An Event Apart Atlanta 2011

YOU FIND ME ENSCONCED in the fabulous Buckhead, Atlanta Intercontinental Hotel, preparing to unleash An Event Apart Atlanta 2011, three days of design, code, and content strategy for people who make websites. Eric Meyer and I co-founded our traveling web conference in December, 2005; in 2006 we chose Atlanta for our second event, and it was the worst show we’ve ever done. We hosted at Turner Field, not realizing that half the audience would be forced to crane their necks around pillars if they wanted to see our speakers or the screen on which slides were projected.

Also not realizing that Turner Field’s promised contractual ability to deliver Wi-Fi was more theoretical than factual: the venue’s A/V guy spent the entire show trying to get an internet connection going. You could watch audience members twitchily check their laptops for email every fourteen seconds, then make the “no internet” face that is not unlike the face addicts make when the crack dealer is late, then check their laptops again.

The food was good, our speakers (including local hero Todd Dominey) had wise lessons to impart, and most attendees had a pretty good time, but Eric and I still shudder to remember everything that went wrong with that gig.

Not to jinx anything, but times have changed. We are now a major three-day event, thanks to a kick-ass staff and the wonderful community that has made this show its home. We thank you from the bottoms of our big grateful hearts.

I will see several hundred of you for the next three days. Those not attending may follow along:

6 thoughts on “An Event Apart Atlanta 2011

  1. It will be my first AEA as well. I feel like a minor league player getting his call up to the Big Show. Can’t wait to hang out and learn with some of the giants in the field!

  2. Given that Atlanta was the site of the worst Olympics ever and the Icy Super Bowl, I’m not surprised. But we’ll make it better this time – can’t wait!

  3. My first AEA as well – and it will be a shorter commute than actually driving into work! Bonus.

    Also, there have also been worse Olympic games (Munich) and icier Super Bowls (Dallas 2011) – nevertheless, Atlanta is sometimes snake-bitten when it comes to big events. I am sure AEA will go off without a hitch, and I cannot wait!

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