August 31, 2007

My Kind of Town

Another Event Apart has come and gone; Chicago welcomed us with open arms and cheezborgers as far as the eye could see. The event itself was great, packing lots of thoughtful speakers and attendees into one room for a giant mind meld. Later, we packed those same people into a pub (courtesy of MediaTemple) for more, er, melding, and later still into the Billy Goat to deplete their supplies of High Life and pattied-meats.

Two full days of presentations (Luke Wroblewski blew me away, on form design of all things) and getting to know some really wonderful attendees is never enough, especially in a town like Chicago. A few of us managed to steal an extra day after the conference to stomp around town a bit. I sweated it out for a midday architectural boat tour with Dan Cederholm, Jeremy Keith, Liz Danzico, and Mark Bixby and Brian Warren from Method Arts, and later kicked back with some of the Coudal Partners to discuss horror sex ed films. As always, Flickr is good for incriminating evidence (my photos and the AEA Chicago 2007 group).

I’m really looking forward to An Event Apart San Francisco next month (our last AEA of the year). I’ve only ever passed through San Francisco, so I’m anxious to finally have something to contribute when friends start conversing about how wonderful it is. Hope to see you there!

Commentary (15):

1. Brian Warren says… aug 31, 2007 | 2:40 pm

Had tons of fun in the windy city with ya. AEA was excellent and the “melding” in the events surrounding was even better.

2. Andy States says… aug 31, 2007 | 3:07 pm

Every time you post pictures of AEA I turn green with envy. How about you bring a slice of that back to the Keystone State. Preferably to the metropolis they call Kutztown.

3. Ryan Brill says… aug 31, 2007 | 3:20 pm

I’m going to be out there for work for a few weeks during that time and am planning to attend. Maybe we can find some time to chat about NYC face to face. :)

4. Jason Santa Maria says… aug 31, 2007 | 3:29 pm

Andy States: Someday we may come back to PA, but I probably wouldn’t hold my breath about Kutztown ;D

Ryan Brill: Sure thing!

5. Jordan Dobson says… aug 31, 2007 | 6:44 pm

Yeah! Chicago is a great city. I missed you in Seattle and I couldn’t pass up AEA and Chicago in one!

Did you go on the architecture boat tour from the Navy Pier? I try and do that every time I visit that city. It’s very inspirational. So much to absorb on in one boat ride. Next time your back in Chicago I recommend you do a Frank Lloyd Wright tour.

I also really enjoyed Luke and Jeffery’s portions of AEA.

One Suggestion for AEA: after renting out a bar and giving free drinks all night, some Advil in the morning would be icing on the cake!

6. Jason Santa Maria says… aug 31, 2007 | 7:20 pm

Jordan Dobson: I’m not sure if it was the same boat tour or not, ours left under Michigan Ave. Regardless, I would definitely be up for a FLW tour next time around.

As for the Advil, talk to the MediaTemple guys :D

7. Brian Warren says… aug 31, 2007 | 8:31 pm

Jordan Dobson: Some people were handing out advil samples outside Union Station on our way in on Day 2. I don’t think they were MediaTemple reps though.

8. Warren says… sep 1, 2007 | 12:00 pm

Speaking from the attendee perspective, I had just as much fun as you did as a presenter, Stan. You and all the rest of the speakers put on an amazing show.

My mind is still racing with ideas ignited during the two days. The trouble is choosing which ones to implement first.

I’ve even started keeping a sketchbook because of your presentation.

The partying afterward was also some thick, creamy icing on what was already an awesome cake.

9. Jordan Dobson says… sep 3, 2007 | 2:54 pm

The one thing you suggested at AEA which I just setup was putting my “inspire” goodies into iPhoto. Typeface screen shots, poster designs, screen shots, all work very nicely. I can’t believe I didn’t do this before.

Thanks for the suggestion!

What do you do for your printed “inspiration” materials? I just have a binder with clear sleeves in it. Found anything better?

10. Jason Campbell says… sep 4, 2007 | 11:45 am


It was a blast, I really could not have chosen a better scenario for my first conference. I wish I had done some proper stretching prior to the first day, it wiped me out, I’m ashamed to think of what time I fell asleep and how much I obviously missed out on at the Media Temple party. Oh well maybe next time.

Thanks to everyone who spoke and who worked so hard to make it a great experience for all of us.

11. Jason Santa Maria says… sep 4, 2007 | 12:04 pm

Warren and Jason Campbell: Thank you both for the kind words. I’m so happy you had a good time! It’s always such a blast to meet everyone and just see what ideas are bouncing around the room.

Jordan Dobson:

What do you do for your printed “inspiration” materials? I just have a binder with clear sleeves in it. Found anything better?

Binders work just fine. I use folder in a filing cabinet, or sometimes just take photos of large or awkward materials, as well as stuff I don’t own. There’s no real right way to do any of this, it’s just a matter of finding what way works best for you when you need to find what you’re looking for.

12. Anton says… sep 4, 2007 | 12:30 pm

Considering how close I am to Chicago, I’m bummed that I didn’t get to go. I am looking forward to making it out next year though.

13. ROFLOCTOPUS says… sep 9, 2007 | 12:59 pm

You guys should come to Orlando…and make it free for us poor college students :)

14. Vladimir says… sep 10, 2007 | 4:42 pm

Although I disagree on Orlando (I vote Baltimore or D.C.!) I like the “make it free for us poor college students”. I mean come on, do you really think people like me have money? I have to share my website hosting with 5 people to cover the charges so I can still live day to day. ;)

Either way, I’d love to go to AEA at some point, hopefully you hit the mid-atlantic region in the near future.

15. Andy says… sep 14, 2007 | 11:29 am

I really dig your stuff, and your points at the conference were excellent.

..and the colors from your “Creative environment” office at home are the same as mine..