Why you need to go to the next DYFConference

ALL PHOTOS BY: Jeremy Green

 

One of the most amazing feeling for me is when I get home to my kids. The joy they express when they see me coming home is beyond words.

I’ve just spent 3 amazing days with a little over 60, just as amazing, people in Stockholm at an Japanese spa, Yasuragi.

I’ve never been to a conference like this, that lasts over several days. Seminars with my previous day jobs doesn’t really count.

What made the DYF Conference so different was the whole setting.

Beginning with the location. A Japanese spa.

You know that the focus of this conference is not what you’re used to.

Usually you go to these things to network and pitch your service to the other attendees.

And if you’re lucky, you might get to exchange a few words with one or two of the speakers.

The DYF Conference, from my point of view, was more about creating new friendships, gaining new knowledge from speakers and peers, and to relax and enjoy your stay at this beautiful spa.

I personally started to connect with speakers and other attendees on twitter 2-4 weeks before I was leaving. And let me tell you that Twitter is a great way to connect with people when they don’t know who you are.

We all had something in common, which was the conference, Perfect icebreaker in other words.

Two weeks before we all got invited to join a Slack group put together so that we all could get to know each other better before we actually met. I think this was a really great way to connect with even more of the attendees. You’ve already talked about a few things, shared some experience, etc. before you meet. This made the whole thought of meeting so many new people less scary.

The Slack group was a brilliant tool for some us to meet up at the airport as well. Even though the wifi-signal was crap and the battery on my phone was about run out. And it wasn’t that easy to find the meeting spot.

Getting to the Yasuragi

6 of us met at the airport, splitting a couple of taxi’s to get to our destination. It took us almost an hour, but I got to know Drew and Thomas on that ride. Fun fact about Thomas. He runs FEInternational.com that helped Brennan with selling Planscope. Which reminds me…I still owe Thomas money from the taxi… :/

Once we arrived at the Japanese spa, Yasuragi, we checked in, grabbed our Yukata (japanese robe), slippers and bathing wear.

I felt maybe a bit starstrucked, even though I know some of them online, seeing Kai Davis, Nick Disabato and Brennan at reception. I men these are the people that I’ve been looking up to for a few years now.

You could choose to have single room or a shared room. I choose to share a room with another attendee, for the simple reason that I would get to know someone new.

He was coming in later, but once I was all set in my room it was time to put on the Yukata and head on up to the bar and meet up with the rest of the gang that had arrived.

Kai wanted Sushi so we ordered that and some drinks and headed out to this awesome terrace with the most astonishing view!

It was so easy to get to know these people and I think it had a lot to do with the atmosphere of the spa. And the fact we all, well almost all, wore the Yukata.

I’m not going to bore you with all of the details of the conversations, but Kai and Nick really has a special kind of relationship. Which most certainly help to set the mood for this conference. The talks continued throughout the day and into the beautiful swedish sunset accompanied by some BBQ.

dyfconf-terrace

First round of speakers

I got up and decent hour, took a shower, and then we headed out of for breakfast. If there’s one thing I love, it’s hotel breakfast. Mmmmm…though I did miss bacon at the breakfast. Not complaining because I had plenty to choose from and lots of fresh fruit!

9 am and it was time to get the talks started!

The room was big, way bigger than what we needed, but stage wasn’t too big and we all sat in an half circle in front of the stage.

You know how it is when people don’t want to sit on the front row, well in this case it was more like the opposite.

Day 1 got opened by Nick Disabato and his talk about «Communication & Boundaries». Nick is a really great guy with a lot of good energy. Basically be clear and say no.

Next up was Julie Elster on «Client Onboarding Done Right». This was perfect timing for me as I just created a new service and need to sort these thing out.

Laura Elizabeth talked about «Remotely Working With Clients From All Over The World». From what I picked up from the rest of group, she had the one the best talks.

Then it was time for lunch. A time to get to know everyone a bit better and also a chance to talk to the speakers and ask some deeper questions.

The day continued with talks from Jeremy Green on «Writing A Book As A Way Of Getting Clients» and he challenged us all to join him on his 30 Day Book Challenge, which I accepted.

Kai Davis spoke about «Writing Emails That Win You Clients». Fun fact about Kai BTW, actually two. They didn’t have large enough slippers for Kai, so he walked bare feet more or less the entire conference and he really loves the word “badonkadonk”.

There was even time for some talks from a few attendees as well.

Matt Inglot was kind enough to share with us on how to «Multiply Your Income Without Taking on New Clients Through Value-Driven Follow-Up»

And Austin Church talked about «Attracting Better Clients» which is something we all want.

As you can see it from the talks, they are so fitting for a group like this. And even if you knew something about these topics fro before I can guarantee you that you would learn something new.

As a little surprise Kai and Nick decided to do live podcast recording of MAKE MONEY ONLINE with Kurt Elster a their guest!

dyfconf-make-money-online

After Hours Day 1

Once the talks were finished we had about 2 hours before dinner. Time to hit spa or take a dip in the pool and hang out with everyone.

Dinner was served at the restaurant. We got a 4 course meal, Japanese style. People are chatting and getting to know each other. Great atmosphere.

After the dinner it was time to hit the bar area and mingle some more.

And this was one of the things that really made this conference so good. Being able to hang out with each other after the talks. And not just the attendees, but also the speakers.

Even though I talk about these two groups of people, they were all part of the one and same group. It wasn’t like the speakers only talk with each other or vice versa.

Second round of speakers

Nathan Barry from ConvertKit talked about «What’s Working (And What Isn’t) When Building An Audience Online». He should know what he’s talking about if you look at how fast ConvertKit has grown.

Mojca Mars is the social media expert and her talk on «Social Media For Consultants» gave us quick guide on how to use Facebook ads in 8 simple steps. BTW she surprised us all by wearing a Dino-onesie!

Jane Portman is the UI/UX expert so her talk about «What Should Your Sales Website Say And Do?» was spot on.

Eric White with his talk on «The Demand Perspective» show us a different approach on interviewing your clients after you finished a project.

Reuven Lerner is a master at training so «Technical Training: The Ultimate Productized Service» was a natural topic. Funny man and did you know he’s fully booked the next 6-8 months?!

Gabi Logan with «The Power Of Learning Sideways» gave us another perspective, that you can learn a lot just by taking a closer look on how other industries do their marketing.

We had time to do a Website Teardown on 3 sites (actually 4, Reuven got his site reviewed as well). The panel consisted of Jane Portman, Kurt Elster, Nick Disabato + Kai Davis behind the laptop.

We all submitted our site if we wanted to a live teardown and they would choose 3. Mine got picked! I had mixed feelings about this, but they gave good, constructive criticism and I didn’t disagree with anything they pointed out. IF anything, it confirmed my own doubts about my site.

End of day 2, time to mingle again!

Same procedure from previous day. Go for a swim, dinner, mingle and having amazing conversations with more awesome people that I had met, going to bed at 3am, I think that says it all. What a night!

Last Day

Final day was here. I wish it would last longer, because I made some great new friendships and we’ve had some great conversations that I wish wouldn’t end.

But check out was at 9am (due to midsummer in Sweden). I said goodbye to everyone, but I truly hope to meet everyone again.

Shared a taxi that arrived at 10am, it was time to get to the airport. Slept for an hour on the flight back to Oslo, but didn’t waste any time on my 1.5 hour train ride. I started working on ideas that I had gotten from the conference. I felt really motivated and will be for some time now!

So in closing I’m just going to say that this trip has been worth it ten times over! You really can set a price tag on this event. I’m going next year!

And you know what?! Some of the attendees has already made arrangements with Yasuragi to keep a few dates open for next year.

So I hope to see you there in 2017 and if you have any questions about this conference, reach out to me at ken@kenwestgaard.com

Thanks to the sponsors for making this conference happen:

  • GetDrip — Email Marketing Automation Software
  • Chris Lema — Daily blogger, public speaker, product strategist, and WordPress evangelist
  • Egghead.io — Accelerate your career today with bite-sized web development video training
  • Nusii — Proposal software for Business and Sales Teams
  • Remarq.io – Create stunning documents from Markdown in seconds
  • DonorsClicks — Help high poverty public school children get the supplies they need. When you install the DonorsClicks Google Chrome Extension, you donate 100% of all Amazon Affiliate commissions generated by your clicks. If you click a link to Amazon and buy anything, the commission will be donated to help high need public school children.
  • Smashing Magazine — Smashing Magazine delivers useful and innovative information to Web designers and developers
  • Startups for the Rest of Us — The podcast that helps developers be awesome at launching software products
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