I'm excited to be heading over to Brighton, UK once again this year to attend Flash on the Beach 2009. Besides all of the wonderful speakers and catching up with everyone, I'm equally excited for a new addition this year: The Elevator Pitch.
The conference website describes it as "...exactly what the title suggests - 20 'newbies' / 'oldies' / whatever you want to call them, get 3 minutes to show their best work, a new idea, live coding, live drawing, whatever."
This is great for two reasons. First, for the past two years the most well attended sessions were the 'filler' sessions where several speakers got up and free-formed it for five minutes each to fill an hour long session left blank by a speaker who had to cancel last minute. This always leads to exciting presentations about small projects these guys are working on, rather than some topic that takes an hour to present. Second, one of my favorite events in Portland is Ignite, where presenters have only 20 slides that automatically rotate every 15 seconds to get their point across. When you are forced to distill a topic down to only a couple of key points, it often ends up being a much better presentation.
I also think it is great to be giving some up-and-coming talent a chance to speak. Most people (myself included) find it difficult to put together a presentation on a topic that would fill a whole hour. You either end up having way too much content or way too little content. And the prep time pre-conference can be a time consuming nightmare. But if you only need to prep for a three minute talk, there are no excuses.
You can see a full list of the topics that will be covered by Flash on the Beach's 3 Minute Wonders at the conference website, but I'm really looking forward to topics such as "I can't draw, but I can program", "ActionScript to Objective-C (and everything in between)" and "Beta, my arse!".