It's been nearly a week and a half since returning home from An Event Apart Boston. It may be a little late to post a retrospective, and I'm surely not the first to post my thoughts on my time at the event, but here goes.
Like most attendees, a big part of the allure of the conference is the caliber of speakers and the quality of the talks. It's impossible to make the voyage home without your head buzzing with excitement over the ideas, stories and new techniques. Jeffrey and Eric created something truly exceptional and it's now become an annual tradition for me... Not to be missed.
As with past events, it's always a pleasure to sit back and listen to the words of some of the web's best minds. A lot of the speakers I've had the opportunity to listen to before, but this year I got a chance to see some of my heroes for the first time. Veerle Pieters taught us to push our boundaries and experiment. Ethan Marcotte discussed adapting our workflows to responsive design. Jeremy Keith talked of preserving our digital culture (an amazing presentation that needs to be heard by everyone). Mark Boulton changed the way I look at grid-based layout forever. And then there was this guy... Jeff Veen I think his name was? All kidding aside, I heard it said that if Jeff is on the speaker list then his is the last presentation because no one can follow. I couldn't agree more.
Since it has taken me a while to put my thoughts down digitally my words will sound very familiar to those of Anton and Jeremy, but they are no less sincere. This AEA, was even more special than in years past because of the amazing people. There were friends I've known for some time, Brad, Bridget, Jared and Eric. There were people I met in person for the first time, but who I'm honored to count among my friends and hope to see them more in coming years. Anton, Petra, Candi (Fellow Eddie Izzard fan), Jen, Landon, Isil, Gerardo, Kreshnik, Geri, Chloe, Matthew, Jesse, Chris, Jay and Jeremy (with whom I hope to have the opportunity to further debate the merits of the Star Wars prequels over a pint). All of them made my time at this AEA memorable and something I will truly cherish.
I hope that I didn't miss anyone in the long list of friends old and new. If I did, please feel free to send me an email and demand a beer when next we meet. If there is one bad thing to say about An Event Apart, it is that it always goes by so fast. It seemed like forever for the day to arrive and when it did it was over in an instant. I look forward to next year when I will again meet up with my friends over a nice dinner, gather with new acquaintances at one of the sponsored parties and enjoy the knowledge imparted during the two days of presentations.
See you all again in 2012 (and maybe, hopefully, some of you much sooner).
For more info on the talks and other AEA Boston related links you should read Jeffrey's summary of the event.