An Event Apart Debuts

Published 18 years, 10 months past

I couldn’t be more proud to announce the launch of An Event Apart.  What is An Event Apart (AEA)?  It’s an all-day seminar, one that moves from city to city, featuring me and Jeffrey Zeldman.  The inaugural event will be held at the Franklin Institute in central Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Monday, 5 December 2005.  We’ll be taking it to other cities in 2006; keep an eye on the AEA RSS feed for announcements.

Honestly, AEA can be summarized in one sentence: it’s the kind of seminar Jeffrey and I would want to attend.  Hopefully that right there is enough to get you interested, but wait until you hear the details.

  • No “intro to X” sessions.  We’re packing the day with as much detail, technical insight, and expert information as possible.  We won’t be taking any time to explain the basics of CSS or XHTML or anything else.  From the first minute to the last, we’re putting the pedal to the metal.
  • An intimate look at how Jeffrey and I do what we do.  Most of our material will be drawn from recent projects we’ve done together, such as the web sites for A List Apart, An Event Apart, UNIFEM, and others.  All the nifty tricks, browser hacks, practical compromises and development surprises—they’ll be laid bare for attendees to examine, question, chuckle over, and take back to their own work.
  • Going from  comp to complete.  How does one get from a visual comp file to a working XHTML+CSS page?  You’ll find out how we do it as we step through that very process.
  • Constant interaction.  This isn’t a rigidly formalized “we talk for 80 minutes and you ask questions for 10 minutes” kind of setup.  Jeffrey and I see it as more of a conversation between us and the attendees.  We’ll probably do most of the talking, and we’ll certainly have all kinds of stuff to talk about, but we’re really looking forward to questions that will take things in a new direction.  We want the attendees to ask tough questions about what we’re showing, and ask us about the tough problems they’ve faced.
  • Attendee markover.  For one of the day’s sessions, we’ll take a site submitted by an attendee and give it a markover, turning it into semantic XHTML and CSS without disrupting the visual appearance.  This will make for a great look at practical standards-oriented design for a real-world site.
  • Interesting venues.  Jeffrey and I been to a zillion conferences in hotel ballrooms and conference centers, and frankly we’re bored to death with that whole repetitive scene.  So we’re going to aim for places that are a little off the beaten path; venues that have some interest.  As an example, just look at the venue for AEA Philadelphia, the Franklin Institute; it’s one of the most prestigious science museums in the country.

The content of AEA won’t be just markup and CSS, either.  We’re going to talk about how standards-based design speeds up the development process, how we work in a distributed team, and how we approach web design in general.  We’ll share what’s worked for us and what hasn’t, and find out what experiences the attendees have had.

So if you’re in the Philadelphia area, or can reach it fairly easily, I strongly encourage you to take a look at the AEA site—and then ask yourself whether this is an event you can afford to miss.

Comments (19)

  1. This is awesome. From what i’m reading here,on AEA site and Jason Santa Maria’s post, this sounds like an event i cannot afford to miss. But my question is this…

    Will AEA be limited to the US? Or Are you open to taking AEA to other countries as well?

    Just wondering. :) Thanks.

  2. Sounds great!
    I really hope you take this to Euorepe too!

  3. How exciting! Will be watching for a location I can attend.

  4. Nice work. Another vote for a European tour.

  5. FYI: The contact link on the registration page goes to “” when it should be “” I think.

    /me votes for a European Tour again..

  6. Yet an other vote for a european (or even, let’s dream, worldwide) AEA tour.

  7. HOO WEE!! This sounds great. Two of my favorites giving an all day seminar. Please tell me you all are planning to come to Atlanta, GA?!

  8. Just another vote for a European tour.

  9. Pingback :: » An Event Apart: Don’t Miss One

    […] the Web independently. And now, they’ve teamed up for the long-awaited, content-rich Event Apart. Having worked side by side with Eric for many years, I know how […]

  10. Wow. Any chance for Cleveland? Eric, you and I both know of a couple of folks from our hometown that would volunteer…

  11. Instead of a me-too request, how can we help you organize a meeting in our town. I think this is especially valid with your attention to alternative locations.

    I’m prepared to help you visit San Diego.

    How about a meeting at the Centro Cultural de la Raza and re-do their site as the test case.


  12. I’m definitely coming – I just coughed-up through PayPal. It feels a little expensive to me, but since I can’t get to any events in California or Texas without spending enormous amounts, it seemed like money well spent.

    This is the first time that there has been an event of any significance in the Philadelphia area since I moved to the US, so I’m looking forward to seeing a few faces I’ve only known through websites and email.

  13. Sounds like a great event! If you ever swing by Seattle it’s something I’d be very interested in checking out.

  14. Oxford … you know you’ve always wanted to visit the City of Dreaming Spires and Aspiring Dreams. It would make a great change from London … think of all the college buildings: many of them are available for conferences during summer vac., think what a beautiful venue it would be.

  15. Atlanta or Birmingham? Please?

  16. Just another vote for a European tour :)

  17. And it’s practically local to me, too! The price tag is a bit steep for someone who’s not in the business (but would like to be) and can’t take it as a tax deduction, but it’s still tempting to try to attend anyway.

    But would I get kicked out if I had my laptop running, working the exercises as they were done on the front screen…?

  18. Thanks for all your feedback, everyone! First, let me say that if you aren’t subscribed to the AEA RSS feed, you should be. I neglected to link to it from my original post, but I’ve fixed that both in the post and here.

    As for all the votes to have AEA come to one location or another, there’s now a news article addressing that very topic. Short summary: Atlanta’s very high on our list of possible next locations. As for taking the show overseas, that’s a much more difficult question. There are all sorts of unknowns there on top of the unknowns we already faced just to get this far, so I don’t think we’re likely to go overseas until we have a few US events under our belts. Don’t get me wrong: we’d both love to take AEA abroad, and have talked about it more than once. If AEA does well across a few shows, we’ll be in a much better position to think about moves of that sort.

    Now, Territan, to answer your question: no, you wouldn’t. We’ll post an article about the laptop policy and network plans in the near future.

  19. does An Event Apart have time limited demo version with basic functions?
    it needed for everyone i hope

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