The Sessions list below will continue to grow as we finalize sessions.

Improve Your Dev Workflow With This Selection Of Super Handy Code Snippets

Improve Your Dev Workflow With This Selection Of Super Handy Code Snippets

Designing Great Experiences: What Matters Now

Over the past few years our world has changed. Two-thirds of North Americans own smartphones. A billion people are on Facebook. CNN reports news that’s broken on Twitter. The Internet is increasingly the connective tissue in many of our lives.

Many of our experiences are now mediated by technology, and some of that technology is very good indeed. We carry around pocket-sized computers made with a watchmaker’s precision and share things with our friends using software that collapses an incredibly sophisticated pastiche of systems into a single “like” button.

But we only have to browse a corporate website, or try to pay for parking at a local surface lot, or use a self-checkout machine at a supermarket, to see that most of the technology we use wasn’t designed with us in mind. Sometimes it’s not designed at all, leaving us frustrated and powerless (and occasionally in possession of yet another parking ticket).

In reality, when it comes to hardware and software, there’s a thin film of beauty overtop a deep pool of suck.

For people who work with technology this is a tremendous opportunity. An opportunity to do more than just build websites, but to create experiences that make a difference in people’s lives. In this presentation, Gene will discuss the tools and techniques nForm uses to design great experiences, and talk about how you can do it too for your websites and applications.

How to Save Time, Money and Frustration by Training Your Clients to use WordPress.

In this presentation aimed towards developers creating and releasing WordPress websites into the wild, we’ll talk about the benefits of training your clients to better understand our favourite CMS. We’ll examine learning styles, training techniques, plugins and tools to make your life easier and learning material delivery types. How often have you spent an hour on the phone with a client trying to explain how to upload an image or change a piece of text? Save your company time, money and frustration so you can focus on the important stuff – getting those clients in the door.

Ski Run Rating: Green

Prereqs: In order to get the most from this talk, attendees should be familiar with basic WordPress functionality and using plugins.

From Institutional to Inspirational – Moving to WordPress from the Corporate Dark Side

Synopsis: When the Students’ Association of MacEwan University was stuck with a website that didn’t fit its fancy rebrand, it was WordPress to the rescue. See the difference between an unnecessarily difficult to use content management system and the ease of WordPress, and learn why making the switch is easier than tying a slip-on shoe. Using the Students’ Association as a case study, you’ll understand why moving to this open source platform can not only open your site up to a world of possibilities, but let you connect with clients in a whole new way.

Ski Run Rating: Green Circle

Pre-reqs: In order to get the most out of this talk, attendees should be familiar with the basics of humour, laughter and have the ability to smile or at least form a slight smirk.

Effective Brainstorming for Start-Ups, Entrepreneurs & Bloggers (Workshop)

The objective of brainstorming is to generate a large, diverse pool of ideas in a short amount of time. Unfortunately, traditional brainstorming meetings tend to be rather ineffective.

Most group brainstorming sessions end either in frustration due to egos or dominating personalities, or with a spike of enthusiasm that quickly fades because no clear plan for follow-through was put in place. If you are a solo entrepreneur or blogger, it can be difficult to develop new material on your own without a structured system for generating and evaluating ideas.

In the first half of the workshop, we will explore the reasons for common problems with brainstorming from the perspective of the human brain, and we will cover some specific strategies to help you brainstorm more effectively in your organization. In the second half of the workshop, we will apply what we have learned to conduct a positive, productive brainstorming session as a group.

Making a Living With WordPress [Panel]

WordPress is open-source software that enables a variety of people in the web industry to make a living. But how do people make their living using WordPress? Our panel of experts come from a variety of backgrounds – web design, development, content/writing, SEO, online marketing and more – and they will take part in a discussion about how they make their living with WordPress.

Hosted by Edmonton’s one & only Mack Male, this Q&A session is sure to shed light on the business of WordPress and will be great for current and/or aspiring designers, developers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs. Don’t miss out!

Uniting the Web Designer and Web Developer with The Genesis Framework (Studiopress)

Synopsis: Creating the process to unite two different personalities “the linear coder”, and “the butterfly designer” is a challenge. Often these job titles reflect different personalities, of which can be difficult to create a synergy.

The problem is not having a technology standard that facilitates the training and
guidelines for a developer and designer. This presentation will focus on how we
have used genesis to create uniform work environment for both designers and

Ski Run Rating: Blue Circle

Prereqs: If you have ever been frustrated with a website project because of the lack of
cohesion between these two necessary job types than I recommend attending this

Fundamental Design Principles, For People Who Can’t Design Good

Synopsis: Non-designers (or “people who can’t design good”) often view design as a mystery; some right-brained out-of-body experience that they will never know. I will be discussing 4 basic principles of design that everyone, from programmer to artist, can use to help an audience understand the message being delivered. These design principles, when applied as rules, can help provide a linear pathway to good design. This talk is aimed to help “non-designer” types identify and correct poor design practices in their own work.

Ski Run Rating: Green Circle

Prereqs: In order to get the most from this talk, attendees need no prior knowledge of any sort.

Creating Effective Proposals: The key to growing your business and landing better clients.

Synopsis: If would like to significantly raise your rates without spending months developing new technical skills, if want to land more, bigger, and better clients, or if you’re just tired of losing bids and not understanding why, then you need to improve your proposal writing skills.

An effective proposal demonstrates empathy for the client, establishes your expertise, and sets proper expectations for your relationship moving forward. It has more to do with communication skills than technical capabilities, deliverables, or price.

In this workshop you’ll learn strategies and techniques that will help you start crafting more effective proposals right away — and don’t be too surprised if what you learn also comes in handy on a date sometime.

Ski Run Rating: Green Circle

Prereqs: In order to get the most from this talk, attendees should want to improve their businesses, get better clients, and make more money from doing the same amount of work.

Building a WordPress-Powered Web App… Without Writing a Single Line of Code (Workshop)

Synopsis: The true power of WordPress comes from its extensible Plugin architecture. If there is a specific type of functionality you wish your WordPress site could handle, chances are there is a plugin that can make it happen. In this 2hr, hands-on workshop, we will will see how far we can push WordPress with Plugins alone. We will walk step-by-step through the process of building a fully dynamic, User-Generated content web application without writing a single line of code. This Workshop is for everyone; no previous experience required.

Ski Run Rating: Green

Prereqs: In order to get the most from this talk, attendees should be familiar with the very basics of using WordPress.

Infusing your WordPress Site with Digital Strategy

Synopsis: These days, publishing a website is fairly easy; maintaining constant traffic is the tough part. This session will offer the tips and tricks to keep website traffic constant, and attendees will also learn how to increase product sales, encourage more feedback and comments, and create a helpful visitor flow chart. No, we’re not talking SEO or effective blogging tactics, we’ll be diving into your site structure and talking about your sites overall digital strategy.

Ski Run Rating: Blue Square

Prereqs: Attendees should be familiar with the WordPress dashboard, widgets, settings, menus, plugins, and Google Analytics.

Life in the Fast Lane: Speed, Usability & Search Engine Optimization

Synopsis: In 2010, Google announced that site speed was a ranking factor and the reaction was a collective shrug. When you load your site in Chrome, it’s quick, right? So why worry? Mobile. We know that you bought the iPhone 5 as soon as it came out, but what about the poor sucker who’s still on a Blackberry? Did you know that every added second on load time on a mobile device causes 20% of your audience to bail? You can be #1 on Google, but if your site takes 10 seconds to load, you might as well be #10,000. And responsive design won’t save you. In this seminar, learn tactics to make your WordPress site blazing fast, including responsive designs. It’s speed, usability and SEO, mashed together in delicious harmony.

Ski Run Rating: Black Diamond (But don’t be scared, beginners! You can get something from this, too!)

Prereqs: In order to get the most from this talk, attendees should be familiar with HTML, CSS, and the WordPress theme editor.

Build your platform: Publishing Strategy for Small to Medium Websites (workshop)

Synopsis: Whether you’re a business or a blogger, you have something to sell to people. On the web, one of the core ways to get your product seen is by creating good content, not just once or twice, but for the long term. In this workshop we’ll we walk through all the aspects of developing a long term publishing strategy for small to medium websites. From creating character voice and tone to cross platform publishing, learn how to publish better content more consistently.

Ski Run Rating: Blue Square

Prereqs: In order to get the most from this workshop, attendees should be familiar with writing basics, blogging services, and social media.

Justify Design

Synopsis: Do you understand your design decisions for a project? If not, why do you expect your clients to? Sometimes, all a client needs is an explanation — and you better have one! Lea will go through design breakdowns and teach you how to justify design decisions that affect your WordPress implementation, the site’s goals, visitor needs, and your client’s bottom line.

Ski Run Rating: Green Circle

Prereqs: Attendees should be familiar with basic design principles.

What Everyone Ought to Know About Responsive Design

Synopsis: Browsing the web has changed.  Users expect beautiful and functional websites on anything from a low resolution mobile phone, all the way up to a high definition television.  I’ll show you how you can build websites for any device using various responsive design techniques.  I will also explain some constraints and propose solutions to make your switch to responsive as easy as possible.

Ski Run Rating: Blue Square

Prereqs: Attendees should be familiar with HTML/CSS, building WordPress templates, and have an awareness of CSS3 Media Queries & jQuery.

Looking Forward: From One-man Shop to Interactive Agency

Synopsis: Lift Interactive has been hand crafting amazing online digital experiences for over a decade. In this talk, Micah Slavens, owner of Lift, shares his experiences on the transition from one-man shop to larger interactive agency. Learn about what pitfalls to avoid when setting up your business, hiring employees, and dealing with larger clients. And take home ideas on the importance of vision, process, relationships and dedication to the work you love. This candid session promises lots of personal stories, inspiration, and a healthy does of realism for any creative entrepreneur.

Ski Run Rating: Green Circle

Prereqs: Attendees should be familiar with: Getting paid for doing things on the web, managing clients, and getting things done.

Google+ to Increase Traffic to Your WordPress Site

Synopsis: If you own or help manage a website, you need to learn the growing influence Google+ can have on increasing your site traffic. This session will teach you the steps to take to properly implement Google+ into your WordPress site, such as connecting a Google+ brand page and setup of Google authorship for your blog posts. You will also learn tips on how to use Google+ posts themselves effectively for ranking in search results and capturing more real estate on Google for your content. See drastic improvements in organic traffic due to increased Click-through-rates from rich snippets, improved rankings, more search engine listings, and personalization. This session will have some technical content but is ideal for site owners, content marketers and web developers.

Ski Run Rating: Blue Square

Prereqs: Should be familiar with what Google+ is, ideally already have a Google+ page, and comfortable discussing simple WordPress template code insertions

Fostering Creative Ideas by Looking in Unlikely Places

Synopsis: In our fast paced times, creative thinking has become one of the most important competencies when dealing with design. Most of us are misled to think that creativity is an innate gift, and cannot be developed. It’s not. You just gotta chase after it, and beat it down. In this workshop, Ben and I will provide background on various creative techniques, the theory behind them, and how to apply these techniques when designing for the web and other applications.

Ski Run Rating: Green Circle

Prereqs: In order to get the most from this talk, attendees should eat their Wheaties in the morning.

Typesetting The Web

Synopsis: Typography is the vessel that carries an ideas to your audience. In addition to being beautiful, proper typography affords your message credibility, clarity, and emotional resonance. This talk explains why typography is crucial to the success of a website and demonstrates best practices for styling text on the web. You’ll learn basic typeface anatomy & terminology, typesetting techniques (such as font sizing, line length & line height), and how to choose appropriate fonts for the web. We’ll also cover how to handle type in responsive web designs. Attendees should have an introductory knowledge of CSS. But even content editors, web masters, and designers not familiar with CSS will gain a better understanding of the role typography plays and how to harness it’s power.

Ski Run Rating: Blue Square

Prereqs: In order to get the most from this talk, attendees should be familiar with basic web design principles and have an introductory knowledge of HTML & CSS.

Where’s the Beef? How to Beef Up Your WordPress Security

Synopsis: Learn some of the best tips and tricks for beefing up the security of your WordPress Web site. This talk has tips and tricks aimed at non-technical users who have hosted and self-hosted WordPress sites.

Ski Run Rating: Green

Prereqs: Attendees should be familiar with the WordPress admin.

Is this relationship right for you? Tools for evaluating relationships.

Synopsis: Have you ever asked who are my most important friends. Wondered who is really putting effort into the relationship?  Discover tools you can use to evaluate your content and its relationship with other people and sites.  This session will include introduction to several tools, insightful ways to look at data taken from these tools and a bonus examination of the wider Edmonton social landscape and blogosphere using some more advanced techniques.  Sit back, relax and discover new and informative ways to understand your site’s place in the world.  Relationships are hard, find out who is giving the love.

Ski Run Rating: Blue Square

Prereqs: Spreadsheet, good for website content managers

Content Marketing: How the Copywriting Rocketship Pumps Fuel Into Your Business

Synopsis: Effective content marketing attracts new clients to your business by demonstrating value and delivering expertise. Copywriting and content marketing aren’t some secret ploy to sell advertising space on the Internet. If content is knowledge (it is), then copywriting is the rocket-fuel that drives it. This talk will teach marketing directors and content managers how to write perfect blog posts that are readable, shareable, and encourage readers to take action. Small business owners and employees within larger companies will learn how to increase clientele with content marketing and copywriting. Inject some rocket fuel into your business by learning concrete methods of intro-level content marketing and persuasive copywriting.

Ski Run Rating: Green

Prereqs: This is a green-level course, and in order to get the most from this talk, attendees should be familiar with the desire to attract more customers.

How to Use Your Blog To Build the Know, Like and Trust Factor

Synopsis: If you’ve got a business online or are wanting to develop a following it’s vital that your potential clients, clients and followers get to know, like and trust you. If you want more influence, it doesn’t come from more hype and pushing – it comes from more connection and credibility. In this workshop, you’ll be learning how you can do that with your blog. – the six things you can blog about (and which are most important) – how your blog can connect with your email list and social media – how to ethically and charmingly ‘trap’ people on your blog for hours – how your blog can lead people to buy your stuff – thoughts on things you can do every time you write a blog post to increase your reach.

Ski Run Rating: Green

Prereqs: This is pretty basic. They should know how to put up a blog post on wordpress. That’s about it.

Concatenate & Minify Like A Boss to Speed Up Your WordPress Sites

Synopsis: Who doesn’t want faster loading web sites? The inter-wide-web-nets are all ablaze about concatenation and minifying to help with web page load times. I will go over one method that automates the process of concatenating and minifying your next/current/old WordPress theme utilizing the Ant Build script. Not only will you look like a slick web developer, but your sites will load faster for all users…which no one will complain about. This session is designed for comfortable WordPress theme builders/editors looking to add a new trick to their already formidable tool box, or anyone just looking to learn a bit about concatenation and/or minification.

Ski Run Rating: Black Diamond’ish

Prereqs: In order to get the most from this talk, attendees should be familiar with building/editing WordPress themes, or at least the file structure of a typical WordPress theme.

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