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How we launch 🚀

Today is a big day for our little event. A big milestone: it's ticket launch day! 😱So, if you don't read the rest of this Insights email, here's a direct link to the tickets purchase page that will only work from 10am UK time onwards:

The launch day

ffconf is run by myself (Remy 👋) and Julie. We also double as parents to a couple of little tikes, so although launch morning is a huge milestone for us, the morning leading up to 10am is rushing/trying-not-to-rush around getting the kids ready for school and nursery, whilst also mentally running through checklists to make sure the actual launch is a smooth as possible.

Inevitably one of us realises the web site is missing something…every year (you'd think we'd make a note somewhere!). This year Julie spotted this morning that nowhere on the web site does it say it's our 10th year! Even this morning I'm tweaking and tweaking!

The importance of launch day

With the ever growing number of web events, selling tickets becomes harder and harder - particularly as the event gets older since potentially seen as either "always going to be around" or "not new" - of course neither of these are true!

The ticket launch is where we'll sell most of our tickets in a single period. In fact, it was 2013 when we first sold out on our launch day. It took a couple of hours and then all our tickets were done. 2014 took 11 minutes and 2015 took 4 minutes!

As an organiser this is a massive relief – but the flip side was that we felt like we let people down by selling so quickly - and 2013 is when Julie and I first considered running the event twice (it would take until 2016 until we bit the bullet to actually run it twice).

The actual launch

When we first sold out in a massive rush in 2013 - the traffic took down our ticket provider. It was kinda awesome and kinda terrible at the same time. In fact, the exact same thing happened the following year - and by 2015 our ticket provider was working with us so that they would make sure they could handle the traffic bursts.

Currently the ffconf web site runs on Heroku (more on our tech stack in future emails), and it's mostly static content. This is to try to make sure we can serve pages as quickly as possible. The other reason I chose Heroku (some years back) was that scaling to handle a burst of traffic was a matter of moving a slider and letting the dynos run wild for the initial burst, and then scale back down later in the week (and keeping our budget under control). Even with a static site we found this was a good back up to have in place.

Then since our site is mostly static, the actual release process, the process to give you a buy button on the site, requires an actual deployment. Which, I'm kind of ashamed to admit, but it is what it is 🤷‍♂️

If you love our event…

As you read this email right now, know that Julie and I stand over our laptops, excited, worried, stressed and hearts thumping, whilst we watch tickets come through and shout loudly from Social Media Mountain!

If you love our event, please please tell people about it. Tell your friends, tell your social meeja, tell your colleagues and join us in November for a super dooper awesome day.

❤️❤️ ❤️ ❤️

– Remy & Julie

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