You know these days, when everything just seems to go wrong? That seemed to be the case, when I was on the way to London for the Litmus Email Conference 2016.
I already went to work with a bad feeling, which I didn’t seem to be able to shake off, no matter what I tried. Making a few jokes with my coworkers I told them good-bye and made my way to the bus for the airport.
Thanks to my previous bad feeling, I wasn’t all too surprised, when my bus broke down in the middle of the street leaking oil. Making a quick decision, I teamed up with 3 other people and we took a taxi and to my surprise, the one girl in there even covered costs for me! Thank you so much!
I thought, I had gotten rid of any troubles, the procedure through the security gate went quickly without any disturbances, but it turned out, my flight was to be delayed for half an hour. Then a full hour. Two hours. More.
When I finally started to get impatient, due to the check-in closing times of the hostel, where I would stay, we got into the plane, where we still had to wait at least half an hour to finally get up in the air. To not waste any time, I took a taxi to the hostel and made it right in time for check-in shortly before 11 at night.
The location was very easy to find the next morning, since I had already been close there during a holiday weekend with my friend in May. (Funny enough, it is close to where the Jack the Ripper murders happened. And also close to a cat cafe.)
I told the ladies from the conference my name, only to find out, that my name nor my company’s name was on the list! Using their wifi, I quickly contacted my manager. Having the probably best manager in the world, she took care of the problem and bought me a last minute spot. Thanks to her I could still make it!
But hold on, Misaki, what even is the Litmus Email conference?
Litmus itself is a company which provides a helpful platform for email testing, creating, helping with analytical tools and more. We use it to give our email code a first check up, how it behaves in different clients like Gmail or Yahoo Mail, before we live test it.
Once a year, Litmus hosts a two-day workshop conference in different cities like London, Boston and San Francisco this year, to bring the email community together, so we can learn from each other or share our pain with said clients. (Looking at you, Outlook!)
At the entrance we got little goodie-bags including business cards stating useful coding tips, buttons, a shirt and stickers and then headed to the workshop room for The Elements of Email Design. (There was another workshop about Progressive Enhancement and Interactive Emails.)
Teaching a range from very inexperienced attendees to full-fledged newsletter designers, the workshop covered pretty much all the basics for designing a good, standard email and I felt proud, that my team already covered 95% of the presented things.
After that followed some very interesting talks like addressing how to take leadership over your design and rules to be morally correct when targeting subscribers. To round up the first day, a few people could submit their email code to get live feedback from the Litmus hosts and the audience about how to improve it.
The first day ended around 5, I think, which left me with an evening to walk around London a little bit. Since my hostel is located close to Tower Bridge I made my way from there along the River Thames to Big Ben and back. If you are ever in London, try to do this walk as well, especially when the sun begins to set!
Not only are Big Ben and the London Eye beautifully illuminated at night, the trees along the path are decorated in fairy lights, every now and then a talented street musician showcases their skills (I witnessed a girl with an incredible rough, emotional voice and a guy stating he’s a lost wanderer and playing melancholic guitar tunes) and once it gets quieter you can hear the soft crashing of the waves against the tiny strip of beach along the water. It’s super romantic haha!
The second day started with a nice breakfast in my hostel, after which I made my way back to the conference building. Unlike the first day, this time talks were divided between Marketing and Development, so you could choose which one to attend. A bit of a tough choice, since they all sounded so interesting, but thankfully each session got recorded, so we could watch them later.
My flight back to Dublin already went off in the afternoon, so I had to skip the last lecture and the farewell speech, but looking into the Twitter hashtag, everyone seemed to have had a blast.
All in all, I absolutely loved the event, from the little surprise gifts (Litmus socks anyone?!), the amazing food (Bento boxes for lunch and the tiniest ice-cream cone ever as dessert!) to the fun people (joking about dubious red light tinted hotel rooms with two Copenhageners).
If you are interested in learning more about Email Marketing and meeting like minded folks, this is your go-to conference!