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Pricing Showdown: Flashforward vs Flash on the Beach

Every year I try to attend at least one large Flash conference, and today I was trying to decide which conference I wanted to attend this year: Flashforward or Flash on the Beach.

Both conferences will no doubt be worth attending -- last year's Flashforward was a great experience for me, and although I didn't attend, FOTB was touted as the best conference of the year in the Flash community. Both will have a very similar list of speakers and cover similar topics, offer plenty of time for networking, and undoubtedly offer the yearly recharge of interactive development passion. In fact, there are only two considerable differences: location and price. And when you are trying to convince your employer to pay, it all comes down to pricing.

I originally assumed, like most Americans would considering the strength of the British Pound to the Dollar, that a trip to Brighton for FOTB would be considerably more costly. But, as it turns out, it is $664 _cheaper_ to attend FOTB in the UK then it is to attend Flashforward in Boston. This amazed me, and I'm writing this post in hopes that Flashforward (and Lynda.com, the producers) will take notice at the discrepancy.

I calculated the $664 difference by factoring in the only sure costs in each location -- the conference pass, airfare, and hotel accommodations. Here is the breakdown:

Flashforward
Conference Pass: $1099
Airfare (Portland to Boston, continental.com): $600
Hotel (Conference Rate): $249/night x 5 = $1245
Total: $2944

Flash on the Beach
Conference Pass: $400
Airfare (Portland to London, continental.com): $880
Hotel (Hotels.com): $200/night x 5 = $1000
Total: $2280

$2944 - $2280 = $664

Now, obviously this isn't scientific as there are still costs like taxi fares, meals, incidentals and entertainment, but these costs would generally be the same no matter which conference you attend. I realize that the Dollar to British Pound conversion rate would skew things a bit due to the locations of the two conferences, but even if that skew was equal to $664, it still costs me the same to attend FOTB and get a free vacation to the UK.

FOTB can produce a conference equal to Flashforward's and still price their passes at less than half. Same speakers, same topics, similar community, and half the price. With conferences like FITC, Flashbelt and 360Flex all pricing themselves _way_ below Flashforward, and OSFlash offering conferences online for free, how long can they continue to charge $1100 to just get in the door?

[Update: The official FOTB blog has just picked up this post. See you at the conference next month!]

jonnymac blog » Attending 360|Flex and Flash on the Beach said,

July 26, 2007 @ 10:32 am

[…] had previously posted how the cost of attending FlashForward in Boston was greater than flying to and attending Flash on […]

David Arno’s Blog » Flash on the Beach is such a good price, even Americans are saving money by attending said,

October 9, 2007 @ 11:02 am

[…] yet he is saving himself a few hundred dollars by coming to Britain for a Flash conference. As he points out on his blog, not only does he save himself money, he gets to have a holiday Britain too. Perhaps Flashfoward […]

flash on the beach rocks, I mean, rawks. nice swag too. « noah little said,

November 9, 2007 @ 8:39 am

[…] goToAndPlay for anyone within traveling distance. Or even if you’re not that close, it is worth the trip. John and his team do an excellent job of putting together the sessions, and creating an atmosphere […]

Thoughts on Consolidation, Part 1: Adobe 3rd Party Tech conferences « Tom’s Blog said,

December 7, 2007 @ 9:56 am

[…] horn, as we can take 360Conferences out of the picture and still see the same effect. For example, FOTB vs FlashForward plus the rise of BarCamp style […]

jonnymac blog » FlashForward SF 2008 Pricing Announced and Still Overly Expensive said,

May 7, 2008 @ 5:45 pm

[…] readers may remember my previous post on the costs of conferences, specifically Flash on the Beach and 360|Flex compared to FlashForward. In short, FlashForward was […]

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