Valio Con 2012

A few weeks ago, I got to attend Valio Con in San Diego. The whole conference was really fantastic and inspiring. I thought some of the best parts for me were actually the off times, the times just hanging with other conference attendees in between sessions, at meals, or in the evenings. The entire weekend just had a great vibe. Here are just a few of the things that were awesome:

The Size

Being smaller, Valio had the personal, conversational feel sometimes missing from larger conferences with big auditoriums and really large crowds. It felt much less like a production and more like talking shop with some people doing awesome work.

The Atmosphere

As Cameron mentioned in his post, the line between speaker and attendee was blurred. Everyone was approachable. It made for easy conversations and a friendly and casual atmosphere.

The People

It was a lot of fun meeting new people who are doing great work in a lot of different contexts and for all sorts of companies. Coming from the Washington D.C. area, it was awesome getting to know some fellow designers from California, Utah, Oregon, etc.

The Location

San Diego. No need to say much more – that place is pretty great. Palm trees, sun, great views, and some seriously tasty food.

Palm Trees


There was also a killer lineup of speakers, each with their own story to tell. If I had to boil it all down, in a nutshell, this is what I left with from the talks:

Just get out and do stuff. Do what you love and what interests you. Make things and take risks. Don’t do it foolishly but also don’t let the fear of uncertainty hold you back. No product is ever perfect, ship early and iterate. Use your skills to have the biggest impact possible. With it all, find a way to give back. Keep pushing ahead and don’t give up.


Jeff Sheldon talking about building the Ugmonk brand

All in all, a very memorable experience and one that I hope Drew and Matt will continue to put on for years to come. They did such a great job organizing everything. Huge props for all the work in putting together an amazing weekend.


For some more pictures from the conference, check out the Joel Beukelman's Flickr set and also the post from Ugmonk.

Steve Schoeffel

Posted in Article Category: #Design & Content