When I speak at a conference, I often zoom in and out with just enough spare time to allow for potential flight delays and other mishaps. I assumed I’d do this when Tim Ash invited me to speak on using brain-based techniques to boost conversion at the Conversion Conference in San Francisco (March 5-6). I anticipated a typical hit-and-run event until I looked at the agenda. When I saw the lineup of speakers, I made sure that I’d be there from start to finish. (I had no choice on the finish part, I’m batting cleanup!) Look at the keynoters that organizer Tim Ash has lined up:

Steve “Don’t Make Me Think” Krug

Was there ever a better book title than Don’t Make Me Think? This classic guide to making websites by Steve Krug is one of the few books whose message is neatly encapsulated in a mere four words. Despite the simplicity of the concept and the fact that an amazing 300,000 copies of the book have been sold, web designers everywhere continue to violate its basic premise. And, although the book is written from the standpoint of web design, the neuroscience of Krug’s thesis is spot on: our brains are lazy, and won’t always expend the effort if they have to actually think about what you want them to do.

Persuasion Expert B.J. Fogg

B.J. Fogg is another person I haven’t encountered at other conferences but am really looking forward to meeting. He brings a high-tech orientation to the psychology of persuasion, which has allowed him to go beyond traditional techniques. His principles have inspired wildly viral Facebook applications, and according to Fortune Magazine he’s one of the “10 New Gurus You Should Know.” His books include Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do. His leadoff keynote is the reason I have to get to the conference on time!

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Usability Guru Jared Spool

I thought I was an industry old-timer, but Jared’s company, User Interface Engineering, dates back to 1988! He’s coauthored multiple books on the design and testing of user interfaces, and speaks at conferences around the country on human factors topics. I’m particularly interested in tapping his expertise on rapid prototyping. Finding ways to quickly test design options early in the process can save a lot of money and grief, and that happens to be one of Jared’s specialties.

Tim Ash, and much more

Tim is the organizer of the conference and is the author of Landing Page Optimization, the bible of conversion. (Watch for a new edition coming soon – I’ve seen a pre-publication draft, and it’s packed with great info. The speaker lineup throughout the two days includes a plethora of great speakers like Brian Massey, Bill Leake, Jay Berkowitz, and many more. Topics range from how to reduce shopping cart abandonment to social media conversion case studies.

I hope to see you there – be sure to say hello if you make it. If you haven’t booked yet, click here to save $100 (offer good for just a few more days!).

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