So you wanna plan a conference?

We've just finished up the CFinNC conference and by all digital accounts, it went rather well. Most things ran on time, lunch arrived promptly and the facility at NC State College of Textile was top notch.

I've been an attendee, speaker, teacher and a sponsor before, but this was my first time from the OTHER side of the registration desk. I have a newly found appreciation for conferences and conference staff.

Since this was our first time planning a conference, we learned a lot. I've heard rumors of other groups wanting to put on a similar conference and I want to share a few things we learned along the way.

  1. It helps to have a whole bunch of committed volunteers that see the vision and will take responsibility for completing tasks.
  2. It helps to have a very generous sponsor providing facilities, manpower, AV and Video recording, which if we'd had to procure on our own would have blown our entire budget.
  3. It helps to have committed financial and contributing sponsors that help provide the budget. There will be more expenses than you may think at first.
  4. It helps to reach out to the illustrious conference diva Liz Frederick and get timely help and advice along the way.
  5. It helps to get an information organization strategy in place, so the team isn't having to dig through mountains of emails, twitters, mailing list and other channels just to get status on deliverables. Maybe use a forum or a collaboration system with ticketing or something for this. Email and Excel are not the answer!
  6. It helps to periodically test your Contact Us form. Or Bad things can happen.
  7. It helps to put out the menu and the schedule as early as possible so you can help folks know what to expect and how to arrange their travel plans.
  8. It helps to overcommunicate with speakers, sponsors and attendees. Seriously.
  9. It helps to go ahead and just make mediocre decisions earlier than wait and try to make great decisions later.
  10. It helps to understand that if you are running the conference, you will not have a single moment to socialize. You probably won't like this and neither will all your friends.
  11. It helps to understand that there will be problems and snags and must be fixed, regardless of how much planning you do. Fix them quickly and no one will know they even happened.

There is plenty more we learned also, but we'd like to hear from you. We put out a Post Conference Survey to get a 360 degree view of the conference and find ways to improve, should we do this again in the near future.

Thanks to all the volunteers, sponsors, speakers and attendees who made this event special. We thank you all for honoring us with your presence.


CFinNC is close to a sell out

When we started talking about planning the CFinNC conference, we knew we wanted to provide the best possible training and education for zero cost. This goal was ambitious and required a large dedicated, experienced conference planning team with a large budget.

Since we were a small, volunteer, inexperienced group of programmers with zero budget, I've been entertained and surprised at times by the proceedings. For those who don't know, the CFinNC planning team is pretty much the entire Triangle Area ColdFusion User Group. This is the premiere ColdFusion User Group on the planet and anyone who thinks differently can come to CFUnited for a smackdown in the Sumo Ring.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and the creativity and dedication of our planning teams, we are set to have the very best Adobe Platform ever, in the state of North Carolina.

The good news for us, and the bad news for those who've been delaying their registration, is we are close to sold out. (Editors Note: Can a free conference really sell out?)

Conferences generally have two periods of rapid registrations, generally around the first two weeks of registration, and the last 2 weeks of registration. CFinNC starts Oct 17th, so we are definitely in the last 2 weeks. Though interestingly enough and based on highly complicated computer models, we'll have to close registration ahead of schedule. If you've been postponing registration for CFinNC, do it now.

As my 9 year old Nephew so eleoquently put it, Snoozers are losers.

Win a ColdFusion Dude Camera

Registration for the CFinNC conference is filling up fast. Even though we are a free conference, space is limited so get your registrations in very soon!

The illustrious Simon Free is running a promotional conference to help not only CFinNC, but bFlex/bFusion and RIA Unleashed. You could win a limited edition, one of a kind, never to be seen again, amazingly creative, yet awesomely useful custom CF Dude Flip video camera by simply registering and Submit, in 100 words or less, why you love ColdFusion or why you are excited to learn ColdFusion!

Win a CF Dude Camera - 3 great conferences, 3 Chances to Win

Why The Research Triangle is Better Than Silicon Valley

Wayne Sutton, local entrepreneur and master of all things social, presented at Ignite Raleigh on 19 reasons why the Research Triangle of North Carolina is better than Silicon Valley. The presentation was a hoot and a must see. Wayne left out #20, which is the CFinNC conference.

CFinNC is a free web development conference held in Raleigh, North Carolina during the weekend of October 17th and 18th with an International line-up of speakers presenting on timely and relevant topics on web development. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and the creativity of the planning committee, registration for the event will be free and includes entry to the weekend event and to all presentations.

CFinNC is held in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, not Silicon Valley... which we believe would've made #20 on Wayne's list.

Why You Should Register for CFinNC before Sept 4th

As you know, we are hard at work planning the conference. CFinNC is 2 days of jam packed training and sessions on the Adobe platform (CF, Flash, Flex and AIR) and other web development topics. In this time of evaporating training budgets and non-existent funds for conferences, our free conference is the most compelling way to get trained and fired up.

We've opened registration yesterday and are pleased with the results of the last 24 hours. A big goal of the conference is to reach and strengthen existing users of the Adobe platform by offering all levels of content. We have another goal, which is to reach and impress students and developers of alternate platforms on the power and potency of the Adobe platform.

So to reach the first goal, we've opened registration and are initially promoting through the usual Adobe-centric information channels to reach the existing user base. We want to serve the needs of the Adobe platform users as this was our original driving force to start this conference.

To reach the second goal, we'll begin heavy promotion through user group channels, social channels and through a registration drive partnership with This second wave will likely push us to capacity and give us a large attendee base that will be getting their first exposure to the Adobe platforms.

So, if you are interested in coming, and happen to read this post, please decide and register soon. The floodgates open somewhere around September 4th.


Free ColdFusion, Flex AIR Conference in North Carolina

The organizers of the CFinNC 2009 Conference are proud to announce the ColdFusion in North Carolina 2009 Conference to be held October 17-18, 2009 on the Centennial Campus of NC State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. The conference will be aimed at ColdFusion and Flex developers and others who are interested in web design using these technologies.

Registration for the event will be FREE which includes entry to the weekend event and all presentations.

In preparation for this conference, we would like to hear feedback from you and your members on what types of content you would be interested in hearing. We hope to make this conference relative to all levels of developers, so your input will be invaluable.

Please visit our website for more information. We are currently accepting submissions for presentations. If you have a topic you would like to speak on, please go to for more information.

Please announce this to your members. We are really excited at the opportunity to organize this conference and hope that it will be a useful resource for you and your members.


The CFinNC 2009 team

NC Conference - New Date Proposed

Planning for the NC ColdFusion conference is in high gear. We got excellent feedback on the conference dates/details from both speakers and from attendees. Most importantly, we realized our proposed date accidentally collided with the BFusion/BFlex conference. The Bfusion/BFlex conference is our inspiration for the NC conference. Bob Flynn, conference organizer, and others, have been very supportive of the NC Conference and we want to show our respect by not scheduling on the same day as them. Thus, after much discussion, consultation of calendars and the like, the new proposed schedule is Oct. 17-18th.

If we can make Oct. 17-18th work for the community, then we'll move ahead with that. Our next chance would be to do something in the Spring. (Or raise the price and do it in the Bahamas in winter :) )

The other option on the table is whether to provide a second day of training on the Adobe Flex framework. We propose a 6 hour Bring Your Own Laptop session targeted at beginner level Hands On Flex training. If you have some programming experience and want a hand making your first (or second) Flex application, this is for you. We're looking for responses from the community of whether or not this is interesting.

So if you are considering attending/speaking, please let us know how you feel on the following:

  • Does Oct. 17th - 18th work for your schedule?
  • Are you interested in attending/speaking/teacher assisting the Oct. 18th 6 hour Bring Your Own Laptop session targeted at beginner level Hands On Flex training?
  • Are you interested in more ColdFusion sessions on Oct 18th instead of Flex training?

Thanks for sharing your opinions and helping us tune this conference for the good of the community.

Need Feedback on Proposed Date for NC ColdFusion Conference

North Carolina Conference?

Hi Folks, we've been working pretty hard to line up a good ColdFusion conference for North Carolina and the surrounding areas. The original idea was to have a 1 day conference with 6 sessions and a lunch. All this for 50$.

Tell me more...

Thanks to some generous sponsors, we may even be able to drop the price a little, offer a conference T-Shirt and let the State employees attend for free, since they work so hard to keep this state going.

Where/When would the conference be held?

We propose to hold the conference in Raleigh, North Carolina on Oct 24th. We'd like to get an idea of the number of attendees and the number of interested speakers for this date/location combination.

If you are interested, please leave a comment below and let us know whether you are interested in any of the following:

  • State Employee
  • Attendee
  • Speaker

Thanks for reading and thanks to all the people who have helped us get this far in planning. We appreciate the support!