseline for email design, and getting your message across in all rendering scenarios, basically forever, was actually the most significant takeaway from the entire event.
- Elliot Ross & Jaina Mistry talked about the trials and tribulations of multi language email, filled with funny real world scenarios and practical tips on getting it done. See it here.
- Dan Denny talked about the email creation process. This was quite a theme at Boston with a few talks including Lee Munroe’s excellent presentation on task runners. One for you to take some time out at learn all about. And when I say “you” I mean “me” (and you).
- Brian Graves talked CSS4 and the future of email. Spoiler: the future is now!
- There was a really interesting panel discussion in Boston about the blurring of web and email, the opportunities were discussed along with the challenges. With the rise of mobile we are getting a lot more room for technical creativity – but it isn’t the most important challenge in email. Email is fundamentally communication. The goal has got to be to communicate your message clearly to everyone.
- Paul Airy raised a lot of questions in his presentation about accessibility within email. Not a subject that is talked about as much as it should and it generated a lot of discussion points (watch this space).
- Parry Malm cracked a few jokes about stats, but more than that, got people the question the stats specifically related to subject lines and how you can remove the bias and the BS out by using something like phrasee.co.
- Becs Rivett Kemm got everyone thinking about the value of blogging and at the core, how to use email in the best way to promote that. We write a blog about email so emailing about the blog about email starts to get a bit meta for us, but was full of great info and was my watches favourite presentation by far.
- Alex Ilhan discussed email developer workflow in an agency environment and how everyone should code the same to make it easier to share work. Also snippets.
- I wittered on about pixel art and image blocking in email, you can catch the slides here if that’s your thing.
Both events were amazing, with slightly different flavours. Justine & Fabio’s keynote slides were a real treat and worth a special mention. We can’t wait for next year already.