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Show HN: I built a database of tech conferences to know what to attend to next (conferencelist.co)
296 points by cezarfloroiu on July 24, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 89 comments

Well done! this is one of the best "Show HN" posts I've seen. Solving a simple & actual problem, and not needing to specify what language or framework you used as justification for it. I really wish more posts were like this.

I wish I could click a keyword in a conference list and then see more conferences with that keyword.

Also, the top date menu is confusing for me. I actually thought for a while the 18 was for Day of month, not year. But at least year makes more sense than some ranges that would end mid-month.

I tinkered and came up with two alternatives (I like the bottom one more) http://i.imgur.com/P0sz1aA.png

Keep up the great work!

Thanks a lot! Tags will be clickable soon & will review the top menu to make it clearer. Thanks for your feedback, appreciated!

+1 on the execution

+1 to the request for the clickable tags - as that was the first ting I tried to do.

Good job. The only suggestion I can think of right now would be to add a link to the linkedin group surrounding that conf.

The solution for this problem has already existed for years: Lanyrd, Eventbrite and Meetup.

nobody said it was unsolved. And while I haven't heard of Lanyrd, I know Eventbrite has been downhill for a while, and Meetup is an entirely different concept.

and to be fair, i'd be just as tickled if someone made a search engine; despite google being the current juggernaut in the space.

I've seen event aggregators come and go. Usually they die off when the maintainer gets bored of the events. Anything different planned here?

I have this problem with an aggregator I created (sfhacks.com) which used to list hackathons in the San Francisco Bay area. It has jobs that scrape various sources for potential hackathons, and I used to go through and pick the relevant ones and fill in some boxes. It got very few visitors though, and eventually (I'm not proud of this) I basically stopped going through the drudgery of keeping it up to date. I think fully automating it somehow would lead to too much junk and too many duplicated entries.

I promise to not get bored and to add more value to it soon;) Or to find a way to automate the maintenance while adding more value :)

The tool is super useful. However, your search could be bether with respect to geography. Let me explain ..

I am in the Bay area, and I'm interested in all local tech conferences. Seems like if I search for SF, I only see conferences in that city. What would be useful is to gather commutable geos together. When I was on the east coast, NY, NJ, CT and MA conferences were all reachable in a day trip, which is why that was my region of interest.

I think someone did this for hackathons too but not sure if that died off. Another idea is to link to previous iterations of conferences.

Final thought .. you could mine ACM/IEEE conferences .. those are tech-relevant.

I agree on the ACM/IEEE part! A lot of the bigger conferences do quite a bit to appeal to practitioners (as opposed to just academics).

For example, ACM CHI has a huge expo for demos and tech companies. IEEE/ACM ICSE has an industry track (now known as Software Engineering in Practice).

Automating or crowd sourcing would be a good idea

I'm interested in your automation strategy. Many organizers like Fresh New Conference Sites every year, which means scraping for the dates and locations is likely to break each year.

You could add...

A calendar with a tag cloud that can be toggled.

A world map with the same tag cloud.

Work backwards and make it into an archive of-

a conference about conferences.

I already see this happening in a lot of industries.

1. Create website that aggregates something tech event

2. Drive traffic to it through SEO and by utilizing the FOMO

3. Create a conference about tech conferences and have an instant audience

Haha a conference of about conferences is def. not in my mind. But everything else you suggested, it is! Thanks!

I was joking but after thinking about it the Meta Conference might attract a small but fascinating audience. I doubt it would be boring. Organizing it is probably the easiest conference ever organized. You just ask for help along with the invitations.

It's such a dumb idea it <s>might</s> will actually work.

How is this different from http://lanyrd.com/?

Lanyrd is a dead site walking. They were acquired by Eventbrite ~4 years ago, and haven't seen any meaningful updates since May 2014. Their social media accounts have been completely dead for two years. The site has frequent uptime and spam issues, and attempts to reach out to Eventbrite folks are met with complete silence.

And yet, it still exists, running along with juuust enough inertia to crowd out any potential replacements.

If you're reading this and work at Eventbrite: Please, lobby internally to put Lanyrd out of its misery.

I can't say much on the subject, at least not without official approval, but understand that the original Lanyrd team have not forgotten about the site; asking us to fix it isn't really giving us any new information (sadly).

If you want to make requests of any kind you're better off reaching out to Eventbrite directly.

Interestingly, IIRC there were only 2 people involved in the creation of the site, maybe even up to the time of the acquisition.

It's a shame it's been left to languish.

Seems like this should be a feature of papercall.io which seemingly has a more obvious path to sustainable revenue.

> attempts to reach out to Eventbrite folks are met with complete silence

I'll be catching up with one of the Lanyrd team at a conference in a couple of weeks; I'll ask him about it.

This is great. I didn't know about, and now I do. Thank you.

If you're looking for additional sources of events, you could try adding the events from http://techmeme.com/. They have a sidebar which is always current. They also have: http://www.techmeme.com/events which would add a lot of flow.

The "Where" filter doesn't seem to work:

Where: Germany "We couldn't find any results. Select other filters, or let us know if we miss a conference."

Where: Cologne, Germany "Pirate Summit - Cologne, GermanySep 6 - 7"

Fixed, it was meant to search the exact location, while Keywords would allow a wider search. But you can use Location filter to do this as well, now.

hmm still won't work. I type in germany/ Cologne / Deutschland in Location and can't see the Pirate Summit one. If I type in Cologne, Germany I can see all entries ;)

It would be very cool to search for "Europe" for instance. The weird thing is that it suggests it but the search does not work :(

This will sound like a strange suggestion, but think about collecting people's emails and sending out an email every quoter or so with a list of conferences. Of all the newsletters I wouldn't mind this one at all.

It isn't :) It is basically a must do before any launch, but I did not expect so much interest to be honest so I only focused on the core functionality first.

Just some design thoughts that you could consider:

I think you could better separate the actionable filter items from the branding parts. So, in a thin top tier, have your brand top left, "Find conferences near you" in the middle, and perhaps "Add a conference" top right. This will give you more room to fit conferences on screen - at the moment it's a bit sparse - 500px before I get to the listing itself.

Then you can have the filters and search boxes in their own area and have more room to make it really obvious that their use impacts the list below without the line "Know a conference..." in between.

You could consider updating "Upcoming conferences" with info pertaining to the search. e.g., "Conferences in Jul-Sep 2018".

I can appreciate that "18" alone saves space, but my first thought was that it was September 18th. You could use 2018 or '18 maybe?

Put a max width on the conference icons and a margin on the right - the widest ones are butting up against their names.

While on the design topic. Use PNG instead of JPG for logos. They all bleed artifacts badly right now.

Pretty cool! Still a lot of work on missing conferences, but hopefully that can self-correct if it becomes popular and organizers submit their conferences.

Most security conferences are missing. Black Hat, bssides (except canberra, apparently), defcon, toorcon, recon, usenix, chaos computer club congress, RSA.

While technically not a conference, you're missing a big one: SHA2017 in The Netherlands [1]. Starts the 4th of August, and there are still some tickets left.

[1] https://wiki.sha2017.org/w/Main_Page

Will add it. And will make sure to load the one from next year, once that one will be announced :)

I did something similar (as an SEO gambit). Filterable by country (click the map). Feel free to take my data!


Nice idea, but buggy implementation: if I search for "Germany" nothing shows up. If I type "Berlin, Germany" (an event show up).

You might want to fix this.

Yep. Keyword search is meant to tags only. I will extend it to search in everything tomorrow.


DataFox also has a solution for indexing valuable conferences that syncs with your Salesforce. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zq5uauwm4TU&t=0s

Would like to second DataFox as a valuable tool for identifying conferences that our Salesforce prospects are attending.

When I type in a city to the "Where" box and hit enter, it flashes quick but doesn't seem to filter.

Also whenever I type anything into the "Keyword" box nothing is returned.

Looks like they hit the daily request limit on the Google Maps API (you'll see the error message if you hit Cmd-Option-J in Chrome).

Indeed! I did not expect so much traffic! I'm working now to restore it.

Fixed! Sorry everyone!

broken again

You should perhaps consider turning this into a paid email list service, that routinely sends out an update on the conference list with a bit more information on each. Charge maybe as low as $5 or as high as $12, per year. A couple thousand subscribers over time and you have yourself a nice side business. If you make it inexpensive enough, people will be happy receiving the updates via email, rather than having to remember to visit your site regularly.

Suggestion: Add the conferences talk submission info and deadlines, so you can use it to find out what conferences to talk at.

This would be a great feature for me too. I'm looking for conferences I can apply to speak at, and it's often kind of difficult to extract basic info like this from event sites.

It would also be good to see similar info for conferences that have exhibitor booths.

Nice idea. The searchability is certainly nice.

For a much more complete listing (although with a somewhat different focus) you can also use the LWN community calendar, which has been around for what feels like forever: https://lwn.net/Calendar/

Notice that the app doesn't really keep a history of state. After executing a search, back arrow on browser doesn't do what the user would expect. Either give a "reset" option, or better, don't break the browser and implement something like pushState()

I loved it! Already submited a local conference. Hope you make it to the front page :) You could stick some users if you create some kind of newsletter according to location and/or event tags. If you want some help, I would work on this!

Nice work! There is still room for improvements, but this website will certainly provide a lot of value to developers.

As an additional feature, considering the target audience, I would suggest to add some API with filter option, using CalDav format for example [0]. Everyone would be able to fetch latest data from conferencelist in their local calendars ;)

[0]: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4791

Thanks & indeed, I plan to add the API soon! Cheers!

Nice, a much-needed tool! Suggestion: make it a collaborative effort to keep it updated. In practice, it can be solved rather easily. Host the website on Github Pages. Have a single file in the github repository named e.g. conferences.json which the website reads over AJAX. Anyone can submit pull requests (PR) to add to or modify the conferences.json file, effectively allowing community members to help you maintain the website's freshness.

Some things I would like:

- See fees (including deadlines for each phase ?)

- Subscribe (by email) to tags (new conferences with a certain tag) and/or ending of Early Bird phase (or other phases)

- Have rss feed based on tag(s)

- See similar conferences (based on tags)

- Button to add a conference to my calendar (or maybe have Google calendar feed, based on tags)

- Filter by region; I do not mind flying a few hours, meaning anywhere in Europe for me. But I will never go to the US and not easily to Asia.

Really good points, thank you. Will add them soon:)

You're missing all of the QA conferences!


Great idea go for it!

lanyrd.com is long dead without any good replacement. I'm not too sure why they keep the website up. What it does it only confuses people. I know that this probably out of their control right now. Eventbrite killed the really good website.

The service they had was solving real problem. Now you are solving real problem. Good luck!

Thanks a lot, all this feedback gives me wings :)

Looks nice. I've wanted something like this. It would be better if I can subscribe a search result.


Full disclosure - this is my site -- but you can join and keep track of conferences.

Haha, good one! Yours is more a database than mine, indeed! :)

Thanks! Will add this feature soon! Indeed, I built it as I needed a way to see what conferences to pick for me, or for my team :)

Are you looking for future events around a topic, or updates after the conferences are over?

Ugh. Why is everyone excited about yet another online directory? Is it because it is tech conferences and people here are just jazzed by lists of dorky things they can do besides mow their lawns (sorry, for folks outside SF who actually have lawns), or do their regular maintenance on their car?

This is not a problem that needs a solution. It's yet another developer (or wanna-be 'need a job in development' person) who needs a puff portfolio piece that shows he knows how to connect a few database fields with a front-end display - and mixed with search! Wow! (Well, it mostly works anyway).

I have yet to see one of these ShowHN pieces be anything but the latter. They should split ShowHN into ShowHNFluffYouBuiltToGetAJob and ShowHNStuffThatSavesLives, because I'd only be interested in the second one.

And of course, you have to have your submissions vetted by the guy who not only "promises" to always maintain this (I call), but who obnoxiously floats his Twit handle over the footer as you scroll... he either doesn't believe in crowd-sourcing genuinely or doesn't want to deal with a user-end database. Likely, he'll turn that "I don't charge to be listed" into "listings are only $99/year" pretty quickly.

Whoever said this guy was solving a "simple and actual problem" is sadly misleading this poor fellow. It was not a problem. Conferences are not concerned that there are not enough listing sites out there. Conference attendees are aware of, in their respective circles, where to go and what to attend. It's not a simple problem. It's not a problem at all.

What is a problem is the proliferation (i.e. clutter) of the internet of everyone and their sister building fluffy stuff with .co and .io domains. Can I just block all such domains from my browser? My internet would actually be better if I could.

Sigh... the death of the Yahoo Directory was heading toward this all along, wasn't it?

Does this do direct match on location only, or search in a radius? San Francisco only shows things happening in the city proper, no surrounding areas. Could be that's all there is but I'd expect other parts of the bay to show up as well.

Direct match on location now, radius next. Plus the database is still in process of being loaded; it's just started, I'm sure I miss tons of conferences for now :)

Nice, thank you for this! I would suggest ordering the events by distance from the typed location, instead of filtering with a perfect match.

This way the user only has to type one location instead of trying a bunch of places near him/her.

Thanks! That's next, coming in a few days :)

AutoSens isn't listed on it.


I am all in favor of side projects but I found a number of disturbing errors:

* There are no conferences for either Ruby or Elixir * There are no conferences on bitcoin * There is only one conference for React * You can leave data in the form on where by not picking autocomplete and then it appears to have searched for it but gives incorrect results * The only way to clear the date settings is to reload the page

I love the concept and the lack of knowing what conferences are happening even nearby is a very real problem but I think there are issues with your database and your search interface.

I could add to that, that for Location: Germany and Keyword: Python the page really recommends PyData Delhi (India) while PyCon DE 2017 is upcoming on October, 25th.

Sorry - love the idea. Am disturbed by the subpar execution.

PyCon DE was added:)

Spingo.com maintains these all and so does predicthq.com.

Nice. An ability to filter by price (and actual availability), application / submission deadline, and volunteer opportunity would be useful, also.

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll add it!

"Hipmunk for conferences." You might be able to make an actual thing out of this.

I built something very similar: http://confir.io/

It crashed when i tried submitting a conference with a lot of tags. Where can I submit a bug report?


Got a reply, fix is in the works! Love it!

Excellent page! I suggest adding a filter for continents (where > Europe doesn't work).

Another use case for this is finding conferences to speak at. Nicely done!

Thanks so much! I've been looking for something like this for Asana.

Are you manually entering conferences in your database?

Have any of you open sourced your app, by any chance?

How about sorting by deadline for submissions?

Nothing in Shenzhen.

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