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Flash and Flex Conference Price Comparison, 2009 Edition

As the New Year is upon us and we start to budget for conferences in 2009, it is time for the annual Flash conference price comparison post. This year the comparison is a little more in depth because it has more significance with the world's (and especially US) economy hitting some hard times. As a refresher, you can see my posts on this subject from 2007 and 2008.

I was prompted to start looking at conference prices for 2009 when I heard that Flash On The Beach Miami's Super Early Bird pricing has been extended through Christmas. John Davey, the conference organizer, sent me a short email stating, "I think everyone is worried about the economy, and although it is worrying me too, I think a show of 'giving back' will be appreciated." I agree, John. And, thanks!

So, without further delay, here is a breakdown of pricing comparing some of the 'major' Flash/Flex conferences:

FlashForward FITC
Super Early Bird First 100 tickets
Regular $299 n/a $458 USD $360
Student $149 $230
Flex Pass $449 $542
Early Bird Next 200 tickets
Regular $429 $899 $542 $480
Student $319 $271
Flex Pass $559 $625
Standard Last 100 tickets
Regular $499 $999 $625 $550
Student $249 $313
Flex Pass $629 $709
Door Price
Regular $599 $1099 $709
Student $299 $355
Flex Pass $719 $793

When looking at the table, you'll no doubt notice a few things right off. First, FlashForward continues to be the most expensive conference of the bunch at about a whopping 50% more expensive than FOTB or 306|Flex for the standard ticket price. I should mention that FlashForward has not posted their prices for 2009 and the table includes their 2008 pricing. Since the conference just changed hands last year (it was purchased by Beau Ambur of Metaliq) and they dropped the prices at that time, it is most likely safe to assume that they will keep the prices as-is this year.

Another item to consider is that with a new edition to be held in Miami, Flash on the Beach no longer requires international travel. My prior comparisons all had to take into account a flight to London and the very lopsided exchange rate for US Dollar to British Pound. With that no longer being necessary, FOTB is now even a better bargin for those of us in the States. Especially when you realize that all of the headlining speakers from the Brighton edition have also committed to speaking in Miami.

360|Flex has always had some of the lowest prices for a conference. They started out with all tickets priced at $360, but had since risen the price to $480. For their next conference they are taking a new approach of tiered pricing. As you can see above, the first 100 tickets are at the old $360 rate, the next 200 are at the standard $480 rate, and the last are at a premium rate of $550 (which is still about half of the cost of FlashForward).

Of course there is always the extra costs that go along with conferences like flight and hotel. Those certainly add to the cost, but for the most part are the same across the board (except in the case of international travel and/or exchange rates as mentioned previously), so I don't take those into consideration here.

What are your thoughts on the price of conferences in 2009? Am I missing any conferences that you would like to see added?

Logobama – The Barack Obama Logo Creator

LogobamaCreated by the guys (or Pirates, as they prefer to be called) over at Substance, Logobama lets you upload a photo to create a custom Barack Obama logo in sizes to fit user icons for Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, Digg, LinkedIn, Flickr, and others.

This is a great example of how to use various services, such as Flickr, to fit your simple mashup needs -- just like David and Shaun spoke about at FITC Hollywood a few months ago. Great idea, fellas!

FITC Hollywood / Day 2 / Sessions

"It's a Mad, Mad, Mashup World" - David Lowe-Rogstad, Shaun Tinney (Substance)
"Reducing Complexity: The Making of Saffron" - Samuel Agesilas
"Branding Experiences: An Architecture of Play" - Tali Krakowsky
"Adaptable Interfaces" - John Ruppel
"Deploying Video - FLVPlayback Component" - Robert Reinhardt
"GMUNKICKDOWN07" - GMUNK (Bradley Grosh)

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Flash 10 / CS4 / “Diesel” Sneak Peek

Today at FITC Hollywood Richard Galvan, Adobe Flash Product Manager, gave a sneak peek at an upcoming feature in Flash 10 / CS4 / "Diesel". I am really surprised that I haven't read about this new feature anywhere else, so I thought I would post for those who couldn't make it to the conference.

That said, I was by no means expecting anything big to come from Adobe at FITC, mainly because they just held MAX where they previewed dozens of new applications and technologies. But, we were blessed with one new sneak:

The next version of the Flash IDE, Flash 10 "Diesel", will feature a brand new timeline animation model. What's the difference? There will no longer be a need for keyframes. Yes, it sounds drastic, but based on the demo, this is going to make timeline animations _much_ easier to work with and make Flash much easier for beginners.

In short you will be able to select an object on the stage, right-click and choose "Add Motion/Shape Tween", and the timeline layer with the object will turn red to signify that it now contains a tween. Then you move the object (if you want to animate its motion) to create the end state. Want to extend the length of the tween? Just drag the timeline layer out over additional frames. Basically, this model completely fixes broken tweens -- you can no longer have a tween that is "broken" because it is missing a keyframe because tweens are no longer tied to keyframes.

An additional cool feature with this is that when you move the object to the end state, a dotted line shows up along the path of the tween, showing you exactly where the object is going to move to. Want to change the path? Just move the object and the line automatically updates. Not good enough? Adjust the line just like any other curved line in Flash/Illustrator making it more rounded, or increase the length by adjusting the end point to your liking. You can also choose the Transform tool and use it to squish/expand or otherwise transform your tween path.

Maybe I missed something and this had been announced at MAX as well, but if not, I am really surprised that I haven't seen this up on MXNA yet!

FITC Hollywood / Day 1 / Sessions

"AS2 to AS3 Migration" - Stacey Mulcahy
"Let's Talk About SWX, Baby!" - Aral Balkan
"The Nooks and Crannies of AS 3.0" - Branden Hall
"Adobe Keynote" - Richard Galvan, Adobe
"Papervision 3D Component" - John Grden
"Creativity Conducted - Wii Remote Interactive Video Wall" - Blitz Agency

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Attending FITC Hollywood Oct 22-23

FITC Hollywood

Just a quick post that I'll be attending FITC Hollywood on October 22 - 23. I have never gone to an FITC conference (even though they have always received rave reviews), so I'm excited to be participating in the Hollywood edition this year.

Some sessions I'm planning on attending, in no particular order:

+ Adobe AIR for Interactive Designers, Lee Brimelow
+ AS2 to AS3 Migration, Stacey Mulcahy
+ After Effects CS3 for Flash Designers, Tom Green
+ AS3 Events: The Whole Story, Jacob Bullock
+ Deploying Video - FLVPlayback Component, Robert Reinhardt (local Portland'er)
+ It’s a Mad Mad Mashup World, David Lowe-Rogstad (local Portland'er), Shaun Tinney
+ Let's Talk About SWX, Baby!, Aral Balkan
+ Making Flex Look Less Like Flex, Billy Shin
+ Papervision3D CS3 Component, John \m/ Grden
+ The Nooks and Crannies of AS 3.0, Branden Hall
+ Video Magic from EVB, Nick Mitrousis, Jeffrey Titus
+ Reducing Complexity: The Making of Saffron, Samuel Agesilas (I had missed this one at 360|Flex)

So many good sessions for only a two day conference -- it is going to be hard to choose. If you plan on attending as well, be sure to say hello!

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