Top 10 reasons to attend MAX 2006
in Las Vegas

by Ben Forta

It's been more than half a year since Macromedia and Adobe combined, and during this time we've been hard at work leveraging the strengths of each of these companies to forge the new Adobe. One of Macromedia's greatest strengths was its user community and the resultant relationship between company and customer. And each and every year, since 1999, this relationship culminated in the event we affectionately call MAX.

For those of you not yet fortunate enough to attend MAX (or DevCon, as it was known earlier on), try and picture several thousand of your peers spending three intense days learning, interacting, networking, talking shop, and just having fun. MAX, the official company conference, is your chance to sharpen your development skills, learn about new products, spend time with product engineering teams, and more. From the opening keynote to the numerous hands-on sessions, community lounge, sneak peeks, annual "special event," exhibit hall, informal birds-of-a-feather sessions, sponsor lunches, MAX Awards, and much more, MAX attendees find themselves immersed in products and technologies, and emerge the better for the experience several days later.

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Recognizing a good thing when they see it, Adobe is continuing the MAX tradition, maintaining not just the MAX name but also the MAX experience. MAX 2006 promises to be the biggest MAX ever. More tracks, more sessions (over 30 more than last year), more products and technologies, more attendees . . . more reasons for you to attend MAX this October 23–26 at the magnificent Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Just in case you remain unconvinced, here are my own top 10 reasons to attend MAX 2006 in Las Vegas:

  1. The main reason to attend MAX is simply this: Be it web design, application development, creative work, building intelligent documents, or what have you, you rely on Adobe products to do what you do. This is your chance to learn new skills, discover new opportunities, and prepare for the future. It's also your chance to participate in the Fourth Annual MAX Awards.

  2. Networking, schmoozing, chatting, late-night bar sessions — whatever your style, you'll find hundreds of like-minded developers and designers who'd love to share and hear from you. For many people, this ability to associate faces with e-mail addresses is the highlight of MAX.

  3. Spend time with the individuals responsible for the products you use and rely on. Like a feature? Tell them. Have a suggestion? Great, they love feedback. Even complaints (should you actually have any) are accepted and appreciated.

  4. Flex 2 is hot! Avail yourself to the most Flex 2 information and expertise ever concentrated in a single place.

  5. Over 100 unique sessions on a variety of products (Adobe Flex, Acrobat, Photoshop, ColdFusion, Flash, Dreamweaver, LiveCycle, and many more). Whether your interests are more code-centric or whether you are into design and visuals, you'll find sessions targeted specifically to you.

  6. Don't just listen, do! Take advantage of 90-minute hands-on training sessions on a variety of products and technologies, all taught by certified instructors and product experts. You'll learn by doing, writing code, manipulating design, and more.

  7. "Sneak peeks" mean that MAX attendees are typically the first to see the stuff that our product teams are cooking up. Our engineers love showing off features planned for new versions of your favorite software, or futuristic skunkworks projects that may or may not see the light of day, or just about whatever else tickles their fancy. This is live and unscripted — our version of reality entertainment, and it's just for MAX attendees.

  8. The "special event." No, I won't spill the beans, but consider this: Previous special events included private, exclusive access to Universal Studios in Orlando, taking over the Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City, and Mardi Gras World in New Orleans. 'Nuff said!

  9. Shirts, bags, and other apparel and goodies. While I can't promise you that you'll be more confident and desirable, you will definitely look the part. The well-dressed MAX attendee is a sight to behold (and those of us who've been attending year after year have saved fortunes on our clothing budgets).

  10. It's in Las Vegas! Do you actually need any more reasons?

MAX is more than a conference, it is an experience. MAX 2006 is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet. If you want to register or just learn more about the event, visit

I hope to see you in Las Vegas this October. Feel free to find me and say "hi." I'll be the guy in the cool MAX gear talking products and technologies.

Ben Forta is the Adobe senior product evangelist and the author of numerous books, including ColdFusion Web Application Construction Kit and its sequel Advanced ColdFusion Application Development, as well as books on SQL, JavaServer Pages, WAP, and Windows development. Visit Ben's blog to read his regular postings on ColdFusion and more.