I've pulled out of Flash Europe

I finally managed to talk to someone from FlashEurope today. I got a phone call from Harold, the organizer of the event, after someone gave him a link to my earlier post. That post was written after not being able to reach anyone at Flash Europe for over a month and after reading Peter Elst's post on the topic (and being contacted by Peter and Owen that they had not had any luck reaching anyone either).

Instead of an apology or an explanation, I listened as I was angrily (and wrongly) accused of "hurting the conference" by (1) Posting, last year, the list of Flash Europe speakers before it was announced on the site, (2) Making up a fictional friend who was called and warned by the credit card processing company taking payments for FlashEurope last November (a post I later removed after a plea by Harold that they were handling things and that the credit card processing company was mistaken), (3) of not removing the post because you can still find it on FullAsAGoog and, finally, (4) of being the only person who has a problem with the way things are being organized.

My responses, quite plainly, are thus:

(1) I did not publish the list of FlashEurope Speakers on FlashAnt, ever. In my one and only post on the subject, made after the list was officially announced, I linked to aSH's post of the list.

(2) I am happy for her sake that the person in question does in fact exist. Her name is Niqui Merret and I will ask her to post her story in the comments shortly.

(3) I did remove the post after I promised Harold I would. I have this nasty habit of doing things that I tell people I will do. It's bad, I know! Unfortunately, I do not run FullAsAGoog and have no control over how it caches post summaries from the RSS. If you do a search for "Flash Europe" on FullAsAGoog, you will see a link to the post "What is happening with Flash Europe?" with a summary as it originally appeared. However, if you click on it, you will get a post with the following message.

(4) I am definitely not the only one who has a problem with the way this conference is being organized. Even though we had tried unsuccessfully to reach someone -- anyone -- at FlashEurope for *over a month* by email. Actually, I just checked and Emilie alone sent 5 emails since November -- to Harold's email at FlashEurope, info at,speaker at and finally registration at FlashEurope. All have gone unanswered. Perhaps somewhat naively (and perhaps because I was/am busy with so much else), I was still hopeful that someone would contact me. Then, just recently Peter Elst emailed me to say that he could not reach anyone either and actually blogged about it. Following this, Owen called me and mentioned that he hadn't been able to reach anyone recently either.

In response to Peter's post, an attendee posted the following comment:

"Anyway, I wanted to comment because I paid for my registration, got NO confirmation, and I am now finding that registration@flasheurope.com is being BOUNCED from a host called uvision.net."

According to Harold, this is "not true".

Here are a couple of other testimonials from the mailing list I set up yesterday so speakers could talk about this issue. You can see the archives yourself here.

"Hi, my name is Xavi Beumala and I'm (maybe was) one of the speakers from 5dms.com

I'm from Barcelona and I've been several times with Harold having a coffee. But for the last month and a half I've been trying to contact him without any luck... He has disapeared!

I implemented the blog (which was never used) and implemented the flashEurope contest web (wich also was never used! ouch!). . ."

"Hi to All!

I'm Carlos Rovira from Madrid (Spain) and I'm a Speaker. I couldn't get in touch with the organization : (

I've posted about it at http://www.carlosrovira.com/index.php?p=212&more=1&c=1

Hope it all ends well."

"Hello all ! :)

Thanx to Aral for setting up this list.

Francis Bourre"

"I second that, thanks Aral! Great to see you here as well Francis, have any other speakers or attendees signed up yet?

All the best,


"Yes, I'm here. Anyone bet on flasheurope will be ? I have a queasy feeling


Andr� Michelle"

The reasons I was given for not being able to reach the organizational committee ranged from "Christmas break" to "I'm traveling the world trying to get help" to "I'm trying work together with Media Elements" to "we have a small committee" to "we are trying to get sponsorship from Macromedia." I can empathize that it must be difficult to organize a conference with a small team of people but, then again, this is not an excuse for not responding to speakers and attendees -- especially when people have already paid to buy tickets and attend and after changing the conference date once already. If anything, the committee should have been twice as careful with damage control after the date change and redoubled their efforts to win back the trust of their speakers and attendees.

The people I have been talking to -- both speakers and attendees -- are worried and I felt it was my duty as someone who had lent his name (and thereby his endorsement) to the conference to air these concerns with the hope that someone would take corrective action.

That has not happened.

In light of this, I have decided to pull out of FlashEurope and will not be speaking at it.

I do hope, with all my heart, that the conference *does* happen and I hope that this was just a temporary lapse in communication. I wish the FlashEurope team the best of luck in organizing the conference.