Environments for Humans
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Digital Biz Summit 2014 logo

The 2nd annual online, live digital business conference

In-kind sponsors:

New Riders

Environments for Humans brings together some of the Web's most notable experts in for an all-new, one-day only online conference, the Digital Biz Summit 2014! Bring the experts to your desktop August 20th from 9AM to 5PM (CT).

Don't miss this great event and purchase your tickets now!

August 20, 2014 \\ 9AM to 5PM CT

(Schedule subject to change)

The Future of Teamwork 9am CT

by Carl Smith, Chief Keeper Upper of nGen Work

The future of teamwork has a distinctively autonomous slant to it. While much attention is being paid to the tools that keep a team running, little is paid to the psychological health of team members. Like it or not, we're primates with social needs. Pixels don't engage us like personalities. Carl will review the issues teams face now and in the future. He'll also share the path to creating a warm, nurturing environment where hierarchies are just a footnote.

About Carl Smith

Owner and founder of nGen Works, Carl Smith runs an unconventional distributed team that works with businesses to redefine their identities and ideals. Carl has made a name for himself in the web industry by creating a new framework for how we get things done, and by enabling us to realign our creative communities. When he?s not conducting business experiments with his nGeneers or consulting for global trendsetters, he?s busy sculpting a new face for the world of work.


Digital Biz & The Hiring Process 10am CT

by Emily Lewis, Principal Developer of Bright Umbrella

Our industry often discusses the importance of hiring the "right" person to help grow a business, but the process of hiring (not to mention human resources responsibilities) isn't typically included in those discussions.

Hiring and HR are complex, and if the employee is out-of-state or even from another country, they are even more complicated.

If you are hiring for the first time or hiring your first remote employee, Emily will offer practical tips to help you with:

  • Hiring a remote worker
  • New hire documents, including storage and retention requirements
  • Payroll and associated taxes
  • Remote employment eligibility verification
  • Business licensing, registration and taxes

About Emily Lewis

Emily is the owner of and lead developer for Bright Umbrella, a small web design and development studio. A standardista at heart, she is an expert in front-end development and specializes in semantics and structured data. Not only is she passionate about the web, Emily is passionate about community, serving as Managing Editor for Web Standards Sherpa and co-hosting the acclaimed CTRL+CLICK CAST. Emily is also the the author of Microformats Made Simple and a contributing author for the HTML5 Cookbook.


Business in Marriage 11am CT

by Erik Reagan, Co-owner of Focus Lab, LLC

We love making things. That’s why we go to conferences to learn about how we can make better things in better ways. Many of us love making things so much that it’s what we spend the majority of our day doing. And if we’re not careful, we spend the majority of our nights and weekends making things too. That’s not inherently bad, but when you consider the fuller life that we’re each living, there’s a huge risk that we lose focus and perspective of what really matters to us.

This session will be incredibly honest and transparent. We’ll talk about entrepreneurship and relationships. I’ll share part of my wife and I’s story. I’ll also have some guests share their stories. We’ll talk about marriages that have been strong, weak, or even failed due--in part--to the effects that running a business can have on owners and spouses. If you’re married, or might one day be married, this session might just change your life. Or maybe the life of someone you know after you walk away with something that could help them.

About Erik Reagan

Erik has a passion for helping people both on and off the web.

He is a husband, a father and a self-proclaimed nerd.

Erik is a co-owner of Focus Lab, LLC, where he creates engaging websites that help businesses grow and achieve more online.

When he's not swimming in PHP, ExpressionEngine, HTML and CSS, you can find him writing articles and teaching others about various web development topics.


From Self-Branding to Merging Brands 1pm CT

by Lea Alcantara, Lead Designer of Bright Umbrella

How do two established web professionals, known for their own individual strengths and brands, merge their two identities without losing their sense of self? How does that translate to a brand system?

In this high-level talk, Lea will go through:

  • The difference between branding yourself and branding a company
  • The research involved to remove external assumptions
  • A few key questions that she and Emily both had to answer separately about themselves and the company
  • How these findings informed their new company name, their eventual logo, copy, and site design
  • How the brand system created helps contribute to business goals

About Lea Alcantara

As the lead designer of Bright Umbrella, Lea designs websites with sass. She helps paint an accurate and attractive reflection of her clients? brands through color, type and code. She crafts client sites that not only have personality, but deliver a positive user experience that fulfills client and audience goals.

She speaks at various conferences around the world like SXSW and Digital Biz Summit, and has written for A List Apart and .net magazine. On top of her professional endeavours, she loves Disney show tunes, the Food Network, and kittens.


Digital Biz & Cashflow 2pm CT

by Rob Harr, Technical Director at Sparkbox

Managing your cash well can be the difference between going out of business or surviving to fight another day. Many of us have fairly fixed costs and employees who like to be paid on time, so we need to understand how to manage our cash.

During this session, I will share some tips I have learned and tools that I use on a daily bases to manage our cashflow.

  • Tips on how to get paid
  • How contracts and payment terms can help your cash flow
  • How to determine the best time to make large purchases
  • Planning for taxes
  • How much cash you should have on hand

About Rob Harr

Technical Director for Sparkbox, Rob is responsible for operations and leading the development team. On any given day, Rob meets with prospective clients, writes code, or continues to lead the charge in improving development process. Sparkbox has become known as a leader in responsive web design and custom software solutions.


10 Signs of a Maturing Business Owner 3pm CT

by Jason Blumer, Chief Innovative Officer at Blumer & Associates

There are signs that someone is maturing. I remember when I first started noticing girls, and my voice got deeper (still working on the goatee). Those were simple signs that I was becoming a man.

Similarly, you can spot some actions and activities that maturing business owners take on as they become different organizations.

Through many years of coaching creative business owners, these signs are common and are recognizable now. I know that these growth areas are crucial to master. Though we never ‘master’ growth, we can become better.

Together, we’ll explore:

  • the important processes in your company that should be changing
  • requirements that you should be placing on your clients
  • when and if you should be losing clients
  • what does a leader of a design organization look like, and
  • the 3 sacrifices every creative business has to make to reach real maturity

About Jason Blumer

Jason Blumer is the Founder of Thriveal, a community for entrepreneurial CPA firm owners, and the Chief Innovative Officer of his CPA firm, Blumer & Associates. He is the co-host of the Thrivecast and The Businessology Show and speaks and writes frequently for CPAs and creatives, his firm?s chosen niche. Jason has been recognized by Accounting Today as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting for the last two years. As a part of his desire to move the profession forward, he recently co-founded the Thriveal Laboratory. Jason was one of the first in the profession to experiment with new business models such as becoming a virtual firm and a ROWE, Results Only Work Environment.


Digital Biz Round Table 4pm CT

by Dan Mall, Founder of SuperFriendly

Your humble Digital Biz Summit host, Christopher Schmitt, hosts a round table discussion with Daniel Mall, Founder of SuperFriendly.

Whether it's freelancing or an agency or somewhere in between, be prepared to ask questions to help your business grow and thrive.

About Dan Mall

Dan Mall is an award-winning designer from Philadelphia, an enthralled husband, and new dad. As the Founder & Design Director at SuperFriendly Dan and his team defeat apathy and the forces of evil with heroic creative direction, design, & strategy.

He?s also co-founder of Typedia and swfIR, and sings/plays keyboard for contemporary-Christian band Four24. Dan was formerly Design Director at Big Spaceship, Interactive Director at Happy Cog, and a technical editor for A List Apart.


About the Digital Biz Summit 2014

The Web Design industry is constantly evolving, which means management practices need regular updates, too. Spend some time with business owners and managers who navigate a constantly-shifting landscape every day. From tackling operations and project supervision to managing expectations and people, these experts have it covered!

Why attend the online conference?
  • Attending a conference online means no travel hassle!
  • Bring the experts live to your desktop!
  • Time spent on the road is better spent instead in the office or with family, friends!
  • Sessions are developed to dive deeper into the material!
  • Ask questions directly to the speakers!
  • Can't make it the day of the conference? Watch the recordings whenever you want!
Free Recordings

Can't make it the day of the conference? Recordings are part of registration, so you can watch the recordings whenever you want!

Within five business days after the event, we will send you information on how to view recorded sessions.

Testimonials from
This conference was a load of fun. I loved the instant feedback from the speakers and the atmosphere.

John-David Dalton
Web Application Developer
& Web Performance Summit Attendee

I love these online conferences. It's convenient and you can still learn a lot from the comfort of your home or at work.

Candi Ligutan
5by5.tv Producer

An absolutely fantastic event. Well done—will definitely be back for more!

Russ Weakley
Chair of Web Standards Group
& CSS Summit Attendee

Next Event →

After this event, join us for our FrontEnd Summit 2014, the 1st annual online, live frontend conference.

Satisfaction Guaranteed 100%

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Once you are registered, you will receive a follow-up email to confirm your reservation. Later on, as the event draws near, you will receive a more detailed message, with the full schedule and other helpful information to help you take full advantage of your conference-going experience and plan your day.

On the day of the conference, you will receive an email invitation about 45 minutes before everything starts. Click on the enclosed link to sign in and enter the virtual meeting space. Once you are signed in, you'll be able to see and hear the presentations as they happen, ask questions as needed and chat with the other attendees if you like!

Technical Specifications: to attend The Summit, you will need a modern web browser and a recent version of the Adobe Flash Player. Follow this link to run our system diagnostic (opens in a new window). It will let you know right away which plug-ins, if any, you will need to update before the event.

Still have questions? Drop us a line or contact us at e4h@heatvision.com if there's anything else you'd like to know.