Future Conferences – Part 2

Mapping the Edges
Mapping the Edges

Part 1 talked in more general terms about the ways that conferences can be improved.   This post will list some specific suggestions as well as some of the software providers who are starting to make it happen.

The basic premise is that if you are going to bring people together to a single location you should maximize the collaboration during that time.  Here are some ways.

  • Pre-conference lectures via the web can establish a common foundation of knowledge  and discussion topics
  • Pre-conference online collaboration can help identify interesting people to seek out at the conference and can establish the hot topics that should be covered at the conference
  • Collaboration tools can be integrated into the conference as it runs to help people find the right sessions and the right people whom they would like to meet face-to-face.  Many of the people who are not speakers are likely experts.  Give them a voice too.
  • Post-conference the discussion can/should continue.  Think about how hard it is to get everyone together once a year.  Everyone has to clear their schedule, make travel plans, and incur significant costs.  Yet the collaboration is so valuable to us that we overcome that inertia and attend.  We, of course, would love to interact with those same people throughout the year if given the chance

Some of the companies/tools focused on this space are:

  • Speaker Interactive – providing “Professional Speakers in Digital Form”.  Can be helpful in providing presentations ahead of the event or for supporting “online attendees” who could not attend a live event.
  • The Social Collective – Facebook and Twitter for conferences
  • Crowdvine – Amplify the networking value of your event.
  • EventMingle – configurable event based online social networking
  • EventChatter – Twitter add-on for tweeting around events

Other services out there that will change conference collaboration in some way?

5 responses to “Future Conferences – Part 2

  1. Pingback: Future Conferences - Part 1 « Future Business

  2. Interesting post about the future of conferences. To me this seems to fall into 5 categories:
    • networking
    • conversation
    • idea generation
    • collaboration
    • recording sessions (audio, video, written) with or without commentary

    I guess you could also breakout onsite collaboration + conversation with offsite collaboration + conversation.

  3. Great post. To @compassioninpolitics’ point about categories, I would add the following:
    1) Social & Informal Learning as well as Formal Learning!
    2) Content Development
    3) Content Sharing

    I would also add blogtalkradio.com as a free online radio that can be used by anyone to create a event specific radio station with live and recorded interviews with event speakers and entertainers. Those live sessions can be recorded as a podcast for listening on the Internet or Mp3 to download. Blogtalkradio integrates live chat with the ability to take up to 10 callers at one time.

  4. @jeffhurt and CompassionInPolitics,

    Thx so much for your thoughts. There are definitely many different areas for improvement in way that conferences can provide both collaborative value and learning outside of the actual event time.

    Talkshoe is another podcasting tool that can be broadcast live with attendees (no 10 caller limit), recorded, and then accessed on-demand via RSS feed at any time. However, if you are going to run a podcast, I highly recommend doing some post-production (music, summary intro, outro, edits, etc…). It greatly enhances the “listenability”.

  5. Pingback: twebevent – video and Twitter « Future Business

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