I am back home now after a very lovely and stimulating weekend at the BFusion/BFlex conference. BFusion and BFlex are back to back 1 day training/conference events held in Bloomington Indiana on the grounds of Indiana University. While some poor misguided souls might think any conference in Indiana would be nothing more than a projector pointed at a sheet hanging in a cornfield, I assure you this was not the case. Far from it.
The BFusion/BFlex event was awesome. Hands Down. The hallmark of a good conference is good organization and the promoters of this conference really put a lot of time into sorting out details. The moment we checked into the hotel we were handed colour coded maps showing important town features like the nearest grocery store, local restaurants, local watering holes and of course, directions to the conference facilities. Registration was simple and efficient. All of us there as Presenters, Instructors and Assistants were given branded polo shirts to wear so students knew who to ask for help. Lunch choices were color coded with the name tag to make finding ones particular choice a little easier. It was clear that our hosts had thought of everything.
The presenters had all the latest equipment at their disposal from dual monster projection screens to the Crestron powered audio/video equipment. The training sessions were stocked with quality instructors and had plenty of helpful assistants floating around the room to help keep the pace. To facilitate the learning environment, each of the rooms had power ports and ethernet jacks available for every seat which means we avoided the typical conference double wammy of running low on batteries and cramming everyone on an overloaded wifi router. Not least to mention, the campus of Indiana University is just simply beautiful!
So frankly, the quality of the event was on par with some of the best run conferences in the business. I am still a little shocked that the crew was able to provide all of the coordination, service and giveaways for free. Oh, thats right, giveaways. I need to talk about the giveaways.
Thanks to the awesome sponsors, there was an immense amount of giveaways. Everyone likes to get ColdFusion and Flex stickers, hats emblazoned with CF and technology themed t-shirts and those things were in good supply. More interesting were the tons of tech books, learning CDs, Lynda subscriptions and the like that were also raffled off to the attendees. The theme of this conference was learning and that means even the giveaways were there to help facilitate the learning. I brought my friend Tim Montgomery from Dayton, OH. He has been designing and implementing websites for many years now and wanted to get some good ColdFusion and Flex training. He left the conference with:
- a CF hat
- a new copy of John Farrar's book "ColdFusion 8 Developer Tutorial"
- a really snazzy CF8 tag poster set
- some free software
- a new laptop bag
- an Adobe Air with Ajax book
- a Flex shirt
- 16 new friends
All in all, the BFusion/BFlex series is impressive and of tremendous benefit to the community. Many people gained their first exposure to ColdFusion and Flex, others gained new skills and a good time was had by all. A big NoDans.com thank you to Bob Flynn, Prem Radhakrishnan, Michelle Buddie and the rest of the super cool staff for putting on a quality memorable show.