To all the attendees who spent their money on Modern Frontends Live: I’m sorry that you had to experience one of the most unpleasant conferences I’ve been a part of.
To the speakers (new and seasoned pros) who were told they’d have their accommodations covered only to have that rug pulled out from under them: you deserve better and I hope there is a way to get something back.
To the sponsors who spent their companies’ money to attend an event which promised over 3000 attendees and more virtually: We know better now, but I hope you do not face any push back from your leaders regarding future events.
So what happened.
By now you probably have heard about Modern Frontends Live in London. The event was promising 100+ speakers (of which I was one) and over 3000 attendees at the ExCel center. It looked so promising I even went ahead and signed up to sponsor the event with my company. Looking back, I wish I did not and backed out of speaking.
Modern Frontends was not my first conference. I’ve been doing this as part of my job for about 8 years now. I travel and work with dozens of conferences a year and know the challenges they face when they put on an event. I’ve seen events like Connect.Tech who are able to continually put on a good event that is affordable, covers travel for speakers, brings in big names, and are fantastic to work with.
All this to say, I know what goes into an event and what to expect from well run ones. Modern Frontends was not run well.
I’m sure you have seen posts from Jo, or even Cassie, which covers a lot more in detail and has lead the way in people publicly speaking out about the conference and it’s organizer. These accounts are all true and match my experience at Modern Frontends, so I don’t feel like I need to rehash them here. To sum it up though:
- Promising new speakers travel budget, but pulling that back while at the event
- Intimidating community members who spoke out about the event
- Contacting people’s CEOs for speaking negatively about the event
- Poorly planned/executed conference which borderlines scamming people
I hope that all this outcry from the community will sway the organizer to not put on another event, but given how Modern Frontends was put on to fund a different event, it’s unlikely. Avoid these events. Avoid any future attempts to run things like RXJS Live, Webassembly Live and Modern Frontends Live.
If you have any experience you want to share, please reach out and let me know.