Thursday, December 10, 2009

Event Spotlight: Flash and the City

Adobe sponsors community run events all over the world. Here is a spotlight on one of those events.

Here is my interview with Elad Elrom from Flash and the City.

Liz: When is your event?
Elad: May 13 we will have two workshops one that covers Mobile development and one workshop that covers ActionScript and Flex.
The actual conference will be a three day event from May 13 till May 16.

Liz: What city is the event held and what so great about it?
Elad: FlashAndTheCity will take place in a different and dynamic environment called “3LD Art Technology Center” located in downtown Manhattan. 3LD Art Technology Center located in downtown Manhattan at 80 Greenwich St. between Rector and Edgar Streets. The decision to host the event in an technology center will support the artists and their vision. 3LD Art and Technology Center is a community-oriented and artist-run production development studio. They offer artists a unique experience with specialized equipment.

Liz: What makes your event unique?
Elad: What makes this event truly unique is the community-driven speaker lineup. The community looks to the Flash and the City speakers as the leaders in their respective fields. The presenters are without a doubt, the most influential writers, architects, and user experience designers in the world. The list consists of over 40 of the most widely sought-after speakers and writers in the Flash, Flex, LiveCycle, ColdFusion, and Mobile development worlds. Many of them have shaped the technology, tools, and industries we work in today, and simply cannot be found together at any other conference.

Flash and the City is primed to redefine the way we think about conferences in the future. "Out of the box" and "Flash and the City" are not marketing terms, but descriptions of how the event is designed. Flash and the City is offering attendees a one-of-a-kind opportunity: to be a part of incredible sessions on location at world-famous sites throughout the city! That's right, the "City Track" sessions of FATC are going to be held at timeless New York City landmarks! Never before have conference attendees had the chance to explore the host city and take in a session from such an elite collection of speakers.

However, the venue for our on-site sessions is one of a kind. We're holding the ActionScript/Flex, Mobile, Technology, and Inspiration track sessions at the 3-Legged Dog (3LD) Technology Center and Theatre. Much like the Flash community, this “quintessentially hip location" embodies the marriage of artistic creativity and technological ingenuity. The 3LD is a cutting-edge space designed to facilitate the production of new media and large-scale experimental artwork. It's exactly the type of environment that is conducive to the passion and inspiration found only during Flash and the City.

Accommodations for Flash and the City will continue the first-class theme of the conference. FATC attendees and speakers will call the luxurious Millennium Hilton home during their stay. The hotel is located in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, just minutes from Wall Street, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Tribeca, Battery Park and the South Street Seaport. Only the finest for the Flash community!

We're also establishing some recognition during the conference in something we call the "Statue of Liberty award." This award is being presented to the local agency that has best represented New York City this year. Some of the top creative agencies in the world are based in NYC.

There has never been an event that has offered half of what Flash and the City has prepared. The speaker lineup is unrivaled, the city track is a completely new conference format, and the extra-curricular activities will be an unforgettably fantastic time! It is simply a NO-BRAINER to get your ticket before January 1 for $99. Start planning now for Flash and the City, May 14-17, 2010!

Liz: How much does it cost?
Elad: The cost from now until the end of the year is only $99 and the price goes up to $299 or $249 for students.

Liz: What are some of the things people have said about the event?
Elad: Here are some quotes

"Just got my early bird ticket to #FlashAndTheCity. You should too - bargain for a multi-day conference & awesome speaker lineup!"

"Amazing lineup of "A" list speakers and awesome networking events, can't wait!"

"People who don't buy FlashAndTheCity tickets before New Year are stupid"

Liz: Can you tell us about some of your speakers?
Duane Nickull
Doug Winnie
Scott Janousek
Ryan Stewart
Stacey Mulcahy
Grant Skinner
Lee Brimelow
Jesse Warden
Peter Elst
Seb Lee-Delisie
Phillip Kerman
Adam Lehman
Kevin Hoyt

See full list of speakers on

Liz: Anything special happening this year?
Elad: What would an exciting Flash conference be without a rocking after party? Thankfully, we have Adobe Senior Technical Evangelist, and Flash And the City speaker Duane Nickull with his band, 22nd Century, to play the soundtrack to this spectacular event!

On Saturday night, we'll cruise along the Hudson River, taking in the stunning New York City skyline from the view of the Temptress yacht! After a full meal and drinks, attendees have yet another way to mingle with the speakers, and experience the Big Apple from a unique and memorable perspective.

Once Flash and the City has wrapped up, and everyone has begun planning their attendance for 2011, we'll spend Sunday relaxing in Brooklyn thanks to FATC speaker Jesse Freeman, aka TheFlashBum.

Liz: Who are the organizers?
Elad Elrom is the main organizer of FlashAndTheCity

Additionally, contribution are made by the following individuals:
Jesse Freeman - helping with the city track and conference committee
Jose Antonio - branding and marketing as well as conference committee
Kevin Suttle - marketing as well as conference committee

Liz: How can we follow the event? (twitter, blog, website, newsletter, etc.)

Liz: This looks like a great event. I'll be there along with several of the Adobe community. Elad just put a new splash page and I'm guessing just from this that the new site and event is going to blow our minds. Can't wait. And for this price I think this event will be a sell out!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Event Spotlight: 360|Flex

Adobe sponsors community run events all over the world. Here is a spotlight on one of those events.

Here is my interview with John Wilker from 360|Flex

Liz: When is your event?
John: March 7-10, 2010

Liz: What city is the event held and what so great about it?
John: San Jose CA. It's the home of Adobe, and the Silicon Valley. No great concentration of geek and nerd kind available.

Liz: What makes your event unique?
John: Only event completely, 100% no doubt about it, focused on Flex/AIR and ActionScript.

Liz: How much does it cost?
John: $599

Liz: What are some of the things people have said about the event?
John: Here are a few quotes.

"Two of our team attended 360 events last year (both San Jose and Seattle), and we are bringing 4 this year, as you guys by far have the best Flex conference, and you are a real bargin compared to the other guys... looking forward to it!"

"Here’s what I love about the 360Flex conferences: even if you didn’t attend a single session it’s worth the time and money to attend. The conversations with other developers in the hallways, at lunch/dinner, at the bars in the evenings is just as educational and of course more fun"

"So do yourself a favor and head to 360Flex in February. Whether you’re a Flex n00b, novice or ninja it will be worth your time and your career will probably thank you for it."

Liz: Can you tell us about some of your speakers?
John: We've got 40 of the best developers in the community including Adobe engineers.
Deepa Subramanian, Michael Labriola, Ben Stucki, Tom Gonzalez, Andrew Powell, the list goes on.

Liz: Anything special happening this year?
John: Oh yeah San Jose is gonna be awesome because - beep - beep - and - beep - beep - beep -

Liz: Who are the organizers?
John: 360|Conferences AKA John and Nicole Wilker and Tom Ortega

Liz: How can we follow the event?
John: Twitter @360flex
You can sign up for the newsletter on the website.

Liz: Well it sounds like a great event. I hope everyone decides to go! Sign up today!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Need Speakers for TechWeds

Hello Adobe community leaders!

Did you know Adobe has an online training session every Wednesday from 1pm-2pm (Eastern)?

How would you like to learn from an Adobe specialist or another community expert and ask questions live?

How would you like to share your knowledge, tips, and recommendations for using Adobe products?

If you belong to the Community Experts or User Group Managers program, TechWeds is where it is at!

These session are general-intermediate content only.

If you are interested in presenting or suggesting a topic, please fill out the survey.

The calendar for 2010 TechWeds can be found on the Community Manager's page.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Community Experts Application and Nomination

Hey there Adobe Community ROCK STARS!

Applications are now open for 2010’s Community Expert Program.

The window for nominations closes on December 31, 2009.

If you are interested in reapplying, check your email or contact me directly.

If you are interested in joining as a new member, you must be nominated by an already existing Community Expert, Adobe evangelist, Adobe Product Manager, or Adobe Product Marketing Manager. Or contact me for more information.

As a reminder, the mission of the Adobe Community Experts is:

This community-based program is made up of users who share their product expertise with the worldwide Adobe community. The mission is to provide high caliber peer-to-peer communication educating and improving the product skills of Adobe customers worldwide.

Each member is expected to exemplify the program fundamentals of product proficiency, enthusiasm, and professionalism towards Adobe and our customer base. In addition, they agree to be active contributors to the Adobe worldwide community by:

* Engaging in peer to peer support in the Adobe forums
* Posting information and technical support in their favorite online community
* Writing articles for professional publications
* Presenting Adobe product presentations at conferences and user groups

NOTE: The program’s rebrand will be announced along with the announcement of the accepted members of the program in 2010.

Good Luck Everyone!

I'm thankful for all our community professionals who contribute their time and expertise to the world. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Adding Events to My Plate

When I resigned from Stellr to take my new job at Adobe, I agreed to remain on the Advisory Board of CFUnited because I have been committed to the success of the event and its community for so many years and I wanted to keep on contributing, although in a different role than previously.

However, starting in the near future, I will be adding more Community events work to my plate here at Adobe and as such, continuing to advise CFUnited might be seen a conflict of interest. Therefore, effective immediately, I am withdrawing from the CFUnited Advisory Board.

Feel free to post questions in the comments.
Thank you.

Friday, October 23, 2009

CFinNC, the way an event should be

CFinNC's first event was a success. Mainly because the attendees were over all satisfied from my point of view and the organizers decided to do it again next year.

I took myself down to NC to watch Jim Priest and Dan Wilson in action. Their UG was extremely active and willing to help. What makes a great event isn't the amount of money spent or the number of attendees. It is the dedication of the people involved and it becomes this sense of community that everyone wants to be involved with. They had wonderful speakers and great keynote speakers. I had so many favorite moments from helping the guys set up the night before, to watching Joe Rinehart's keynote on day two. The late night bar was no different than every event I attend. The conversations flowed and the friendships were building. That's what an event truly comes down to. There was also some great content I heard about so that is just truly amazing that this event was put together with the minimum funds and in such a short amount of time.

The guys said they got ideas from larger events like CFUnited and from their UG. And that's what it is all about. Learn from other people's trials and jump at the chance to use great ideas. This is about building a community, not about who's event is better. I encourage UGs to put together a small event like this if they find they have the support from their UG members and find a location that is accessible to a large audience. NC was a great location within driving distance to DC. Great timing and great facility. Schools are a highly recommended venue choice as well. I even hitched a ride with friends to and from, what a bonus!

Also keep in mind the experience. The flow of events. The guys did a great job spacing out sessions and giving time to network. They got sponsors and prizes to add some excitement. They got some great speakers to help promote and do spotlight interviews. Events are supposed to make an impact on a community before, during, and after. There isn't one formula, each event has to be different but if I had to see three things you absolutely need it is 1) great speakers, 2) dedicated team, and 3) well thought out budget.

I highly recommend going next year. If you are interested in doing an event, I offered my advise to Jim and Dan which I'd do for anyone (to an extent!). But just make sure you first take a look around and remember what is it you like about events. They are truly inspirational and always does well to boost moral.

Some events coming up are Bflex/Bfusion, RIA unleashed, RIA adventure, and more.
Make the leap and take a trip or take a leap and decide to do an event in your city!

Monday, October 12, 2009

MAX from the other side

What just happened?

Another Adobe MAX came and went. But it made a huge impact. I’ve worked events before, I’ve networked with others, and I’ve learned new information at conferences in the past. MAX was different for me this year. Joining the Community Team has been an honor. Mainly because my team is amazing and the community is way cool.

Seeing things from the other side isn’t all that different. We are just as amazed as everyone else how everything gets pulled together. Difference is I was much calmer and ready to call to action from my people. It was smooth and a completely rewarding experience.

I sat at the booth Monday morning armed with stickers and notebooks. Ready to smile and represent a company I love. I let conversation flow naturally of course. But after the first few seconds I realized the mission. The community needs to grow! Connecting with one another doesn’t just stop after MAX ends. I wanted everyone to know about the Groups site and what Adobe has done to keep the community connected. I was excited when people found their local user group online for the first time. It was the best feeling all week.

I met a ton of Experts who liked my ideas and who gave me some great feedback.

Here are some of the wants from Experts:

  • To be rebranded (with an awesome acronym of course)
  • A clear definition of who the Experts are
  • To be better connected with Adobe product managers
  • To be better utilized
  • Know when there are opportunities to speak in the community
  • Would like to put presentations on AdobeTV or somewhere unified to show case

And there is a whole lot more.

I have ideas that I shared with the Experts as well. Some involved my idea for creating a useful tool. --I can’t tell you more than that. I have ideas for increasing presence and creating a well-defined identity for the Experts. Also, we need better expectations for Experts.

I will be announcing the Expert program changes and 2010 application on my blog as well as throughout the forums and other lists.

I’m extremely excited to get started on all this. I don’t like to sit on a good idea as many people know. I want to motivate and challenge everyone around me.

What MAX taught me is that creative out-of-the-box ideas can come true.

The only complaint about Adobe MAX is that I didn’t get one of those fresh baked cookies. I was already too stuffed! Thank you Adobe for taking such good care of everyone. You really do care about this community and creating so many opportunities for everyone.

Highlights (and YES I remember everything):

  • Buttons, lots of buttons
  • Late night chatter
  • My visit to Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd
  • Keynotes
  • John Mayer and Mark Hamill
  • The day two evening event rocked
  • Chatting with Dee Sadler and some of the well known Experts
  • Music and Food – all wonderful
  • My picture with Kevin Lynch and Ben Forta!
  • Wearing my NDA shirt and seeing Eddie laugh
  • Eating CF cake
  • Kicking off the festivities with the Romanians and friends Saturday night
  • Seeing Rachel work the floor
  • Preview of Avatar
  • Watching John chat with our overseas guests
  • Seeing the relief on Stacy’s face when recordings did well

I was so sad to go back east after such an amazing week but it is good to know that 2010 is going to rock!

Here are some great pictures from myself and other community peeps. Thanks!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

MAX Travel Tips

Here are some helpful tips for traveling... particularly to Adobe MAX.

I’m covering the essentials and time saving tips. I might seem like a person who loves to travel but I think the process is annoying so I take extra measures to make it easier on myself.

Your suite case is probably the #1 item you want to plan well.

DO pack your shoes in a plastic bag before putting them in your suite case. Dirty shoe t-shirt smell = not so nice smelling

DO put your liquid into a plastic bag even though you are checking in your bag, I’ve had my toothpaste burst all over my clothes before, it isn’t fun. (carry on – its each bottle can be 3.4 oz or less in one zip lock bag)

DO put a ribbon and tag on your bag to easily identify (especially if it is a black suite case)

DO NOT over stuff your suite case! You will have more to take home than you came with. (Adobe MAX promises to provide lots of swag.)

HEALTH TIP: Grab some Airborn and hand sanitizer (trust me on this)


I recommend printing your shuttle reservation, hotel reservation, airline itinerary, MAX attendee confirmation, essential phone numbers, and schedule. Put them all into ONE envelope/folder and put it in the front pocket of your bag or purse. It is just easier to have it all in one place.

WEATHER: LA looks like great weather for MAX with almost no chance of rain. Temperatures mostly between 68-75 highs and 55-58 lows. Bring layers. Conference center rooms are usually a little chilly. Wear comfy shoes too.

Helpful Links:

Schedule on Mobile created by community member Chris Griffith

MAX Companion Air app

Taxi Cabs

Taxi numbers: (310) 821-1000 or (800) 666-6664 or (800) 200-1085

Restaurants near LACC

LAX airport

MAX online

MAX map

Parking information

Session catalogue

Event Guide


You can start checking in at the registration desk at MAX at 7am – 7pm on Sunday and starting at 7am on Monday as well.

Feel free to use my traveling check list

  • Pants
  • Shirts
  • “Party outfit”
  • Comfy shoes
  • Socks
  • Party shoes
  • Under things
  • Sleep-wear
  • Watch/Jewelry
  • Sweater
  • Jacket
  • Belt
  • Toothbrush/paste
  • Q-tips
  • Comb/Brush
  • Make Up
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Razor
  • Deodorant
  • Phone cord
  • Laptop
  • Laptop cords
  • Make sure all your software works/installed
  • Batteries/Charger
  • Camera/case
  • Plastic bag (for dirty clothes)
  • Book to read
  • Aspirin
  • Wallet/Money/ID/etc
  • Business Cards

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Star Wars Raffle at Adobe MAX

Adobe MAX is fast approaching!

What do you think about when you think of MAX? Community? Free Stuff? Seeing cool new apps? Sharing information?

I want to announce a raffle being held at MAX in the Community Pavilion. The Adobe Developer Connection (ADC) team will be in the Community Lounge showing off the new version of the Adobe Cookbook application that was announced last week.

If you are attending MAX, stop by the Community Lounge and show off your cookbook recipe to the ADC team. If you have a new idea for a recipe and are new to the Cookbook application, they can show you how to get started posting.

After you show us your entry, you will be entered into a ThinkGeek Star Wars gift RAFFLE. We have some cool stuff to give away. Winners will be drawn at 1pm on Tuesday and will be posted in the Community Lounge until the end of the day. Winners will be announced via twitter as well (@esulliva).

Start posting your Recipes today!

List of some of the prizes:

Thanks Ray Camden for the awesome idea and Thanks ThinkGeek for the prizes!

Did you know that Mark Hamill (AKA Luke Skywalker) is scheduled to co-host the Adobe MAX Awards on Tuesday? It's true!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What I love most at Adobe MAX

The stars! The lights! The entertainment!
I'm not talking about LA... I'm talking about Adobe MAX!

I love it when I first walk into the conference center grabbing my badge and swag, and I feel like I've just been admitted entrance in to the most exclusive party in the world. Everyone around me has the same bright-eyed look on their faces. Did I mention you get a t-shirt? Its the symbol of this great moment and I get to wear it proudly after this day. By the time I get my swag the night before the big day, I've already twittered my arrival and called all my friends to meet me at the local bar. Its hugs and lots of stories to catch up on.

Side note: Don't forget business cards! I never bring enough. Also, I've noticed that I hold on to the cards that look the coolest. I don't know why, I just do. I hope if you have a cool looking business card, you'll hand one to me. ;-)

Do you know that fuzzy feeling you get when your favorite show is about to start? Times that by a hundred. That's the feeling I get when I'm waiting with thousands of other people outside the main entrance to the Keynote. My thought process: "Oh my... here we go! [everyone rushes like sardines into the room] Wow it is dark in here. [loud music comes on] I CAN'T HEAR MYSELF THINK!! AWESOME!! Oh wow, look, there's Ray, Ben, Adam and all my favorites."
I find a seat in the middle as close as possible for one reason only... to get a close look at Kevin Lynch! He's so fantastic on stage. Sigh. But first, the intro begins and its like watching a hundred dolphins in synchronized jumps. Fantastic. The keynotes never disappoint me. I never know what to twitter or if I should just keep it all to myself.

Sessions = great speakers and lots of choices. (love love the unconferences too)
I will be taking Intro to CF and learn tons of stuff in photoshop and other hands-on classes.

Food = I barely have time to eat! Good thing there are food/snacks/drinks often!

AV/Technology = A+++++

Evening events = let me elaborate

Ben tells us to expect this year's special event to be extremely exciting. At first, I was like "huh?" a museum and bowling? This is what you came up with? But then I took a closer look. First all, I'm thrilled there aren't any buses. We are already in an awesome city. Second, FREE FREE FREE. When do I get to do these things in my life time?? Check out these sites to see what I'm talking about. Basically I'm going to shake it up at the conga lounge, bowl a 250, and go hang with the King of Pop. Should I wear my red carpet gown? I hope the paparazzi don't follow me! LMAO I can't wait! I'm predicting it to be the best evening event of the decade!

When you go to any event, it is about experience. When I did CFUnited, I concentrated on a series of events and activities in a specific order. MAX does the same but in an overwhelming way that I could never pass up. It keeps me going all year long. I love meeting so many new people and learning so many new things. If I am designing and developing in Adobe Products, why wouldn't I go? It is my past, present, and future.

Granted, I'm obligated to go this year because of my new position (a super plus!). But I'm still looking forward to the experience. I've been going to MAX every year for 4 years. And the reason I'm sharing this with you is because if one person decides to attend from reading this blog entry, then I feel great. This is your career. These are your people. This is your moment.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Excited to Join Adobe

Hello CFUnited alumni and fans! CFUnited 2009 was amazing and I encourage everyone to register for 2010.

I recently accepted a position with the Developer Relations team at Adobe to become a Community Manager. I’m excited for the opportunity to continue working with the community and support the vision of my team: Rachel Luxemburg, John Koch, John Dowdell, and Stacy Sison.

As for CFUnited, I’ve been added as an Advisory Member. Thank you Stellr! The Stellr team and its newest list of advisers are committed more than ever to putting together an amazing event in 2010. I am confident that the practices and procedures I put in place for CFUnited will be followed and continuously improved by the Stellr team. They are passionate about this growing adventure and excited about their new advisory team.

CFUnited was created for the community. No matter who is in the driver’s seat, the conference follows a plan set by its community and suggestions. I trust that Stellr team will do the right thing.

I believe attending events and organizing them is something every community member should experience at some point in time. You learn great things about your peers and you gain a broader perspective of the industry. CFUnited is a success because it listens to the feedback and encourages those who are passionate about what they do.

My final advice before jumping to the mother-ship…

I believe this is one of the strongest communities in IT. Get those User Groups started again and volunteer your time to present. I support everyone to carry out your vision to bring people together and aim high in the future. And remember that I’m not going anywhere, I’m here to connect with you and build a stronger relationship.

Please come by the Adobe Community Lounge at MAX and say “Hi” to me and let’s talk serious!