Even if you are not a speaker you may be aware that most conferences have a Speaker Room. The purpose of a Speaker Room is a matter for some debate. Most speakers will explain to anyone naive enough to listen that it is absolutely essential that speakers have somewhere to go, away from the attendees so that they may prepare their session. Of course, this is simply a facade. It is nothing of the sort. Instead most people think that the Speaker Room is a place where speakers can hang out with other speakers safe in the knowledge that the attendees cannot just come up to them and ask them a question or engage them in conversation. At the first two DDD South Wests we did not provide a Speaker Room because DDD events are community events and having a place where speakers can hide from the very people who have come there to meet them is anti-community. Instead we provided counselling services and darkened rooms where speakers could retire if an attendee had approached them, talked directly at them and even touched them in the guise of "shaking hands" (I'll stop now as speakers of a more nervous persuasion might stop reading). But for DDD South West 3 we are going to do something different. For DDD South West 3 we are going to use a Speaker Room for the one true purpose which all Speaker Rooms should be used for: to meet the speakers. Room 3Q83 is the Speakers Room at DDD South West 3. Speakers will go there specifically to talk to attendees. We encourage all attendees to go there to and avail themselves of the speakers therein. Also we might put some chocolate bars in that room.
One final point of note: we have reached an agreement with all conference organisers the whole world over that from here on all Speaker Rooms will be places where you can go and meet speakers and we would encourage you to forcefully resist security staff everywhere and stand up for your rights as attendees to engage speakers in conversations wherever they may be.