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I have to admit, when the first MIX was happening it confused me.  Yet another conference?  In my usual pessimistic self I tried to convince people that it was wrong, blah, blah.  But I was wrong.  MIX has become of of my favorite conferences to attend.  Not only for the announcements that likely happen, but for the networking with industry folks in an area I’m most passionate about.

Enough gushing though.  I’m going to MIX09.  Will you be there?  If you register before 13 Feb 2009, you’ll be able to get $400 off the registration fees!  Register on the MIX09 site with RSVP code MIX09offer and you’ll get the discount.  I realize that most organizations (and individuals) are feeling the crunch of the pressures of life and our world economy.  Forking out $1200 (or I suppose $800 with the discount code above) isn’t an easy sell during these types of times.  I’ll say this though: If you are doing web or rich internet application development, THIS is the conference you want to go toHere’s a few reasons why in my opinion:

  • Silverlight 3 sessions.  What?!  Yep, that’s right, several Silverlight 3 sessions have been announced.
  • Rick Barraza, Jose Fajardo.  These guys are design/innovation inspiration to me.  Aside from the fact that hanging out with Rick is just plain fun (haven’t had a chance to hang out with Jose yet, but I’m sure it is equally as great), the ideas that they come up with are really inspiration both from a design and innovation standpoint.  If you go, meet them.
  • Celso Gomes.  Again, meet him.  Celso is a designer at Microsoft and one of the best I’ve seen.  He’s one of the more wicked designers I’ve seen navigate around Blend…you’ll be amazed and inspired.
  • Mix 10K challenge – while not a part of the week conference, this contest is pretty cool.  What can you come up with only 10 kilobytes of space?  Check out the gallery.  It is this type of stuff that happens in the lounge areas.  One of my favorites is the Moustachr (hope to see Robby there as well).
  • Unsessions – Open Spaces @ MIX.  I helped out with this last year and it was cool to see people present some other topics in this free-form area within the conference.
  • MIX party – ok, I’ll be honest.  Cram a bunch of international geeks at one of the hottest clubs in Vegas (Tao) and what do you get?  A bunch of bouncers wondering where all the club people are :-).  If you’re the partying type, this is a great place.  If you aren’t, no sweat…there will be plenty of other geekier things for you to do (bloggers lounge anyone?).
  • Vegas.  Never been?  Here’s your excuse.  Want to feel like that poker pro you see on TV?  Well you can get beat on the river card just like the pros.  Other than that there are some great people-watching and photography in this town that never sleeps.  Mirage buffet is my favorite, Bellagio’s is overrated.

That’s just a few simple reasons.  Obviously I’m partial to the Silverlight content.  I’ve personally submitted 5 sessions (yet to hear if they’ll be accepted), but am looking forward to being there regardless.  I hope you’re able to make it and convince anyone you need that this would be training funds well spent!

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