Behind The Scenes With Šárka Štrossová

Šárka has been preparing the conference since 2010. So what’s changed over the last 6 years?

This year’s concept looks a little different than in previous years. Can you summarize what changes have taken place in the organization over the last few years?

Václav Stoupa founded WebExpo and carried the whole thing himself until I joined. It was quite a wild ride back then. When we got together with manGowebem, we tried a lot of new approaches — such as collaborating with external advisors. This year’s team is also partly from the old days. Almost from the beginning of WebExpo, Lukáš Plíhal worked alongside Vašek, constantly discussing what the conference should and should not be. This has resulted in a new partnership and the enrichment of our team with people like Martin Kopta, who I think is a well-known figure in the community, and Filip Dědic, from the organization Czechdesign. Pavlína Chloupková has also recently started helping us with production, so expect to meet her during your communications with WebExpo.

What is WebExpo’s goal?

From the beginning, WebExpo has been a conference for people who create websites — programmers, designers, as well as product owners and so on. Of course, this a broad subject and it’s necessary to constantly look for hot topics. This year, we tried to find out what they are by sending out surveys to people from the industry, in order to discover exactly what’s on their minds right now. As a result, we’ve pulled together a set of topics — we call them obsessions. These topics serve as clues for shared thinking with speakers and indeed, with anyone. It’s still just as important to make an effort to discover exactly what a conference is about and what people want. We do this as a service for people and not as a commercial mishmash. Everyone enjoys learning about new things, and we’re able to draw on what we learn throughout the whole year.

“From the beginning, WebExpo has been a conference for people who create websites.”

So what are these obsessions? Are they something like professional diagnoses?

Obsessions is a funny way of saying topics, borrowed from the progressive online magazine Quartz, through which you can view the world. We’d like to do it the same way. When you say design, it’s a generic and misleading word. But when you use the phrase thinking and doing, it already brings better focus to the activities rather than one general term. This allows us to easily see new, as well as old topics, with real perspective.

And what is your diagnosis or rather, what is your obsession?

My obsession is that I like everything to be perfect and well-organized. But if your question is what currently occupies my time outside of WebExpo — I like AirBnb. It’s yet another way to take care of people and recharge your batteries. After that, math tutoring — it’s a barrier for a lot of kids, but I try to open their eyes and show them they don’t need to stress about it and only worry about getting good grades. I’d also have to say, programmers and IT in general — maybe I was born with a keyboard in my hands. I really enjoy it and take great pleasure in the fact that I am part of a technological community of people. Moreover, I get to prepare an annual meeting and create a great experience for others.

And how do you like this year’s new web conference?

One word 💖

Šarka Štrossová (Interview by Filip)

The 2016 conference takes place September 23–24 in Prague. Currently, the biggest name are Peter Morville and Michael Lopp with many more to come.

Tickets are still available.

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