Overall I felt the conference was a success - we attracted 65 people, we broke even on the costs, the contributors created an attractive programme and participants seemed to enjoy the day. They engaged and interacted well and their feedback to me was positive.
But in achieving the goal you realise that a conference is a process not an event. For the organisers it requires planning, designing, organising and promoting over a long period of time. It requires relationships to be made with people who are contributing and conversations about the nature of the contributions. It requires new infrastructures to be developed like the conference website.
For the contributors it requires them to invest time and effort in preparing their talks so that their personal knowledge can be shared in the most engaging way in the short time that is available.
For those who attend it involves engaging in the unfolding narrative and contributing their own stories to the narrative. In this modern age participants also play an important role in broadcasting through twitter the things that they find interesting so that others might learn.
So a conference is much more than an event. It is a tremendous collaborative, collegial, value-based effort that benefits not only the participants who are involved in the event but many people who we will never know who will access and make use of the resources we have created in future.
A flavour of the conference can be gained from the conference tweets