Before the magic begins
Once again this year we have visited a fantastic conference and it is not even half of the year yet! This time our destination was Oxford with our group of three – Jaromir Fojcik, CEO of creativestyle GmbH; Jan Kraus, Senior Frontend Developer; Tomasz Kokociński, Art Director. Instead of a large amount of love which we have witnessed in Paris, Oxford was much more about experiencing combination of history and young spirit of students.
The location for the Smashing Conference was the Oxford Town Hall – incredible and beautiful place which connected us to the history for a while, even though we arrived to talk about innovative topics.
Our expectations towards the whole event were high, especially that we were one of the sponsors this time. Nevertheless, we were quite sure we wouldn’t be disappointed!
Are we in the right place?!
So, there we were in this stunning Oxford Town Hall, waiting for the speeches to begin when something rather unexpected started – the laser show prepared by Seb Lee-Delisle. We were all positively surprised and highly amazed with its consistency, when it comes to the connection of lights and music.
Let’s get down to business.
The conference was full of technical and design presentations which were, of course conducted by professionals (Addy Osmani, Lea Verou, Joe Leech, Dave Rubert, Guy Podjarny, Fabio Carneiro, Paul Boag, Josh Clark, Scott Kellum, Zoe Mickley Gillenwater, Nathan Ford, Wilson Page, Peter Smart, Tyler Mincey and Andrew Clarke), who have already gained a lot of experience within diverse topics on responsive design, typography etc. Anyone could find something for himself and get smashed by the amount of new knowledge.
Who were the best speakers?
After discussing all the talks we have attended to, we decided that there were few best speeches and the decision depended on individual criteria. So we would like to share our thoughts about it.
“I definitely liked the first day better. The topics were much more related to creativestyle and its activity. I observed huge focus on issue of responsive web design. I very much enjoyed presentation of Dave Rubert and Fabio Carneiro. Mhm…yes, these were the best in my opinion. Fabio focused on responsive design in e-mail marketing/ correspondence and that was fascinating, gave me many new ideas for the future projects.”
— Jaromir Fojcik, CEO of creativestylestyle GmbH
“I don’t think I liked anything except the laser show! Joking, the whole conference was very inspiring for me, but what drew my attention most was the closing presentation by Andrew Clarke, which was about modern design canvas. It got me inspired and moved my thinking into new directions. That is why I love conferences so much – for that new ways you find after listening to the speakers! ”
— Jan Kraus, Senior Frontend Developer
“In my opinion, Lea Verou had the best speech during the first day of the conference. It was about use of colours in web world – fascinating. I also agree with Jaromir, that Dave Rupert was one of the best when it comes to presentations. His talk about real-life responsive web design was very up to date. Then, there was the second day with Nathan Ford and his knowledge about effective combination of layout, content and device with use of fluid grids. These three really got me inspired and I got back very motivated.”
— Tomasz Kokociński, Art Director
Let’s not forget about the place where we could relax between the speeches. The organizers came up with a great idea of preparing Adobe Typekit. There were a lot of interesting books about typography. This made our Art Director very happy. Thanks to that he could go deeper into the topic. Unfortunately, the drawback was that WiFi did not work during the conference. Big minus for that!
The city of Oxford
Except the event which was the main goal of our visit, we also had an opportunity to see a bit of the city. Oxford has an amazing architecture which made us feel like we were in a different age. Adding crowds of students and a department of the university on every corner we receive a historical city with a dose of youth and entertainment in one.
This time our trip was definitely male one – no diet, no calories counting, simply culinary feast. For that reason, we could eat as many steaks and fish & chips as we wanted.
The place which we could recommend anyone visiting Oxford is the Quod with delicious steaks and great location. We also enjoyed the typical English pubs with the pint beer and British atmosphere.
Was it smashing?
All in all, it has been a wonderful experience for all of us and we could say that it was an original combination of innovative topics placed in historical and at moments magical surrounding.
We are even more happy with the success of the Smashing Conference in Oxford, because we were one of the sponsors.
Our next visit to the Smashing Conference in 2014 – New York, New York … We can’t wait!
You can see more photos here.