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The New West Coast Digital & Creative Hubs: Venice & Santa Monica – Silicon Beach Fest!

VC Panel at Viceroy

 While we've all  heard of Silicon Valley, which is where this blogger got started in the mid-nineties, Silicon Beach is the new hub of the creative digital universe, anchored right here in Santa Monica and Venice. With companies like Google, Amplify, Kluge, Wiredrive, Working Village and a host of others this dynamic hotspot of all things web and mobile was the focus of a three day event last week, Silicon Beach Fest.

Web Panel led by Adam Bell at Working Village

Informal panels and networking parties were the keys to this conference fest sprinkled throughout the area at local hotels: Viceroy, Hotel Erwin and Shutters plus smaller venues like Working Village. Panels were presented on topics such as: Digital and Social Marketing, Meet the Accelerators and VC's, Mobile App Best Practices to name a few.

  Web Panel with Moderator Adam Bell & Panelists

 The standout panel in the bunch was a lively and highly interactive Saturday morning panel at Working Village in Santa Monica that energized everyone present: "Getting the Edge in the Future of Web Design and Development" moderated by Adam Bell, local Design Director of datatv and Manager of the LAdobe Users Group. Adam led an amazing panel that was the only diverse one  in regard to gender and ethnicity with speakers: Sharon Sache,  Front End Developer Designer, Crystal Ehrlich, The Los Angeles User Experience Group, Tim Perry, Briabe Media in Venice and Jose Caballer, from the Skool in Culver City.

Scott Lenet, DFJ Frontier & Pete Santhappan, Eventsorbet

 Everything from Mobile Site design and tools for designers, HTML5, adaptive design for  multiple devices,  Adobe CS6 now offering cloud based suite of tools on a subscription basis, the US job market, educating clients on the value proposition and pricing structure plus the advantage of using a local designer as opposed to offshore were covered in this two hour panel.  It was both fun and informative with a genuine fluidity that benefited all present from the knowledgeable and experienced entrepreneurs in the panel to those in the crowd. This was truly an ideal panel that every conference needs to use as a model.

Closing Party at 31Ten

From panels to parties, yes parties are a necessary ingredient for an conference  that provide informal networking at cool venues such as the Viceroy, Areal (formerly World Cafe), GiantMedia, and 31Ten (formerly Schatzi.) It was great to meet people such as Kevin Winston, the Festival Director from Digital LA, catch up with Adam Bell from datatv and Tim Perry from Briabe Media, Ann Glenn from Sony Pictures Interactive, Eric Carillo and Bonnie Wolfe from 2billionmonkeys.com, Angie Haro from Working Village and Mitch Bassett from Wiredrive to name a few of the many inspiring people at the conference. It will be coming again next year to the area and is recommended by the Abbot Kinney First Fridays Blog for those in the web, mobile fields in creative, production and and development areas.

It's All About Venice!
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