Excited for Canvas Conference 2019

We’re just weeks away from our eighth annual digital product conference - here’s what you can expect

Canvas started off life as a small event in Birmingham, attended by the local front-end developer community. Fast forward eight years and that small gathering has grown into an award-winning digital product conference. We welcome hundreds of people to the city each year from quite literally all over the world to hear insider stories from some of the world’s most interesting businesses.

Canvas Conference 2018

Over the past 7 years, nearly 2,500 people have come to Birmingham to hear insider stories from 72 different product people solving real customer problems and challenges from more than 70 companies – that’s over 1,900 minutes of inside stories.

And in a few weeks time, we’re adding another 10 speakers, 10 companies and over 250 minutes of talks to that growing number.

We’re extremely excited to welcome everyone to Birmingham for Canvas this year, which is taking place at the Birmingham Rep Theatre on 10th October.

We’re even more proud to be joining a city-wide initiative, celebrating all that is amazing with Birmingham’s tech scene and being just one of many events happening during the very first Birmingham Tech Week. The week-long celebration is a collaborative series of events happening right across the city covering many areas such as AI, FinTech, big data, smart cities, transformation and product development – as well as loads more topics and themes. You can find out more about #BirminghamTechWeek and the events happening on the Tech Week website.

Find out more at www.birminghamtechweek.com

What's new?

We think our theme of ‘insider stories from product people’ is one that still stands strong; there’s so much to be learnt from hearing the candid accounts of how teams have built the products/services that are changing the way we live and work. We encourage the warts and all approach – it’s not just about hearing the successes, it’s as much about what didn’t work and what was learned from it.

This year, we’re excited to bring you 10 speakers including two joint-talks (we’ve not had a joint talk since Facebook in 2016) as well as ensuring there’s plenty of time for you to mingle with other attendees – a huge part of the Canvas experience.

We’ve also addressed the food issue too. After last year’s event, the feedback (whilst wide and varied) had a common theme – lunch was poor. We’ve (hopefully!) fixed that by bringing in Birmingham-based burrito experts Wrap Lab to provide lunch 🙂



A new addition for 2019 is our workshops programme. We’re running two the day before Canvas to give those who attend an extra knowledge-boost, making their time with us even more productive and valuable.

We’re running two on the 9th October (the day before):

1) Design Sprints – At 383, we use sprints every day to quickly resolve challenges, identify new opportunities and validate assumptions. Over the course of the workshop, you’ll learn what design sprints are and when they should be used in a business, how to run them and how to progress the outputs – priceless for any business to have this knowledge and understanding internally.

2) Friction Mapping –  We use these to understand as much about the customer journey as quickly as possible, helping our clients design and test new products and services. This is a visual representation of every experience an audience has with a brand, product or service. It helps to detail every step of a customer’s end-to-end experience, detailing the tasks along the way, any challenges they might face and what that makes them think or feel. Expect to come away with a practical understanding of the potential for using Friction Mapping, how it can benefit a wide range of different projects to spot opportunities and better uncover the customer journey.

This short video from 383 Head of Design, Karl, explains a bit more…

Friction Mapping workshop

We’re back in our trusty venue too, the Birmingham Rep. Ideally situated next to the Library of Birmingham in the heart of the city, the Rep Theatre is the perfect location for a day of inspiration and learning.

Our speakers

We’re very excited to share a phenomenal line-up of speakers, a line-up we’re very proud of and we’ve spent many months working on, briefing and preparing. If you head to the schedule page, you can see exactly who is speaking, when and find out more about them.

Our 10 speakers for 2019.

Your host.

Running things this year, we’re thrilled to have Yessi Bello Perez join us from The Next Web. A true technologist at heart, she’s spent years working in the UK tech scene at places like UKTN and Coin Desk.

A cryptocurrency specialist, you can be sure her flair and knowledge will bring an interesting perspective to all the talks you’ll be hearing.

Meet your host - Yessi Bello Perez

Introducing our charity partner for the year.

Hopefully you’ll have read recently about our commitment to 1% for the planet (if you’ve not, this blog post details it all). Our main partner for the year is Trees for Cities and we’re so pleased to be supporting them at Canvas this year. They’re doing some amazing work, contributing to the regeneration of our urban communities and bringing some much-needed greenery to our towns and cities.

You can find out more about them and their work at Canvas this year and for every ticket sold, we’ll be planting 1 tree later in the year. We’ll share more info on when and where we’re doing this when we know the planting schedule.

Trees for Cities

Tickets are on-sale.

Most importantly, tickets are on-sale and going quickly!

If you’d like to know more about Canvas, our speakers and where you can get tickets, just head to www.canvasconference.co.uk and follow us on Twitter.