Author Topic: The Official 2014 Academy Details Thread!  (Read 1490 times)

Offline Ryan Johnson

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The Official 2014 Academy Details Thread!
« on: January 31, 2014, 10:28:10 AM »
I could have SWORE that I posted this here on the Falcon forums already but I'm not seeing it so I guess I didn't!  Regardless...

As usual, we don't want to clutter up a bunch of threads and posts, so we'll be posting the details of the Academy here for everyone to see...
 
The Academy will be here before you know it!!
Most of us are packing-up our holiday decorations and have started thinking about 2014.  As you do that, please remember that one of the most-important things you can do to support your holiday habit this year is to attend the 2014 Academy!  The event is coming-up faster than you think and there are a number of things to keep in mind

We already have over 50 classes planned, and were not done yet!  Check-out the tracks we have planned for you:

The Beginner (Starting from Scratch): Want to know where to start?  This series of classes will help you on the first steps of your decorating journey.

Hardware Options:  This track will focus on hardware available for holiday decorators from commercial options to DIY solutions.  We will focus-on ALL options, not just the regulars and will have some topics we have never covered before.

Software Solutions: Whether you are a DIYer or you use a commercial hardware option, every decorator must make a decision on how to control everything.  There are a myriad of solutions out there that help you develop your display and this track will discuss each one.

Interactive Elements: There is more to the holiday hobbies than just turning-on lights or building the next great prop for your displays.  This group of classes will focus-on how to interact with your audience, working within your community, costuming and makeup, and holding-events.

Lights, Lights, Lights: If it lights-up were going to discuss it in this track!  Well discuss everything from incandescent to RGB, floods to ribbons, and even how to use them on your house and other props.  Prepare to be illuminated!

Props N Projects:  Were planning some of the best sessions to show-off great props built by the best.  Youll get to see things up-close, ask questions of the builders, and hopefully get some great ideas for your own display.

So what do we need from you?  A few very simple things
 
Most importantly and something you should do now: GO REGISTER!  The Early Birth pricing of $60 is gone BUT someone left a weird discount code in the system and our Webmaster cant get to it until January 31st.  So our loss is your gain:  Use LastChance2014 when you register and youll save the $10 so you still get the $60 price.  But as soon as our Webmaster gets back in his seat at the end of the month that deal is GONE.

Remember too that our Early Bird giveaway drawing is on February 2nd (Groundhog day or, to many of us, Super Bowl Sunday).  If youre registered by the end of the month you are automatically entered to win a free registration so dont miss out!
 
Also, we want you to get excited!  Keep an eye on the website (with our new and improved Rock-N-Roll theme for 2014!) and stay up-to-date on details as they happen. If you use Twitter, follow the hashtag for this year: #2014LSHAcademy.  And most importantly, be sure to visit our new Academy Facebook page.  LIKE and SHARE it with everyone you know who might be excited or thinking of attending.  Its also a great place for you to keep an eye on for updates and maybe a contest or two along the way!  Visit www.facebook.com/TheUltimateAcademy right now!
 
Second, tell those people who enjoy the hobby as much as you do.  Many of you have been to the Academy before and youve heard the speech: The Academy isnt a money-maker and we need registrations to come in now, not in the 30 days before the doors open.  Get the word-out, share it on the various forums to which you belong, tell your neighbors who want to learn about this hobby.  The more folks who come each year, the more fun we all have!
 
We also have a Vendor Room that is quickly filling up.  These companies are coming to see you and sell you product, not just sending some door prizes.  Theyre commitment to the Academy is something we should all appreciate.  Our vendor partners help make the Academy happen: Illumimax, Synchronized Christmas, Radiant Holidays, HolidayCoro, SanDevices, Light Show Pro, Reinders, Holiday Yard Art and more will be on hand to see you and show off their latest products.
 
Were very excited about the Academy in 2014.  Its going to be another great year and we cant wait to see you all soon!
 
The 2014 Academy Planning Team

Offline mms

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Re: The Official 2014 Academy Details Thread!
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2014, 12:29:54 PM »
Why is the class list released 30-45 days before the event?  How do I know if I even want to go if I can't nail down the classes I want to attend?  So, I have to wait and miss out on the Early Bird registration prices?  Seems counter-productive.

I understand classes may conflict or get full or whatever, but you should at least have some tentative course descriptions.  And then you can always quote Larry the Lawyer: "Class topics and times are subject to change, please check back often."

I don't need a Nutcracker class because, well, I've seen Sean demo it in person several times, and if I really had a problem, he's a phone call or even a short drive away.  David Pitts is a phone call or TeamViewer session a way for any tutorial or support I need for Falcon products.

In the words of #5 from the movie Short Circuit: "Need more input."

All, IMHO, of course.

Steve

Offline Ryan Johnson

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Re: The Official 2014 Academy Details Thread!
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2014, 02:00:50 PM »
Ah, my favorite type of response....

Why is the class list released 30-45 days before the event? 

Because it is volunteer work and everyone does the best they can.  We have a lot to plan and we dont ever post up details that might change.  Weve on ly ever cancelled one class (remarkably a Nutcracker class because Sean was scheduled in a time he could not appear- see what happens when you try to schedule too far in advance?  BTW- it was NOT Seans fault by any stretch.  Just a mistake in scheduling.)

How do I know if I even want to go if I can't nail down the classes I want to attend? 

You dont.  Sometimes you have to go on history, reputation and even a little faith.

So, I have to wait and miss out on the Early Bird registration prices?
You dont HAVE to wait but yes the Early Bird price has an end date.  And its today.

Seems counter-productive.
If you really want counterproductive you should try telling people who have made a decision based on a schedule they saw 6 months in advance that a class was cancelled or moved to a different time!  LOL  People forget that every instructor and planner is volunteering and so we need time to set all of those pieces up.  There are 5 rooms running at the same time, along with all of the vendors, general sessions, etc.  This isn't in someone's garage or community center; it's a much larger undertaking and it requires the time necessary to plan.  Yes, you miss the Early Bird pricing that has been running since July last year.  Sometimes you have to have faith and if 6 years of doing this isn't enough to make that decision then I really can't provide much else.  :)  All I can tell you is that almost 1000 people have attended the Academy at some point.  Over 30 vendors have made the trip at least once.  And the past class lists and content speak for themselves (http://www.theultimateacademy.com/education/past-classes/).

I understand classes may conflict or get full or whatever, but you should at least have some tentative course descriptions.  And then you can always quote Larry the Lawyer: "Class topics and times are subject to change, please check back often."

We have outlines of each class track and information going in as soon as things are finalized.  As I referenced above you can look at our class history and get a pretty good "feel" of what to expect.  But if it will make you feel better... <ahem> <ahem>... "We will be offering close to 1 million classes with only masters level instructors in each and every session.  All classes will be fully recorded in HD and you will receive the personal phone, address and email of each and every instructor.  In addition we will serve full meals in each room and will have an on-site foot massage station.  And your price will always remain $60 until the end of time.  OH, I forgot to mention (to quote Larry the Lawyer): Class topics, times, content, instructors, availability and all other details previously mentioned are subject to change, cancellation and are non-refundable.  Any postings, comments or other negativity will result in legal action."  How's that?  Did I cover it all?

I don't need a Nutcracker class because, well, I've seen Sean demo it in person several times, and if I really had a problem, he's a phone call or even a short drive away.  David Pitts is a phone call or TeamViewer session a way for any tutorial or support I need for Falcon products.

If you have those points of contact readily available, or TeamViewer and such are your preferred method of learning, then you should consider if the event is for you.  It isnt for everyone.  Sounds to me like you may have all of your bases covered for what you want to do and how you want to learn.  We think theres something to be said for options and the ability to get out from behind a computer and interact with other people in the hobby.  But as I said, it isnt for everyone so only you can make that decision.  Maybe the fact that both Sean and David are attending (and it isnt their first year) means something to you but I dont know.

In the words of #5 from the movie Short Circuit: "Need more input."

There are no secrets or input being held back.  When we have details, concrete details, of things theyre posted.  Keep an eye on the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TheUltimateAcademy) or the website (www.theultimateacademy.com) or follow the hashtag on Twitter (#2014LSHAcademy).

All, IMHO, of course.
Steve

Ah but isnt it ALWAYS in someones humble opinion?  Everyone says that, even if theyre tone is mocking, condescending, or downright disrespectful.  Makes things and people interesting, doesnt it?

Offline mms

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Re: The Official 2014 Academy Details Thread!
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2014, 02:10:17 PM »
Well, then, I guess that we'll just have to agree to disagree.

I'm not sold that attending this will help me have a better display next year.

Have fun.

Offline David Pitts

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Re: The Official 2014 Academy Details Thread!
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2014, 02:40:32 PM »
Many of us spend many hours on Christmas related forums. Do we need to go to the Academy in Conroe to find the information necessary to put on our shows? Maybe not. What the Academy is however a great place to put the faces to the user names we see daily. To see the latest and greatest invention in the Christmas lighting hobby. It is like our Colorado show x 10.

Falcon Christmas will be there to show the Falcon product line. I have heard from the Captain that he will be attending. I have never met the Captain but we will be meeting each other at the Academy. He and I  may not have met if it was not for the Academy. It takes a big production that Ryan and his team has successfully put together year after year to make people want to leave their homes and travel 1000's of miles to attend.

So while the Academy is a place to learn it is also a place to meet each other and spend time away from the distractions of life to talk about our passion in Christmas lighting.

I hope to see as many of you there as possible.
 
PixelController, LLC
PixelController.com

Offline jnealand

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Re: The Official 2014 Academy Details Thread!
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2014, 04:00:38 PM »
I have not registered yet, but I plan to go.  The people I meet and the ideas I get are valuable to me.  I have met and talked face to face with a lot of folks who post on this forum and others.  I like having met all those folks in person.  There is also a lot of new ideas you can pick up from the vendors, other attendees, and the presentations.  This will be my third year going.  Only a 860 mi trip one way.  But boy is it hot there.  On the other hand the convention center is cold so you will see a lot of folks wearing long sleeves.  I take a long sleeve denim shirt to wear like an open jacket.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

Offline jnealand

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Re: The Official 2014 Academy Details Thread!
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2014, 04:05:24 PM »
So, I have to wait and miss out on the Early Bird registration prices?  Seems counter-productive.

IMHO the discount is never big enough to get me to register early and is basically equal to rounding error in looking at the total cost of attending.  I'm happy to pay the extra $10 or so to support this event.  Besides I have learned that every time I make a committment way way way in advance something comes up to screw it up.

Offline smeighan

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Re: The Official 2014 Academy Details Thread!
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2014, 05:17:55 PM »
steve; i have gone twice. i liked the vendor area, i liked the Halloween threads, animatronics, dave moore's presentations on how to make coro display items, ryan teaches how to dress up as santa where to get wigs and makeup, diy threads. This year the diy threads will include a broader base of vendors. Previous years it was  more DLA centric.
I will give a couple of presentations, so will dave. nutcracker and pi player you already know, but there are others.

These are some i remember
how to advertise your show
using audacity
building a megatree by the monkhouses
superstar from LOR
using vixen 2.1
multiple sessions for LOR and LSP
maybe this year there will be a vixen 3 or a vixen+ talk. I think there 40-50 sessions.

the biggest draw was meeting people from other states whom i have talked to on the forums. we even had fast eddy last year. he flew in from Australia and gave lsp talks.

it is expensive to go anywhere. i think i spent like $250 for airfare, $250 for hotel and $200 for food and $60 for registration. so i am budgeting $750. This is the only event I go to.

Just wish it was not so hot.

if you go, i think you will enjoy yourself.

sean
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Offline JonB256

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Re: The Official 2014 Academy Details Thread!
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2014, 07:26:34 PM »

Just wish it was not so hot.


If it isn't hot, it's raining. If it's raining, there is lightning and flooding.
Welcome to southern Texas. :)

Offline Ryan Johnson

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Re: The Official 2014 Academy Details Thread!
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2014, 09:57:27 PM »
Congratulations to Greg Castiglione! You are the winner of the #2014LSHAcademy Early Bird Contest! You're coming for FREE!

 

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