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Q&A with Cat Clark

Web Conference Producer at Smashing | Bath Roller Derby Girls

Hello, my name's Cat - I'm an Event Producer specialising in conferences for the web and tech community. I work for Smashing, from my home in the beautiful West Country.

I tweet from @oh_cat and @smashingconf. When I'm not working, I play for and help run Bath Roller Derby Girls.

Hardware / tools

Working in events I'm often away from home, so it's essential that my office is portable! I have a very simple set up; I like knowing I'm not tied to one workspace, and can decamp to a cafe or friend's place at a moment's notice. I work from a 13" MacBook Air and if I'm at home, use my lovely bamboo keyboard and mouse. My constant companion, Mouse, a dog we adopted last year is also vital; she reminds me that we should go outside for some fresh air at regular intervals! I'm not sure if this counts as a 'tool' per se, but I think everyone should keep a big bottle of water on their desk. Even mild dehydration effects brain function, and I find having a visual reminder of what you should be getting through in the day is really helpful.


My work is much less technical than most of the nice folk featured on Workspiration, so I'm afraid I don't have any fancy front end secrets to share! I work remotely from home so perhaps it's inevitable that Skype is my most used application. Working remotely can get a bit lonely, even with my pup for company, but I generally have a handful of conversations on the go, running ideas past my colleagues in the German office, or calling up speakers for a chat. Another applications that are always booted up; Caffeine, Thunderbird, Spotify and Tweetdeck. I use Pinterest to collect ideas for venue dressing, attendee gifts etc.

Dream setup

I need to invest in an extra monitor and semi-decent printer / scanner at some point. It would also be nice not to live right next to a fire station as the constant sirens play havoc with my Skype calls. It's a nice neighbourhood but people must think I live in a really grim, crime-ridden area!


The web community. Hosting a great conference means understanding what makes your audience tick. Keeping in touch with all the folk who are out there making the web, chatting on Twitter, watching podcasts, reading blogs and grabbing an actual, real life drink together when possible; it all helps me to hone my events and keeps me constantly motivated. For all its squabbles, quirks and oddities, I love the web world!