BFusion/BFlex has been over for a month and I realized I had not blogged any comments on the event. Several folks have already blogged their thoughts with Dan Wilson's being nearly an identical mirror of my own. And while much of the below is repeating Dan I think its worth it.
I was thoroughly impressed with BFusion/BFlex from the moment Bob Flynn asked me to speak to leaving Bloomington for home. Early on I decided to bring my wife and son with me to the conference and Bob was super helpful offering activity suggestions for them. The rest of the staff were no slouches either. Everywhere you turned there were smiling faces ready to assist you in finding a presentation room, help you get on the wireless network, or for speakers, making sure you had all the essentials for your talk. The staff all wore the same color shirts each day (speakers had colored shirts too) which helped you identify who could offer assistance.
I've had horrible luck with hotels this year including the hotel at Webmaniacs double-charging me and the hotel at BFusion/BFlex taking over two weeks to get my bill straight. What they did right however, was supplying a nice room during the four days we were in town. Our room was easily the largest I had ever stayed in. It included a huge open area with couch, table, and desk. The area proved to be of great use for my son to act like a wild man as well as sleep in his pack-and-play. There was also a 42'' LG HDTV that helped the room feel a little bit more like home to my wife.
To start off, WOW! The facilities were a dream come true for both attendees and speakers. Each room was situated with ampitheatre seating fully equipped with ethernet and power. All you had to do was sit down, plug in, and go. Speakers were treated nicely with dual projectors and screens and a fully Crestron automated lighting set up. I prefer to stand up and move around when presenting and having a desk on hydraulics was super sweet! I just pushed a button to raise the desk to my preferred height and I was off. As if that weren't enough presenters were greeted with a teleprompter style screen in the middle of the room. This was useful in keeping on track with your bullets without having to turn away from the audience.
Both days of the conference a free lunch was provided. Everyone knew ahead of time what food would be available and folks selected a specific sub sandwhich for the first and type of pizza for the second. The food was fantastic and there was way more than enough to go around. Folks were grabbing all kinds of extra pizza on the last day.
Speakers for both days included several Adobe Community Experts (or past Adobe Community Experts) and Adobe employees. In the lineup was: Matt Boles, Adam Lehman, Matt Woodward, Peter Farrell, Mike Brunt, Simon Free, Adam Haskell, Mike Labriola, Zach Stepek, Elliott Sprehn, Dan Wilson, Kurt Wiersma, and Kevin Schmidt. That's a lot of top notch speakers for FREE!
Overall, I was blown away by the conference. It's just hard to believe it could be so well organized and thought out considering 2008 was just it's second year. Did I mention all the giveaways? No? Just about every person attending the 2-day event walked away with something. All-in-all, it's hard to beat an event like BFusion/BFlex and with the price of admission (FREE both years so far) you'd be crazy not to do everything you can to make it to this event in the future.
I hope I see you there next year!