New conference in Kansas City

Last year was a great year for conferences. I even spoke at several. I am a user group manager so I speak to my group a lot, but also to other groups around the country via connect, which I love. I am a social butterfly, an instructor and apparently you can’t shut me up, so I like speaking. No, seriously, I really like sharing. I spoke at CFUnited in August of 09 and had 2 sessions, and even was one of the repeats for the Saturday crew. It was exhausting but a very rewarding experience. I did a hands-on CSS class as well as a Flash Catalyst session. Unfortunately, the Flash Catalyst session was the first thing in the AM after the Adobe pool party the night before. Luckily, I did the session again 2 months later for the St. Louis Flash Camp. That was a great conference. Thanks JP.

The next month was Adobe MAX. I had a few friends who were speaking so I volunteered to TA (teaching assistant) for them. Apparently I know too many people because next thing I know, I am a TA for 8 sessions. Craziness. Last day of MAX I TA’d 4 sessions and then was a speaker for the local LA group fro their Mini MAX that night. I was so tired, but what a great experience MAX was for me. My only regret was I wasn’t able to see anyone else’s sessions but the ones I assisted at. Only spent a while in the Community lounge, and if you happen to know me, that was torture. I am known for taking tons of pictures, and my networking. I wasn’t able to do any of that. I did meet a few new folks and of course I organized an evening event while I was there. It’s what I do after all. I am the social director of our Adobe community. I make sure people connect with each other. I’m Julie from Love Boat.

I went on to other conferences like BFlex|BFusion and didn’t plan on it, but TA’d the 2nd day for 2 all day sessions. OK, that isn’t physically possible, I did one on the morning, and the other in the afternoon. I wasn’t suppose to TA, there just wasn’t enough people to do so. I still had a blast and meet some fellow geeks whom I had only known online previously. You know, people you follow on Twitter and when you walk into the room you say, I know them, and them, and them, and them… but you’ve never actually met them in public before. Isn’t social media great! Finally I ended up at Brian Rinaldi’s RIA Unleashed. A 1 day event in Boston.

At this point, I realize to myself that I was finally, finally in a position to put my own conference on in Kansas City. I had been studying other conferences all year, and I had the technical network to pull together some of the best and brightest for a conference. But what kind of conference would I attempt? Developer, designer, workflow, what? That’s it! A designer/developer workflow conference. It’s what I had been talking about for 2 years. It’s basically the theme of my life. I am a hybrid. A designer who codes. I want nothing more than to have a better workflow between them, so why not center a conference around that premise.

If you’ve been around for awhile, you know there was a HUGE conference planned a few year back from Lynda.com. I can’t remember the name but it was something very similar to mine. It didn’t happen. Not enough registration I think. So why do I think mine will be OK? For one it’s several years into the future. We’ve had some hard economic times since then. People have been forced to be more than just whatever they were before. Designer have to code more, developers are expected to do some design. If you don’t believe me take a look at a job description there days. They want the person to be an expert at Photoshop, Illustrator, print work, able to draw logos and branding, know PHP, Flash, AS 3.0, .NET, jQuery, ColdFusion and some Flex but would love if they also knew 3D and video. OK, so be an expert at everything apparently. Sorry, that isn’t how most of us were trained.

So in June, Kansas City will have the first conference we’ve had for years. We get passed up for everything. Concerts, tech conferences, you name it. Well, no more. For gosh sake, we have companies like Garmin, Sprint, Hallmark and 4 international Ad agencies here. We have some very talented folks in Kansas City.

The name of this conference is D2W and the URL is D2WC.com and 200 designer, developer and hybrids will ascend upon downtown KC the 19-20 of June, 2010. I can’t tell you how exciting this is. I have a post on the site, so if you might be interested being a speaker or volunteer, fill out a form there. I have an advisory board and a speaker board and will be deciding speakers soon. I’ll be sure and update this post when we have some selections.

I know that in as of itself isn’t the least bit remarkable, but I had a bigger purpose in mind than just attending.

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