Yesterday, the team at An Event Apart unveiled a special addition to our schedule: a Special Edition event, to be held at The Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World this coming October 27-29, 2014. That’s right: we’ll be there during both the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom. If you’ve never been to the Halloween Party, you should make it a point to go. It’s really great. The Imagineers go all-out to add fun Halloween touches all over the park, perfectly pitched to be spooky while still being, well, not so scary. And as for the Food & Wine Festival, yum! It’s actually where I discovered the one form of alcohol I can stand, and there are some great food stalls scattered all around the World Showcase.
But of course, you’ll really want to be there for An Event Apart! We’re adding a lot of new and interesting enhancements to this show. In addition to the brand-new Gold Pass, which includes (among other things) a backstage tour of Walt Disney World, AEA Orlando: Special Edition will feature three full days of talks, eighteen speakers in all. I’m incredibly pleased and excited to say that I’ll be among them, delivering a talk on design. Yes.
As regular readers know, I’ve had to withdraw from almost all travel and speaking this year, including for An Event Apart, and it’s been tough to be away. I love what Jeffrey and I have created. I love being there to hang out with other members of the tribe. I love being able to learn from the best and share a piece of what I know. It was absolutely the right decision to stay home with my family in this time, but still. I miss being there, and I can’t wait to return.
And when I do, I’ll be presenting not about CSS, but about design and how to do it better. Specifically, the talk is called “Designing for Crisis”, which draws on my experiences of the past seven months to illustrate how design can let people down when they most need its help, show examples of design that does help people in crisis, and explore ways to approach design in order to not let those people down. Because if you’re helping people in crisis, you’ll be helping those who aren’t in crisis as well.
It’s a big departure for me. For many a year now, I’ve been the guy who geeks out onstage over trippy selectors and obscure browser bugs. You know, a CSS nerd. But as I considered whether I had anything to say in Orlando (and at Rustbelt Refresh, which invited me to speak around the same time), I slowly realized that this talk was in my head and that I was incredibly passionate about getting it out. I could see the narrative, the lessons I could underscore with it, and the advice I would give to designers. I haven’t been this consumed by a talk in quite a while.
I hope you’ll be there to see and hear it, but even if that doesn’t sound entirely like your cup of tea, there are seventeen other amazing speakers filling up all three days — Karen McGrane, Mike Monteiro, Jenn Lukas, Luke Wroblewski, Jaimee Newberry, Scott Berkun, and so many more. We have the complete schedule up now, so go, bathe in the awesome and make your plans to join us!
(P.S. If it will take you a while to get approval, better start the ball rolling now. We’ve already had a number of registrations in the 30 hours since we made the surprise announcement, and this event being as new and different as it is, we honestly don’t know long tickets will last.)