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Multi-Mania 2010 (2M10)

Multi-Mania 2010 (2M10)

On May 10th and 11th, Multi-Mania in Kortrijk, Belgium opened it's doors for the 10th time. From it's start as "MultiMediaMadness", the event has grown from an awards show to a solid conference. Koen De Weggheleire is known to many as a speaker at international Flash conferences, but he is also the organizer of Multi-Mania, one of Europe's largest free Flash events.

Multi-Mania takes place at the Expo in Kortrijk. This means that technical support, equipment as well as the infrastructure is brilliant. At the same time the atmosphere and feeling of this kind of venues are always is a bit cold and uncomfortable but Koen did his very best to work against this feeling. The event has always been free of charge and this year even offered free workshops the day before of the conference. The half day workshops featured Branden Hall on the HYPE Framework and of course a lot of CS5-topics.

The location

The whole event is free and with this in mind it was absolutely stunning to see how big the main stage was and how good the execution was. This was a little different in the other rooms where the projector sometimes was too bright, the room not dark enough and where the speaker had to hold the microphone in his hand while talking to the audience. It didn't really fail, but everyone who ever had a talk on stage knows how annoying this can be – especially when you also want to code or show something on your computer, while talking. The most annoying thing when it comes to the organization of the conference was the room 'Pixel 5' that was very far away from the rest of the event. My tip: it's better to stick with 4 Tracks in the one part of the building, as that's enough content anyway.

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The sessions

MultiMania had a lot of different talks with content targeting several different interests: Aral Balkan was taking about  “The art of emotional design” where he gave a good overview on how to be successful with building joyful apps. He explained how important it is not to have just a good-looking application but also one that makes fun to use. Aral is a really good entertainer on stage, which made this hour flying by quickly.  Next on stage was Jeremy Thorp who is known for his amazing data visualization. The core of his talk was examples of latest work produced with data from The Guardian and the New York Times. A charming and inspiring talk with some very beautiful visuals.

Keith Peters is a very well known speaker in the Flash scene. I have seen many of his talks, but I never would have expected a talk about generated art. He started with an historical overview on computer generated art and some nice hands on examples. He also gave an overview on several languages and their abilities. Later, Branden Hall had a introductory talk on the HYPE framework that he created with Joshua Davis. Veerle Pieters - a well known illustrator and blogger - described the process of relaunching her blog.

Veerle Pieters

The guys from eboy showed their amazing work, though I have to say that more than one person on stage is always risky. People tend to talk to each other instead of speaking to the audience and make jokes that no one but themselves understand.

In conclusion I have to admit that one day of conference for me personally is not enough to get warm with the venue, the surroundings and what happens around the event. But it seems like the concept really works out for MultiMania. The website was launched only two weeks before the conference and within this time over 1.200 people registered for it, most of them students who arrived by bike or public transportation. It saddens me to see that despite the attendance, only about 200 people was left in the evening to watch the two live bands and the closing ceremony.

Find more photos from the event here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcthiele/sets/72157623914199841/

About marc.thiele

Marc has been a freelance designer and rich media expert since 1999. Marc is an Adobe Regional Coordinator and has published numerous articles, books and video tutorials on Flash, Dreamweaver and Contribute. He is also one of the guys behind the German FlashForum Conference and the FlashForum online user group.

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