Why I love That Conference

Tessa Kriesel
Tessa Kriesel
Why I love That Conference
THAT Conference 2019 Keynoter Anjuan Simmons, 'Lending Privilege'

That Conference is a family-friendly tech conference hosted at a waterpark with insightful sessions, engaging activities, & a bacon bar—need I say more?

I had the pleasure of speaking at That Conference Wisconsin Dells back in 2018. At the time, I was living in Minnesota, and Wisconsin Dells was just a 4-hour drive away. Our family had been to Wisconsin Dells the summer before and had vowed to return in the future.

That Conference isn't just your run-of-the-mill tech conference. It's a family event.

So when my CFP submission was accepted, I was smitten. We excitedly planned a week-long family trip to Wisconsin Dells, splitting our time between That Conference at Kalahari Resort and another resort we loved in the area. At the time, I had no idea what was in store for my family. I thought they could enjoy the waterparks and amenities while I nerded out at the conference.

As I registered for the event, I noticed there were a lot of questions about who you were bringing with you—specifically children. Did I stumble upon a conference where my family is not only excited to join me but welcomed at the event too? It seemed that I had. There were tickets and sessions for family members of all ages.

When we arrived, they had everything ready for us at registration, and we were immediately able to enjoy the park amenities. We wandered down to the conference area, officially registered for the event, greeted by many staff members, and provided swag for the entire family. Even the sponsor booths had family-friendly swag and activities. My kids were excited to see a glimpse of my professionalism and feel included along the way.

They hosted the speaker party after-hours in the indoor waterpark. We enjoyed the waterslides and rides without waiting in long lines with other families and guests. We enjoyed meeting other speakers and kicking back and relaxing while our oldest stayed back in the hotel room with our other kids.

And don't even get me started on the smores & bacon bar. The food was phenomenal, some of the best I've had at a conference before. Each meal was filling and delicious, and I looked forward to networking with other attendees and their families at every meal and get-together.

That Conference truly has something for everyone. Not only are the sessions and events tech-agnostic—covering a wide range of industries, technologies, and languages—but the sessions were relatable and insightful. I felt blessed to have been asked to participate in such a fantastic event.

Now that I'm a Texas resident and only a little over an hour away from Austin, I'm excited to join That Conference in Austin, TX, this year. If you've never been to That Conference, I strongly recommend adding this to your list of events for the year. And if you're in DevRel and considering which events your team should prioritize, That Conference (Wisconsin or Texas) should most definitely be on your list.

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