This has already been an interesting trip for me. There was the long wait for the Border Patrol while driving to San Diego from Phoenix. Then there was the mixup with my hotel room when I arrived. Luckily, all has gone smoothly with the conference.
Sunday was the day of the crash courses and so I was teaching all afternoon. Even though my classes are considered to be for beginners, they were both well attended and there were a ton of questions asked and hopefully answered. It was really surprising to me when Tom Anzai dropped by the hotel. He just happened to be in town on other business.
Monday is the official start of the conference. The first order of business was a keynote from Gerard Metrailler, a senior Program Manager for the CorelDRAW Suite. A lot of information was provided on what Gerard does with CorelDRAW but the more interesting information to me was who is using CorelDRAW and where they are located. I don’t think it is any surprise that the US is a very large chunk of the userbase. While surprises many in the US is the strength of CorelDRAW in Europe and most definitely in Germany. Even in China, home to widespread piracy, CorelDRAW sells well. He also broke down what people do with CorelDRAW and it showed CorelDRAW as the dominant graphic tool in a number of vertical industries. This came as no surprise to me, but I know many users don’t realize this information.
Once the keynotes were finished, it was off to individual sessions. Jeff Harrison’s first session entitled Heavy Metal played to a standing room only crowd. Later in the day I taught sessions on creating Flash files from CorelDRAW and scripting Corel PHOTO-PAINT to dramatically boost your productivity. Another interesting session to me was to see some of Roland’s wide format printer/cutters in action. I’ll definitely be talking with them some more today.
The keynote is less than an hour away on day two so I better get myself ready to take in another day. Tony Severenuk, a User Experience Designer for Corel, will be delivering the keynote today. I’ll try to report back tomorrow with more information from the conference.