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There are scads of email marketing conferences. Inbox Love, however, focuses on the technology of email, and the people behind it. Call us biased, but we think it’s a richer area of exploration ;) This will be our second year at the conference, which is organized by Jared Goralnick (AwayFind), Joshua Baer (Otherinbox), and 500 Startups. If you have any interest in email [1], and if next Wednesday finds you anywhere near the Bay Area, we’d recommend dropping by. Five reasons why:

1. Lavar Levison. The man who famously shut down secure email service Lavabit rather than hand user information over to the US government has certainly earned our ears. At Inbox Love, he’ll be filling them with useful-meets-scary information like: how to protect your customers’ data and what to do about that subpoena.

2. Jason Cornwell, Kelly Goto, and Steven Whittaker’s talk on design decisions for email products. With email, the look, feel, and functionality of the medium play crucial roles in the reception of the message. Between Gmail’s UX design lean and two human-computer interaction experts, current and aspiring email client makers should come away from this talk  with a good idea of what to do --or undo --next.

3. Edith Harbaugh, Ryan Fuller, and Raj Singh's talk on email data. The incredibly rich and varied social and textual information stored in email was what got us interested in the communication format in the first place, but as this talk’s description notes, “there is a fine line with how far to take this and what to store.” We’re curious to see how all three of the speakers’ companies make use of this data.

4. In-mail actions. The concept of email-as-action-hub isn’t new (see: PowerInbox, Moveable Ink), but Gmail’s implementation of it means it’s a) here to stay b) cleaner and c) extendable (one recent example is Square Cash). At Inbox Love, two of the developers behind will explain how to use it.

5. Demos from new email-related startups. Set list TBD, but we’re pretty sure it contains at least a few next big things.

1. And why else would you be reading this blog?