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Last chance for Flash On The Beach tickets

Last chance for Flash On The Beach tickets

Beware - tickets sales for Flash On The Beach will close this Friday and there's only a few tickets left! If you've been wondering if this if the conference to go to, here's my Top 5 reasons to go to Brighton in 3 weeks.

On the bus to the airport after last years conference, I sat down and started writing an article about why I love this conference. After writing a little, I realized I was more or less raving about how good it was, so I figured I'd just leave the article until I came to my senses. I guess I didn't?

Here's my Top 5 reasons to go to Flash On The Beach (FOTB) in Brighton at this months end.


1. The conference

Put on by John Davey in the lovely, historic location called The Brighton Dome. Built more than 200 years ago, the Dome is a place with soul. It has three rooms, the Concert Hall, the Theatre and the Corn Exchange. It's not a big, modern and fancy venue. It's rather full of charm and it can hold a little above a thousand attendees. This makes the conference small, but intimate. The intimacy goes for every aspect of it.

On many conferences, the speakers keep to themselves or leave once their presentation is finished. At FOTB, the speakers attend sessions like everyone else. (Most of them) also party hard until early morning, so if you did not dare to go up to Erik Natzke after his session, you may dare to do it at the bar later in the evening.

Other conferences try to impress by hosting parties in fancy disco's where you'll hardly hear yourself talk. At FOTB there are that kind of parties as well, but there's always a more silent spot as well where you can talk to your peers, discuss problems you have with Flash/Flex or just hang out. After the official parties, the crowd move on to the local bars for more beer, discussions and even the yearly swim with Hoss and Chris leading the way (a mighty cold experience!).




It's not only the social aspects - the speaker lineup is great as well. I've heard some saying that they won't go this year since it's many of the same speakers. There is a reason for this - they are good and entertaining speakers. They'll all present new content, so there shouldn't be any repeats from former years.

2. Meeting community friends

Many of us in the Flash community only meet virtually though email, IM and forums. Over the years, I've gotten to know many of these  at conferences, but FOTB is really the place where the community meets. Hanging out with my Flashmagazine colleagues John Dalziel and David Vogeleer, eating mussels at the Belgian bar with Carolina, Peter, Nicolas, Koen, Edwin and Weyert, drinking beers and discussing code with the german crew (Marc, Andre, Joa, Carlo, Sascha), playing bowling with Aral, Mario, Peter and Paulo, meeting the Flash 3D crew (Ralph, Carlos, John, Rob), discussing Flash history and sports with Richard Galvan... The list just goes on and on. It's so many nice people at this conference that it's impossible to mention them all.

Last year, Glyn Thomas took me completely off guard by traveling all the way from Korea to visit the conference. I hadn't seen him in 3 years (Unfortunately, he can't make it this year and neither can David V). There's so many I'd like to see that the event this year and I'm thoroughly looking forward to it!




3. Food

Britain really isn't famous for good food, but Brighton has a couple exceptional exceptions. Wagamama's is a large chain of asian restaurants in the UK. They have really long tables where you can easily seat 30 people. The food is high quality and super fast, so it's the perfect place for a conference lunch. Often you'd order noodles and get them within 3 minutes. How's that for fast food?

My favorite place is however Bills, just 50 meters down the street from Wagamama. Bills in Brighton is exceptional in so many ways. It is a lunch and dinner place that also has a vegetable, wine and specialty store built in. It's set in a big open warehouse, but it's filled with shelves where you can buy all sorts of high quality foods. The whole interior just gets you in a good mood. It's colorful and inspired, but never kitch. The staff is really friendly, the service is superb and their meals is just super. When the cooks run out of ingredients, they'll just go up to one of the shelves inside the restaurant or the vegetables section and take what they need.




It's so many nice things about Bills that I could rave on for an hour, but when you go there - do not miss the cakes! They are really works of art (both taste and sight-wise) and if you just walked past one, you could actually mistake them for a bouquet of flowers or a work of art. I just love those cakes and I'm pretty sure I gained a pound (or two) during that week in Brighton.

I'm sad to say that Bill's have gone to the dogs. It was sold off a few years ago and the food is now very average and the cakes are a joke. So sad...


4. Networking

Other conferences organize networking. At FOTB it just happens all naturally. The general vibe of this conference is different. Lee Brimelow described this really well: "It is probably the least corporate Flash conference that I've been to. It's really down to earth, and just all about great presentations and great content".

You'll meet people from all over There's usually many Adobe employees at the conference and they join in on the fun. This is a great way to get information directly from the source, discuss your latest projects and make connections.




5. Lovely city

Brighton is a lovely place. Friendly people, things to see and charming architecture. As a bathing town at the southern coast of Britain at summer, it's a low-paced but not sleepy place around the time when FOTB is put on. It is the kind of place you should share with someone special. Last year I brought my wife over for the days before the event and she absolutely loved it! If you've never been there, go check out the Royal Pavillion, check out old architecture at Preston Manor, Britains first electric railway, the clock tower, try some of the wicked (or classic) rides out on the Brighton Pier, explore the narrow city streets or just walk the boardwalk while enjoying the view of the windy seas and the old derelict pier.




Brighton also offers great shopping! I don't mean this in a Mall-like way, but rather in a "wow, look at that cool and tiny store". You have the classic Rock Shops selling candy and fudge, small niche stores for most every topic, a big variety of art galleries, café's, pubs and more fancy establishments. Here's a fun pic of a note in one of the seafront Rock shop:




What are you waiting for? Get your tickets while there are any left...


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