Create Chaos Recap

[blogger note: I meant to post this a week ago, but an unexpected throwdown with some heavy wood furniture left my dominant hand wrapped up and me unable to type well. So please pardon the lateness – I hope you still enjoy the post. :) ]

As you know, we blogged before about the massive Create Chaos web/graphic design conference and I actually attended the Wednesday panels, as well as poked around the expo hall. Beyond journalistic curiosity, I freelance in web design, so I was interested in hearing from people who do it full-time as a career. I figured I could pick up a lot of information and pointers – much as I did at other recent local tech events.

Unfortunately, my experience was rather mixed.

I started the morning with the Freshbooks panel, “Marketing for Creative Professionals,” which was so packed that I actually found myself sitting outside the room watching the presentation. Also enjoyed their next presentation, “How to Make Love to Your Customers! ” – there’s a real truth to exceeding expectations and thinking outside the box. I then poked my head into a few other panels, but nothing was really of interest to me so I went to check out the expo hall. Found a few interesting services to check out…and the Izea peeps (Ashley, I SWEAR I am NOT stalking you. LOL ), but was surprised there weren’t more exhibitors. I then hopped between two panels, one of which was titled “Designing Websites That Don’t Look Like Websites” when it should’ve been named “how to lead a panel that people walk out of.” Seriously folks, don’t spend the first 25 min of a panel showing pictures of your office and talking about your resume when people are there to learn. That’s all I’m saying.

Wrapped up my day at Create Chaos by taking in the intimate FreshBooks panel on what their company is all about. It’s an online invoicing and time tracking service that actually accomplishes more than that and it impressed me enough to give it a try, I think. Not just because it’s relevant to my work, but because I liked how informative their staff were at the earlier panels with ideas on building your business and customer service seems to be definite priority to them. It does have a free version if you want to give it a look over (if any of you run home businesses or are self-employed).

I would’ve taken photos but Create Chaos wasn’t allowing audio or cameras of any kind. Boo on them – especially at the prices they were charging. They did post photos of their own at Flickr, though.

Wandered around a bit in the conference center after everything wrapped for the day because running simultaneously at the Marriott with Create Chaos was the “industry only” ShowEast, a trade show for theater owners to see what films are coming out in the next six months and decide which ones to book, as well as see what items are available to enhance their theaters and attract customers. I couldn’t get into the actual panels, but the lobby was free to walk through and all the major studios had huge standees and posters up touting upcoming releases. Of course I took a few photos:

Movie Poster for Zack & Miri Make a Porno Movie Poster for Drag Me to Hell Movie Poster for The Spirit

Nobody at ShowEast seemed to mind my cellphone camera going off, and given a chance I would have gladly walked off with the huge multi-panel standee for Baz Luhrman’s upcoming epic, Australia, starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman. Couldn’t figure out a way to fit it in my car, though. Tried to take a photo of it, but was thwarted there, too, since it always seemed to have a group standing in front of it.

If any of you were at Create Chaos, would love to hear your feedback. Heck, drop us a line if you just want to talk upcoming films, too. :)

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