Christopher Smith, Aquent Graphics Institute, graciously made time to speak with Planet PDF in regard to the upcoming conference and giving us an insider’s view on what will most likely be yet another great PDF conference for all!
NETTIE HARTSOCK, Planet PDF Contributing Editor: Hi Christopher, what are some of the most exciting things happening this year at the conference?
CHRISTOPHER SMITH, President, Aquent Graphics Institute: We’re now 15 years since the inception of the PDF, and 10 years since PDF files started to move beyond static documents that were supposed to take the place of printed files. At the 2008 Adobe Acrobat & PDF Conference in Orlando, we’ll be looking at some of the best uses of ‘smart’ PDF files over the past decade, real-world uses of PDF that solve current business problems, and how PDF becoming an ISO standard impacts the PDF community.
HARTSOCK: What are some key focuses for the attendees this year?
HARTSOCK: Can you talk about Microsoft and what they’re going to do there?
SMITH: I’m interested to hear what Microsoft will be discussing, especially regarding their Silverlight platform. Conference attendees are all involved with distributing content in the most efficient and compelling ways possible, and when Adobe bought Macromedia there was a big interest among the PDF community in creating interfaces and using Flash content — something that never really materialized fully within Acrobat, and is just getting off the ground now with AIR and Flex. The attendees are going to be interested in hearing Microsoft’s options for securely delivering compelling content across multiple platforms — something that is important to everyone at the conference.
We received several speaking proposals from Adobe, but many of them were simply sales pitches, so we declined all but one of them. We place a high value on the editorial independence of the conference. It’s important for us to present real-world sessions of value to attendees. Attendees don’t want marketing and sales pitches, they want solutions to their problems, innovative ways to use PDF, and in-depth sessions presented by experts and industry professionals, which is what the Adobe Acrobat & PDF Conference provides, and why the event has been so successful.
HARTSOCK: You have some great keynotes slated among the sessions. What will Michael Eisner and the other keynotes cover?
SMITH: In addition to the nearly 80 break-out sessions, we have three keynote sessions. One keynote, in concert with the CRE8 Conference, presents Michael Eisner, the former CEO of the Walt Disney Companies. He’ll be discussing how organizations can utilize creativity as an asset to make them more successful. On the second day of the conference we have Brian Goldfarb from Microsoft who will be discussing new software tools and platforms from Microsoft that relate to creative, marketing, and communications professionals. And noted PDF expert Max Wyss will be giving a retrospective on how ‘Smart PDF’ documents have evolved over the past decade.
After six years the Adobe Acrobat & PDF Conference has become the largest gathering of users and managers of Adobe Acrobat & PDF technology, and we’re on track to have the biggest event ever. April 30-May 1 at Walt Disney World, and we hope some of your readers can join us.
HARTSOCK: Thanks Christopher! We know it will be a great one!