By tomorrow, my conference, ffconf, will have launched it tickets and there will be a mass rush to guarantee a seat on the day. We're doing the "run twice" thing again this year, and so I know we won't fully sell out right away.
There's an extremely good chance that if you're reading this, yes, you, then you're in the position to help. The reason Julie and I decided to run ffconf twice is to open the doors to more people that it wouldn't normally reach. We extended our diversity scholarship programme and this year we can do better.
We have already set aside several thousand pounds for the scholarship, and this gets a decent number of people access, travel and hotels as they need it. But I need your help to do more.
I've just read through all the scholarship applications, and their locations range from the UK, France, India, Malaysia, Colombia, Nigeria and the US. Our budget simply doesn't stretch to everyone, I wish it did, but you can help change this in two ways: you can buy individual (and multiple) diversity scholarship tickets and you can donate to the fund.
You have the chance to give a little back, and to help someone whom otherwise may not have had the opportunities you've had in your career.
I wanted to share, and with the individual's permission, one of the messages we got from a scholarship applicant:
Remy and Julie have made something really extra special here in the world of techy conferences :D I am applying because I LOVE ffconf.
I managed to go as a student one year, and it is the only conference that I have ever been to where every single talk was amazing!
The culture created at the event was genuinely sincere, the memory of going has stuck with me since, I really REALLY want to go again, but in truth I cannot afford to go at the standard price (between transport, hostel bill, food etc).
If I can't then please at least pass this email on to Remy and Julie and let them know that they are fantastic organisers and should be extremely proud of themselves for making a conference that has left such an impact on me and no doubt many others before and after me.
From a business' point of view, being able to financially help by donation, is small by most comparisons. These scholarships (and not just ours, but all the scholarship initiatives), are contributing to a richer and more diverse pool of talent in (what I've considered) to be an amazingly generous community.
So, please help us drive this programme: get your companies to support those who will benefit, and help contribute to the diversity scholarship when those tickets go live tomorrow.