Red Bull Flugtag Tampa

October 8, 2011 at 11:19 pm (Art, Branding, Design Events, Florida, free, marketing, News, performing arts, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Timelapse photo of The Florida Aquarium's Flugtag in flight

Take a 100,000 of your closest friends and watch as 39 teams launch home-made flying machines off of a 30’ platform at the Tampa Bay Convention Center. Sounds like a fun day? You bet it was!

This afternoon Red Bull Energy Drink returned to Tampa Bay for the only US Flugtag event to be held in 2011. Teams came from around the globe to show off their machines made of wood, foam, pvc, fabric and other basic materials. They formed these into crafts of all different shapes and sizes. Some of my favorite included a giant fork, the A-Team van, the biggest bra you will ever see, and even life-size Back to the Future DeLorean! In the three Flugtags events, and 6 crafts, I’ve helped build I have never seen the hangars as packed as they were today. I’m not sure if this was due to the layout of the hangars or the amount of attendees, but there was barely enough room to move through the crowed before the launches started.

Throughout the day weather was a bit of concern. Wind was definitely a factor throughout the event, but the rain stayed away until this evening. Weather wasn’t the only good luck had during the day. A big scare came when Little Evil, Dade City Motocross Dare Devil, appeared to be knocked unconscious and had to be taken out of the water on a backboard. Luckily he was checked out and up walking around before the next team was out of the water. Other than it seemed to be a fairly safe day in the skies and water of the bay, which is always good to hear after an event such as this.

If you missed this event Red Bull is holding a Kart Fight in Orlando on December 1st and there are rumors of another Red Bull event in South Florida during 2012. If you have a chance to attend Flugtag I would definitely suggest it, if you have the cans to built one I would encourage it. I’ve actually built 6 of them helped launch two. This go around I designed and helped build two, one for Fox 13 and one for Jana Water, so you have some catching up to do …get on it!

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Refresh South Florida

July 29, 2010 at 11:14 pm (Florida, Fort Lauderdale, free, marketing, networking, social event, Social Events & Networking, social media, South Florida, technology, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

Tonight was Refresh South Florida, that’s right Refresh Miami and Refresh Lauderdale are playing nice together. This time around it was a joint venture between neighboring and symbiotic social media clubs.  The event was also different in that it followed the format of IgniteShow.com where presenters are only given 5 minutes and 20 slides, auto advancing every 15 seconds, to get their point across.

First to the platform was Jonathan Bradley of Afzet, Inc, home of Studdr.com. Studdr.com is a social networking site that allows you to post quotes, pictures and video of funny or interesting things that you witness or hear. He said that it is the kind of the site many people might use as bathroom reading material because of it’s short snippets of entertainment. I think the site has interesting potential, especially because a lot of my social media use is intended to entertain me in times when I need to see a funny comment or some content that allows me to get my geek on.

Mike Cuesta of Carecloud.com presented his company’s software that allows professional in the medical field the opportunity for a turn-key clinical, financial and administrative software manager.  Carecloud allows medical companies to streamline practices and move into a more lean of way handling all the data they collect on patients and their billing needs. Carecloud.com seemed to have the most practical and put together plan for profitability and company growth out of all the presenters. The software looks to have strong development and the potential to allow medical professionals to do more medical work and spend less time and money in secretarial duties.

Flavors.me, presented by Jonathan Marcus, is a site that allows users to build “an elegant website using content from around the Internet.” Flavors.me looks to be a good outlet for anyone who wants to put up a quick vanity page without needing much knowledge in programming. It sets itself apart from many theme driven design skins by allowing users to upload photos as backgrounds and adjust content along various paths – like Myspace, but less rigid in content structure.

After all of the companies presented individually they were invited for a short panel style question and answer session. Most of the questions centered around profitability, scalability, financial acquisition, and a few discussions about frameworks and development softwares and their role in creating an Internet based start-up.

All three companies are worthy of note and look to have a future online. The whole night was broadcast via socialchats.net to those who were not able to attend in their carbon-based form. For upcoming events, check out OEcalendar.com

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ArtServe Red Eye 2010

July 24, 2010 at 3:04 am (Art, Art Event, Design, Design Events, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, free, Gallery Opening, movies, networking, News, photography, print media, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

ArtServe in Downtown Ft. Lauderdale hosted the reception for its 5th annual Red Eye event tonight. The purpose of the Red Eye event is to “create an innovative an exciting project that adds a twist to the conventional gallery exhibit” that “enmeshes gallery art with street art.” This year’s exhibit was on par with last year, with the exception of the graffiti. The graffiti, in my opinion, was better this year. This is not for a lack of technical skill; this year’s graf was more art piece verses last year’s predominant writer influence – I just prefer art over writing in graffiti.

This year’s event also played host to a fashion show that was previewed at Art Serve and continued at The Bubble in the IWAN facility (I did not attend this portion, but hope to visit IWAN before long). In the rear of ArtServe, live entertainment was playing and the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival held a Short Film Premiere Section.

Red Eye continues through July 30th, so check it out while you can.

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Cool Beans – A Tale of the Coffee Tasting Tweetup

October 15, 2009 at 12:05 am (Florida, Fort Lauderdale, networking, social event, Social Events & Networking, social media, South Florida, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Caffe_Rustica

Are you tired of attending tweetups for the masses? Here’s a new spin on the twitter universe – a coffee tasting tweetup. Think of a wine and cheese paring party, but with coffee and cookies. And what overworked designer, developer, geek, or business maven doesn’t like a good cup of coffee? The best part of an event like this is that there is a smaller turnout than many other social media events allowing for more chances to meet and converse with new people.

If you don’t follow what I’m saying, imagine this: you’re a social media newbie, maybe more introverted than some, and decide to go to a social media event. You stand in a corner doing your best wallflower impression and don’t know how to break the ice with people who are part of the “in crowd.” I mean you don’t want to linger like an awkward stalker outside of an ongoing conversation, and busting into someone’s chitchat that you don’t know can come off wrong or just seem rude. An event in a more intimate setting with a small group is a great way to expand your social circle and your comfort zone in unison. So why not hold smaller gatherings to help welcome newbies and make new friends

Tonight’s event was held at Caffe Rustica next to the Gateway Theater in Ft. Lauderdale. The coffee shop was like the Cheers bar, Wings café counter, and Central Perk from Friends all combined into a charming little spot with less drama and better coffee. If they didn’t know your name when you came in, they knew your twitter handle when you left.

We were a little late, so we had some catching up to do. The tasting had started with India Mneb it was like a strong tea, more refreshing than you get from your get-out-of-bed in the morning variety joe. Next up was Brazil Morenhina Formosa made with the Raisin Process – Jim the owner/barista is very knowledgeable in the art of beverage preparation and shared a little about the history, roasting style, and background of each brew. Third tasting was Guatemala Acatenenango Gesha a little stronger than the others, but still very good. The final flight was the strongest (and favorite of mine – the 3 cup-a-day drinker) Ethiopa Bonko made with a Wet Process. This coffee was much more robust than the others, some might say it’ll get you up in the morning and give you a shave, but I just think it was a good strong coffee.

Between flights and after all the rounds had been finished the small group of coffee lovers sat around discussing a variety of interesting topics from camera equipment to anecdotes of everyday life. My favorite conversation centered around Starbucks’ new instant coffee. The most insightful part of the discussion came when someone quipped that they didn’t know what Starbucks’ taste testing ads were supposed to prove. Are they raising the bar for instant coffee or lowering the standard by which we hold our $8 sugar infused creation of fast food-like coffee? If you think about it it’s either one or the other. It’s like up-selling your product while simultaneously devaluing it.

I’d like to thank @CaffeRustica for hosting the event and @MoreWillie for organizing it. It was nice to meet @DavideDiCillo, @ggadventures, and @stefaniwhylie, and apologies to those who I didn’t get your handle. I look forward to the next foray into the world of the caffeinated arts, whenever that may be.

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Obon – Get Lit

August 8, 2009 at 11:49 pm (Florida, networking, News, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Obon

Instead of the Miami Design District’s Art & Design Night we decided to do something a little different this month – Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden’s Bon Festival. The annual event sponsored by the Sun Sentinel is Morikami’s annual event “Inspired by Obon, Japan’s traditional three-day holiday honoring ancestors and thanking them for the quality of life enjoyed by the living.”

The four-hour event included food, free parking, and Ennichi (games for the kids). The highlights of evening were the dancers performing the Bon Odori (Bon Dance) and Taiko Drum Performances by Fushu Daiko. The evening culminated in the Toro Nagashi, or floating of the lanterns, which began “at sunset when Morikami Pond [was] transformed into a tranquil sea of lighted lanterns which, in accordance with Japanese custom, guide the departure of ancestors’ souls who have come for a brief visit among the living.” A fireworks show polished off the evening.

The event was fun, and packed – as if all of South Florida had come to join the festival. It begs the question “has the current economy fueled a resurgence in public interest in inexpensive art and cultural events?”

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SketchCrawl

July 13, 2009 at 12:06 pm (Art, Art Event, free, Graphic Design, Illustration, networking, social event, Social Events & Networking) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

sclogosmallThe 23rd World Wide SketchCrawl occurred on July 11th.

What is a SketchCrawl you ask? The SketchCrawl concept was born after Enrico Casarosa attended a PubCrawl for a friend’s bachelor party. Participating in this night of moving entertainment inspired him to do the same by replacing alcohol with pencil, paper, and watercolor.

“The basic idea: to record nonstop everything I could around me with my pencil and watercolors. A drawn journal filled with details ranging from the all the coffee I drank to the different buses I took. After a whole day of drawing and walking around the city the name seemed quite fitting: “SketchCrawl” – a drawing marathon. The crawl was more tiring than I imagined but also more fun and exciting than I had thought. Giving yourself this kind of mandate for a full day changes the way you look around you. It makes you stop and see things just a tad longer, just a bit deeper … needless to say I loved it.”

After completing his first SketchCrawl by himself he decided it would be more fun as a group event, eventually this led to a worldwide event involving hundreds of people.

There is no date for the next SketchCrawl event, but it might be fun. They seem to run once every few months, so I’ll post any information I hear about upcoming events. You can check out the sketches either on the website’s forum or their flickr page.

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Shooting Miami Through a Pint of Guiness

June 30, 2009 at 5:20 pm (Art, Art Event, Education, free, Miami, networking, photo walk, photography, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Anniversary_Speed_Graphic_II copy

Last night was my first venture to a Shoot Miami Meetup. Anytime you get a group of people together who are passionate about one topic, good discussions are sure to follow.  In attendance were people hailing from a wide variety of camera platforms – Nikon, Canon, Sony, etc – and photographic experience levels.

The upstairs room of John Martin’s Irish Pub in the Gables was filled with photographic portfolios from the members. Some of these photographs yielded stories of photographing gators from a few feet away, painting with light, and macro (or micro, depending on platform) shooting techniques referencing a variety of subject matters.

The gathering was informative and helpful. ZiZi, the group leader, is heading up the Photo Walk along Lincoln Road on the 18th of July – I’ll be leading the South Beach walk around the same time. They have a Fourth of July outing planned for Miami Beach, as well as a meetup for the Miami – Homestead Speedway FARA Race in early August.

I look forward to doing more with this group in the future. The seem very low-key and willing to share ideas and techniques.

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Freelance Camp/LaidOff Camp Miami

June 14, 2009 at 3:32 pm (Design Events, Education, Florida, free, Miami, networking, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Laid Off Camp

Freelance Camp/LaidOff Camp Miami on June 6th was a good time. I was a bit apprehensive at first, thinking that it was going to be a bunch of people moping around begging for jobs. This couldn’t have been further from the truth. Here’s a quick recap of how I spent my day:

One of the most interesting events outside of the presentations was the elevator pitch booth. This allowed attendees to talk on camera for 60-seconds as if they were alone in an elevator with a corporate exec and only had that short period time to make a memorable statement about their business.

Jorge Lázaro Díaz (www.careerjockey.org) made a strong presentation about networking mentality. Within his presentation he discussed ineffective job hunt activities, job hunt activities that work, and his most important advice about networking was to keep your message to other people clear, concise, and memorable.

Ray Knight, Chief Envisioneer Officer of RaynMaker (www.raynmaker.com), presented a short, impromptu, speech followed by a small group discussion. He message was simple – we have to rethink the way we sell our businesses, our products, and ourselves.  Everyone is bombarded with sales pitches all day everyday, so how can we do this differently? He presented the advantages and disadvantages of strategic alliances. I would enjoy seeing a presentation form him that dives deeper into these network strategies.

Patrick Barbanes (www.patrickbarbanes.com) gave a great presentation about Linkedin. It was entertaining and informative. The only drawback was that his time slot was too short. I hope he has the opportunity to have an hour-long presentation about getting the most out of Linkedin in the future.

The last presentation was a panel discussion regarding social media. Mediated by Rick Tuttle, the panel consisted of Craig Agranoff, Maria De Los Angeles, and Yvette Ferry. Collectively they addressed the importance of social media in business and personal relationships. The discussion also morphed into some quality information on keeping up with all this media by utilizing RSS feeds and services like Google™ Reader.

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