I'm here today with Dave Schroeder, organizer of the Flashbelt event in Minneapolis!
Liz: When and where is the event?
For the last 7 years June in Minnesota has meant one thing to interactive designers and developers: Flashbelt. The 4 Day conference takes place again this coming June 13-16th. It's held in a hotel on the edge of downtown Minneapolis in the vibrant West Bank Arts Quarter.
On the 13th, we have four pre-conference workshops - Flash CS5 For Mobile Devices, Programming Flash Games, Learning Actionscript 3, and Flash Kickstart 101. Then for the 14-16th we run 14 sessions/day split into 3 tracks; Design, Develop & Engage.
Liz: What kind of topics do you have?
As the name Flashbelt implies the content is centered around working with the Flash Platform & related tools and with the release of Flash CS5 comes a load of new features to talk about. Flashbelt is the place to learn first and firsthand about them all. This year's sessions will cover web design, web development, user engagement, motion graphics, physical computing, dynamic content, data visualization, augmented reality, video, mobile application development, the recently released Adobe Flash CS5, ActionScript 3, AIR, Flash Media Server, Flash Player 10.1, Papervision3D, Processing, and OpenFrameworks. Workshops include Learning Actionscript 3, Developing Flash Applications for Mobile Devices, and Programming Flash Games, and an Introduction the Flash for the great many designers out there who need to get into the interactive realm.
As a conference we want to do two things for attendees; Increase their skill set by teaching tangible things, and ignite their creativity by showing them inspiring work by inspiring people. Year after year attendees rave about how excited they are to get back to work and make something awesome.
Liz: What makes this event unique?
The atmosphere is amazing. We keep it small to keep it personable, limiting attendance to just 400 attendees. With 40 speakers and 400 attendees people really get the chance to meet and talk and make connections. They make friends or they figure solutions to someone's problems. The after parties aren't loud dance clubs, but smaller neighborhood bars where people can continue to talk tech and have some fun. And the speakers I'm able to persuade to be a part of the conference never cease to amaze me. They're doing amazing work, they take the time to put together a great presentation and travel to Minneapolis. They deliver a great talk and then continue the conversation with the rest of the attendees throughout the event. They're all incredibly smart, and very nice. There's just a overall good "vibe" at the conference. And also, for what it's worth, it's also less expensive than similar events, so it's a bit more accessible in that respect.
Liz:How can the public stay up to date about upcoming news and information about FlashBelt?
They can opt in to our email list via http://www.flashbelt.com, or find us on facebook and twitter.