Portland's creative weekend: Inverge & cre8con

This weekend was one chock full of things to do here in Portland, especially if you are an iPhone-toting, Twittering designer or marketer.  Inverge, a two-day interactive convergence conference, kicked off Thursday and had a mix of techie marketing presenters. Then, on Saturday, cre8con, Portland's one-day creative conference, took off with artists inspiring us with their processes.  Both conferences were really cool, especially if you're a geek like me.

The PDX Twitter culture exploded. Anyone not attending the conference could keep track very easily, thanks to the constant tweets of PowerPoint slides and in-the-room happenings.  Tweets on Inverge can be found here, the best of which are from Carri Bugbee though I contributed a little as well).  And it appears many did follow the twitter feeds, since at one time “inverge” took the lead in twitter searches over the Republican National Convention.  Cre8con even turned it up a notch by capturing video of the conference (all except, perhaps, of the Focus Features Coraline scenes that are to be kept from the masses.)  And as soon as it's online (after the awesome works of Johnny Hartman and Rod Pitman who filmed everything documentary style), I will post a direct link in the comments to this post.

At Inverge, I remember Renny Gleeson's shoes and that Karl Long re-introduced us to the world of cat photographs with funny sayings.  Though both men's presentations were much more educational of course.  By the way, good LOL cats are here, if, God forbid, you're interested in this:  http://icanhascheezburger.com/

Amber Case had one of the more innovative approaches to speech giving at Inverge.  She live-twittered (with the help of Bram Pitoyo) AS she gave her presentation.  In essence, each slide was read and twittered simultaneously, allowing for a true convergence at Inverge.  The icing on the cake was the last presentation, given by Paul Matthaeus of Digital Kitchen, who delivered a perfect blend of useful information and pop culture eye candy in the form of his reel and supplementary video.  To get a taste, you can see one of their reels here.

cre8con didn't disappoint, even following the Inverge fill.  The vivacious damali ayo was a delightful presenter, and her perfect hoodie, which solves many previous hoodie problems, became a hot commodity shortly after her time on stage.  Jelly Helm, with Wieden + Kennedy, was a natural and impressive presenter.  Visibly nervous (or just a really good actor), the funny-named guy got on stage and delved into his background and path up to w+k and peppered it with gems of knowledge what to do if you are interested in the advertising world.  He was easily relatable and genuinely smart, and the audience got behind him right away.  Another speaker worth mentioning is Laika's Brian Van't Hul, whose presentation was honest and interesting, with pointed facts about what happens behind the scenes when shooting miniatures in a major motion picture.  Van't Hul even showed never-before-seen clips of Focus Features' Coraline, before even post-production had gotten to them.  By the way, that is going to be one creepy little flick!

A note to the organizers of these conferences:  While both conferences were in excellently-located venues and had enough good information and inspiration flowing, please be sure to have proper power and wifi in the conference venues next time!  Inverge had no power so us twitterers were fighting battery life; cre8con had no power or wifi signal in the auditoriums whatsoever.  And maybe I stand alone, but I, for one, do not think all these events should collide in one massive weekend (and this includes MFNW and TBA).  Sadly, my MFNW wristband is still sealed in an envelope; I was just too damn tired after each day of conference attending and twittering to go out to midnight-starting shows, not to even mention the Belmont Street Fair!  It may sound great in theory or be good for all those out-of-towners, but this is one Portlander who could use a breather in between such greatness!  But all in all — a great weekend, and I can't wait to see what next year brings.

Bonus: See Renny Gleeson, Karl Long, and Josh Green, three of Inverge's presenters, do a reenactment of a This is Spinal Tap scene, just prior to taking the stage.

posted by diana bayless

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5 Responses to Portland's creative weekend: Inverge & cre8con

  1. Joshua Green September 8, 2008 at 9:55 am #

    Yo, nice write up. Just a note – Spinal Tap re-enactment – all Renny and Karl.

  2. Carri Bugbee September 8, 2008 at 10:48 am #

    Diana, Thanks for the amazing recap! You really hit the highlights. I agree with your assessment that Cre8Con and Inverge should not be on the same weekend. A number of people said they would have attended both if they hadn’t been back-to-back. It’s a LOT to do! It was certainly exhausting for some of us working on the events (though I was only involved w/ Cre8Con). I hope everyone tells their friends to come next year too. I think everyone agreed Cre8Con was great for its first year back after a six-year hiatus. Onward and upward!
    Carri Bugbee

  3. Adron September 8, 2008 at 2:33 pm #

    Wish I could have been there. Sounds like an interesting enlightment…

  4. John Antony Hartman September 8, 2008 at 8:04 pm #

    We recorded all of Inverge as well. We also did interviews at both events. We are processing about 35 hours of footage. I will twitter as we feed them into our online channels.

    Thanks for the great recap.

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