How to create the most memorable hardware event on the planet

This past weekend was the Hackaday Superconference, a three-day gala of hardware hacking, servos and steppers, VR hardware, and engineering triumphs. This was the Superconference’s third year, and this was the biggest one yet. The best random statistic to come out of the Superconference?

Three hundred and fifty attendees went through thirteen pounds of coffee.

The idea for the Hackaday Superconference grew out of an annual event back in 2014. The ‘Bring A Hack’ on the Sunday after the Bay Area Maker Faire was an exclusive event, one you could only attend if you brought a project with you. These Bring A Hack parties have been — and still are — wildly successful, but there was a desire for a more general community event about creating stuff. Everything from robots to blinky badges to vector network analyzers is fair game here. While talking with my friend Ben, we decided the Bring A Hack party needed to be extended to an entire conference. That conversation continued with Supplyframe CTO, Aleksandar Bradic, and Supplyframe made the decision to produce the Hackaday Superconference for the first time in 2015.

Now we’re three years out from the first Superconference. What made this one special? A badass roster of speakers. A good speaker knows what they’re talking about and is excited to share their knowledge. We’re also pushing diversity at the Superconference; having first-time and international speakers as a large part of the conference keeps things fresh and allows for completely new and original perspectives. Sarah Petkus did her first-ever talk at Supercon in 2015, but presented for the third time this year, and has presented all over the world in between. This year, there were 32 speakers, of which eight were first time presenters or spoke less than five times this year (25%). 11 of the speakers were women (33%), and six were Asian, African-American, or Indian (18% non-white).

Shanni Prutchi presented the opening talk at the 2015 Superconference, and summed up what many of us were feeling this year in 2017:

|“It’s somewhere I know I truly belong.”

Next year, we’re going to raise these percentages because we value inclusivity. If you know someone we should be talking to, featuring their product in any of our media (SFHW, Hackaday, newsletters, social media), or inviting to present at any of our many meetups (Hackaday LA, HDDG, Tindie), tell us about them! Bring a friend who has never been to a tech conference to our next Superconference (November 2018), Hardware Developer’s Didactic Galactic, or one of our monthly meetups in Pasadena or New York.

We miss you already too. 💔