With the success from our unconference held at PHPNW14 we are delighted to announce the full day of unconference goodness in the heart of the East Midlands!

Join us from 10AM where the unconference will start. There is plenty of very reasonable pay-and-display parking available next door at the National Space Centre. Doors close at 4PM. There are regular transport services in the area too with just a 10 minute bus from the train station to the event.

The Concept

Following the success of the PHPNW14's uncon organised by PHPEM, we decided to organise an unconference in the East Midlands. A full day event giving everyone the chance to do a talk and share their knowledge with everyone.


  • 9AM Doors open for Registration
  • 10AM Conference starts with an Introduction to PHP East Midlands and a talk by Lorna Mitchell 
  • 1PM Lunch and Games
  • 2PM Conference Resumes
  • 3:30PM Closing talk and Thanks
  • 4PM Event close and head off to optional social event in town

What is it?

As an unconference, everyone can perform a talk on the day. There are going to be short 15 and 30-minute long lightning talks available, we also have some roundtable discussions planned. 

But I don't know enough to give a talk....

Classic impostor syndrome - the chances are that you know more than you think, tips, techniques and simply sharing your experiences is of massive benefit to the community. If you can fill 15 minutes of your experiences with a module, app, tool, database or anything then please share it with us. For more information on impostor syndrome click here

Who is it for?

Events like this are perfect for the hobbist and pro-developer, it is an excellent opportunity to network with other people in your industry. The talks are always informative and the chances are unless you a seasoned conference veteran - you will come away with much more than you came with. New subjects, different ways of doing things, new technologies, migrations, upgrades, there is so so much on offer it would be mad to miss.

These events are also perfect for students and people in neighboroughing industries. It's not just about code, and it should be of serious interest to Wordpress developers, Magento developers, etc.

How Did it Go?

The first-ever unconference ever to be held by the PHP user group located in the East Midlands, was held on Saturday the 29th of November. At the unconference, attendees could perform a talk, or just listen to talks, socialise and expand their knowledge on different topics. Some of these included talks on AngularJS, Doctrine, and even how to speak (at a conference).

The Morning

On entrance to the unconference, attendees had to write down a topic that they wanted to learn about from a talk; and write down what talks they had planned, if any. Many people arrived with the intention of just listening to the talks. After signing in, the unconference started with a welcome talk from Kiel Goodman, and an introduction talk from Lorna Mitchell.



Once the introduction and welcome talks had ended, attendees were invited to choose which talk they wanted to go to. Each talk lasted twenty minutes, and attendees could decide which session to go to between talks from a large schedule sheet displayed in the atrium area of Dock.



During the talks, many attendees tweeted quotes of what was being said, and even posted photos of what was happening or being shown to them. Use of the hashtag #PHPEM14 was encouraged throughout the day. There were 18 talks held in the morning with a refreshments break halfway through, attendees could choose one of three talks for each time slot.



The Afternoon

After the morning’s talks were over, attendees were able to take advantage of a fantastic buffet-style lunch prepared by the staff at Dock. Everyone was able to sit down and have a conversation with one another. This was a great opportunity to network with other people in your industry, as there was plenty of time for discussion.



After lunch there were more talk sessions, some being lightning talks, and other being round-table discussions. There were more people who hadn’t previously planned on doing talks, signing up to do a talk after lunch. This was a great time for new speakers to gain some experience in speaking at conference as audiences were small and there was not as much pressure.



When the final few talks were over, everyone made their way to Dock’s atrium for the closing talks. Many people shared their thanks to the speakers and organisers. Overall there was very positive feedback and everyone seemed to have really enjoyed their day!




At the end of the unconference, a final talk was given before the event’s close by Lorna Mitchell. After the event’s closing, the opportunity was given for attendees to come along to a social event in Leicester’s city centre at O’Neill’s pub, for a drink and some more socialising.



If you attended the PHP East Midlands Unconference 2014, please send us your feedback and let us know what we can improve for next time. Don’t forget to tell your colleagues and friends about the user group and events we hold. We meet on the first Thursday on every month, anyone is welcome to come along.

A full list of talks can be found on Joind.in, this is also where you can leave feedback for all the talks. To find out more about PHPEM events please follow us on Twitter and join our Meetup page.