MeasureCamp Sydney 2018: Event roundup and slides

The amazing analytics unconference MeasureCamp Sydney was held on Saturday 20 October and it was the best yet! We’ve been involved from the beginning as sponsors and organisers because we love the format and community, so it was great to be part of the third edition.

Highlight talks

What’s an unconference?

An Unconference is a little unusual. There’s no schedule organised in advance, no keynotes flown in, no vendor presentations. Instead the schedule is decided on the day, with people writing up topics they’re passionate about on the session board. And because it’s on a Saturday you know the people attending are all real keen beans!

Sponsors cover the costs of the venue, food, drinks and things like the T-shirt handed out to everyone. We’ve proudly sponsored every MeasureCamp in three cities so far. We also have an open offer to sponsor any MeasureCamp in APAC, so get in touch if you’re planning one (come on Singapore!).

Digital session board

On the day everyone who wants to run a session puts cards up on the board. Cards get moved around as people resolve schedule clashes or the organisers move high-demand sessions into bigger spaces.

Mike built a digital session board to mirror the physical board again (he first built one for the June 2018 Auckland event) because there’s often limited space in front of the physical board and people struggle to see what’s on. We’ve also had requests from visually-impaired people to make the session board more accessible.

This time around Mike and Sam worked on a clever combination of technologies to automatically convert the session card content into the digital version and track the cards as they get moved around the board. The concept was good though next time we’ll make sure there’s better lighting and the camera won’t be blocked by people standing in front of it! Mike and Sam had to revert to manual data entry to make it work.

One component that did work well, as it had in Auckland, was the Snowplow instrumentation on the digital board. We had real-time data on the most liked sessions. We plan to improve on this for future MeasureCamps so organisers can see which sessions have high demand and might need a bigger room. The app probably needs to include notifications for users to give a reason to “like” a session. It’ll also be handy to notify people when sessions move around and what’s coming up.

Talks and conversations

Much of the value of MeasureCamp is gained from meeting great people and the interesting discussions that happen. It’s such an incredible group of people: passionate and enthusiastic practitioners keen about analytics enough to give up their Saturday, and in some cases travel long distances. I had some excellent conversations about current analytics problems and enjoyed a bunch of great presentations.


One of the highlights for me was learning from Junta Sekimori about how broadcaster and publisher Seven West Media is using Snowplow. Applications send a superset of data in events to Snowplow, then Lamba Functions translate and send them to external systems OzTam (Australia’s TV ratings sytem), Google Analytics and DMP Lotame.

Another great session was Sensei Adilson dispensing his SQL wisdom. His slides are up on Slideshare.

Slides from my talk

I did my usual talk on digital advertising, which I’ve been sharing for about six years. So far I’ve given it in 3 countries and It doesn’t get old because there are still people who want to learn how this stuff works.

Digital Advertising: How does it work?

My always-popular session going into the nuts and bolts of display advertising, how it works and why. The last slide has some handy links to learn more.

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